John Mark Hicks at Lipscomb University on N. B. Hardeman defines the Lipscomb PATTERN as rejecting the historic views of the Church of Christ and the Bible.  One of the things James A. Harding said which would solve ALL of the sowing of discord by those who need "The Holy Spirit" as a person to use as a whip on those who question their pastoral authority:

Earl D. Edwards. The Gospel Advocate, January 2008, page 18, Earl D. Edwards, Director of graduate studies at Freed-hardeman

He received the M.Th. degree from Harding Graduate School, and he completed his D.Miss. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

"The pastor is not a necessity. He is a FUNGUS GROWTH upon the church, the body of Christians, DWARFING its growth, PREVENTING its development of its members; and until the church GETS RID of him it will NEVER prosper as it should. In the Bible we can find all the necessities.

"I can testify from my own observation that a good eldership will lose its efficiency, and its members become both UNABLE and UNWILLING to do the work of elders, in a very few years after the employment of a pastor. And if under the pastor system a good eldership has ever developed, I have never seen or heard of the case. I don't believe that has or ever will be done." --James A. Harding, Gospel Advocate, May 20, 1885

Nashville School of the Bible on the trinity.



John Mark Hicks on Harding:   All the students of Harding have testified
        that he fully invoked the presence of the indwelling Spirit
        as the means of sanctification in the believer's life. 
For example, R. C. Bell testified that he "caught [Harding's] catagious enthusiasm for God as a Father who personally cares for each child in His family, for Christ as a Brother who personally identifies Himself with each of His own, and for the Holy Spirit as a Comforter who personally resides in and empowers every Christian."141 

Brother  Harding‟s living, magnetic, contagious faith in God as a real personal friend matched the wavelength of my spirit. I slowly enough imbibed his enthusiasm
        for God‟s fatherly care of indi
vidual Christians,
        for Christ‟s brotherly sympathy and fellowship with them,
        and for the empowering Holy Spirit‟s residence in
In other words, for Broth
er Harding‟s conception of Christianity as a “divine-human encounter,” in which spiritual communion between God and man, the sweetest of human experiences, was enjoyed.

I gradually came to realize, however, that the spiritual power of the church was contingent upon the actual personal presence and working of the triune God in and through Christians.

More and
more the conviction grew on me that Brother Harding‟s interpretation of Christianity, which was Paul‟s too, was needed to save the church from being merely
        a human organization with a formula to follow,
        a prayer to recite,
        and a dull, demagnetized program
       to render; with professional preachers in her pulpit mechanically saying dead words detached from the living realities of which they spoke, dealing in trite moralizings, threadbare platitudes, and heartless preaching about the heart and passion of Christ. This kind of a church instead of being the divine organism, instinct with the life and power of God, as designed by her Founder! In short,
Brother Harding‟s interpretation was needed to save the church from changing divine dynamics to human mechanics.

He warns against the idea that the SPIRIT OF God inside of them produces.

But why so much arrested development? According to this Ephesian verse, clever, crafty teachers of error, playing with the souls of men and using their art to seduce Christians and to adulterate Christianity, counteract true teachers. However, in writing to Timothy, Paul makes unstable Christians at least equally responsible with false teachers for lack .of progress in the church: "Preach the word . . . for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap to them- selves teachers after their own lusts (desires); and will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to fables" (2 Tim. 4:2-4). There are those, who "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7)that is, professed truth seekers, never becoming firmly fixed in the conviction that Christ is "the way and the truth"are forever looking for something new, even new revelations from God, because they doubt the finality of his revelation in Christ. Such can never grow up, but are doomed to be children perpetually, "carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men." These two classessilly seekers with itching ears and shallow teachers with itching palms and swollen egosare between them accountable for the many  vagaries, fables, and cults in Christendom today. Designing, false preachers and teachers, and double-minded, half-converted members have ever plagued the church of our Lord. "Can the blind guide the blind? Shall they not both fall into a pit?" (Luke 6:39).

Studies In Ephesians

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father,
        and he shall give you another Comforter,
        that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:17 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.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;
        but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that
        I am in my Father,
        and ye in me,
        and I in you.

John 14:21 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.

G1718 emphanizō em-fan-id'-zo From G1717 ;
to exhibit (in person) or disclose (by words):—appear, declare
(plainly), inform, (will) manifest, shew, signify.
John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord,
        how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us,
        and not unto the world?

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him,
        If a man love me, he will keep my words:
        and my Father will love him,
        and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

You will notice that the Father and Son dwell in the believer in the same sense that the believer dwells  IN the Father and Son.  There is no mention of A Holy Spirit as a person dwelling in them.  Why is that?

1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
        And if any man sin,
        we have an advocate (Comforter)
        with the Father,
        Jesus Christ the righteous:
1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.


1Tim. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable
        in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Tim. 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Tim. 2:5 For there is one God,
            and one mediator between God and men,
            the man Christ Jesus;
1Tim. 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The fact that a preacher makes a statement should never trump the Biblical Text: Peter outlawed private interpretation which means "further expounding."  If you cannot teach the actual words of Jesus Christ and let Him expound, however honorable, he should never be given "respect of persons" as a way to teach false doctrine.

We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit because it is the Word of Christ: Jesus told me so in John 6:63

Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph. 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph. 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle,
        or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
        but according to his mercy he saved us,
        by the washing of regeneration,
        and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Heb. 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb. 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb. 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
        having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
        and our bodies washed with pure water.
If it requires one of the "members" of the God family to live INSIDE OF our bodies in order to sanctify us then pray tell why did Jeus Christ die for our sins and command us to be baptized FOR the remission of sins.  Once our sins are remitted we have A holy spirit or A good conscience. 

Jesus specificially aimed at the false Jews in Jerusalem who continued to believe that the Father was Zeus and the Son was Dionysus (etal).  This identified a musical, sexual and homosexual invasion of the Holy Place whereas the Levites (an old Ebyptian priesthood related to Dionysus).  This is the worship of the starry host God abandoned the NOBILITY or CLERGY to because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai.  In the writing prophets which contains the SPIRITUAL message by Christ in Spirit all of the Monarchy, monarchs, temple, sacrificial system and the "music" as exorcism was radically condemned. They are called robbers and parasites IMPOSED on them because of the sins of the people.


The pagan father was Zeus as part of the abomination of desolation including music, sexuality and homosexuality in the Holy Places.  When Saul became the first king to enslave the people, God sent signs of their future role. Prophesying was called soothsaying and included singing, playing, dancing and wors.

1Sam. 10:11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? 

1Sam. 10:12 And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?

The truth had been hidden in parables from the foundation of the world: this was to cause those who claimed to speak FOR God would just make fools of themselves (Isaiah 48)

John 16:29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 
John 16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things,
        and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
John 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The Son involved when the clergy "piped" hoping that Jesus would sing (lament) and dance was Dionysus. There were various sons and mothers. The DOVE was a parable which identified the Word as a Son of a father as opposed to a daughter of a mother as the beginning-- and end-time Babylon mother of harlots (Rev 17). In chapter 18 she uses lusted after "fruits" (same as in Amos) as speakers, singers and instrument players.  John called them SORCERERS who HAD deceived the whole world.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 

To repudiate the universal trinities of pagans, Jesus makes it clear that He was the visible agent of God as Father, Son and Spirit. 

The first people who used the word trias could read John and therefore defined the personae IN the one God as:

The Father is the Mind of God which dwelled IN Jesus the Christ.
The Spirit is the invisible "breath" which conveys hidden and inaudible thought
The Son is the articulated Word of the Father which dwelleth with Jesus of Nazareth.

Psa. 33:6 By the [1] word of the
[2]  LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the [3] breath of his mouth.

Breath is h7307 meaning SPIRIT.

Because of the background about a TRIAD in all paganism: If you believe in a trinity of PERSONS you are forced to speak of Father, Mother and infant son.
John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you,
        and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
        he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;
        and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am IN the Father, and the Father IN me?
        the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
        but the Father that dwelleth IN me, he doeth the works. 

John 14:11 Believe me that I am IN the Father, and the Father IN me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father,
        and he shall give you another [as Spirit rather than Flesh] Comforter,
        that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:17 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.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you

In the same "proverbal sense" the believer will be IN the Father and So. 

The Holy Spirit Comforter will be in the NAME of Jesus Christ.

G3875 paraklētos par-ak'-lay-tos An intercessor, consoler:—advocate, comforter.

The Same John said that the Holy Spirit bears the name of Jesus Chrisit the Righteous.

1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin,
        we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: 
        and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

To deny that is according to John be an Anti-Christ.

1John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? 
Which is the same as: Which is the same as:
He is ANTICHRIST that denieth the
Father [one God]
   the Son. [one Lord]
he thathath seen me hath seen the Father;
[Christ, who is the image of God 2 Cor 4:4]
and HOW sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 
1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son

hethat acknowledgeth the Son 
the same hath not the Father:

hath the Father also
John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am IN the Father, and the Father IN me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth IN me, he doeth the works.

John Mark Hicks on Harding: R. H. Boll also noted that one of his most prominent teachings was "the actual, personal, indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian."142  Students were impressed with the vitality of his doctrine of the Spirit.  According to Jesse P. Sewell, "to him the Holy Spirit was as real as was the spirit in his own body."143

Paul told the Corinthians that if their SPIRIT spoke to them they must make sure that they understand it in their MINDS before they speak it.  If the Holy Spirit is as real as out own spirit then their words must be the words of the Spirit OF Christ.

By definition "spirit" is a figurative term.  The Holy Spirit is defined by Paul as the Mind of Christ.  The Mind of Christ or the Holy Spirit OF Christ still dwells in Christ.  At the same time WE can have the Mind of Christ by thinking and acting according to the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. The source of that is the Word of Christ which Christ said is SPIRIT (John 6:63)

Now, we have proven that the NAME of the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ.  In John 14 Jesus said that for those who obey His commandments the Father and Son will make their abode in them. At the same time those who obey His commandents will dwell IN the Father and Son.  No mention of a separated Holy Spirit. That is because in all classical trinity statements, the God is One and alone. When He speaks a Word He becomes the Father of that Word and the Word becomes the Son. The Spirit is the "breath" of God which conveys invisible power from the Mind of God to the Mouth of the Incarnated Word.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 2 makes the following analogy which cannot be misunderstood:

The Holy Spirit
        Is to God
What our spirit
        is to use.

Paul explains that as "WE have the Mind of Christ."

John Mark Hicks on Harding:   Harding's writings testify to this emphasis.  In 1905 alone Harding penned ten articles on the indwelling of the Spirit as he engaged Dr. J. C. Holloway and others in a discussion of the subject.144  Harding's perspective stood in strong contrast with some of his contemporaries, especially those who were influenced by the Firm Foundation and the American Christian Review.  

Isn't it remotely possible that the thousands of Bible students for 2,000 years could have had some effect: men like John Calvin was not influenced by the Texas Legalists.  In deed Campbel and many other true scholars had been trained in the best of schools where no one ever taught that the Holy Spirit as a separated PERSON literally lived inside of a literal human body.

We have the Bible which is pretty clear and all recorded historical scholarship denied that the Spirit OF Christ was a PERSON in our sense: God manifested Himself using three PERSONAE.  Hicks, etal probably cannot find any scholars before the Nashville Bible School which fell for this heresy.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:   Indeed, Harding's emphasis was so strong and the influence of the Bible School's so wide that many accused the Bible schools of originating this emphasis.145  Consequently, Harding's twenty years of teaching this perspective in the Nashville and Potter Bible Schools had a tremendous impact on forming a theological tradition where the Holy Spirit was understood as a vital, transforming and divine personal presence in the life of the believer.


I believe that it was H. Leo Boles who articulated the godhead as THREE, INDEPENDANT PERSONS. They are ranked 1, 2, 3 and each has their distinctive talents. Rubel Shelly tells the joke about the Father God and the Spirit God using the Little Son's tendency to "raise his hands" into volunteering to come to the Earth and die for mankind.  Of course, the Bible makes it clear that Christ as God gave up His full Majesty AS God and indwelled "a body prepared for me."

H. Leo Boles exposing the Dogma of tritheism for the first time #1.
H. Leo Boles exposing the Dogma of tritheism for the first time #2.

This was the Dogma of the Gospel Advocat Sunday School material.  Therefore, it is not likely that the Lipscomb Sect of preachers could violate the dogma.

Phil 2:5 Your attitude [mind] should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ,
Phil 2:6
who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God,
Phil 2:7
but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. 

The MIND that was in Christ who WAS God is the word:

MInd is: G5426 phroneo fron-eh'-o From G5424 ; to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience):set the affection on, (be) care (-ful), (be like-, + be of

For US Paul equated the MIND of Christ to the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2).

In the KJV: 

Phil. 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, 
        and took upon him the form of a servant,
        and was made in the likeness of men:
Phil. 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
        and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phil. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Phil. 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven,
        and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Phil. 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Lord Jesus is defined in prophecy as Jehovah--Saves and no one dared suggest that Jehovah in the Old Testament was three PEOPLE.

The word SPIRIT never spoke of a PERSON. God is WHOLLY Spirit and "rests" on a SPIRIT or MIND basis. Otherwise, a spirit was thought of as a GHOST. When Jesus cast out the musical minstrels he was repudiating trying to appease or address the spirit of a dead person. 

An interesting tid bit perhaps part of the SIGN OF JONAH?

2 Chr 35:22 But Josiah refused to turn back. Instead he led his army into the battle at the valley of Megiddo. (He laid aside his royal robes so that the enemy wouldn't recognize him.) Josiah refused to believe that Neco's message was from God.

Jona.3:6 For when the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying,
.......... he stepped down from his throne,
.......... laid aside his royal robes,
.......... put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

The kings did not become ANOTHER PERSON but they appeared without the SIGNS of majesty. Zechariah spoke eloquently about Messiah--including the suppression of the charismatic prophets (singers, dancers, instrument players]:

Zec. 6:11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and
.......... set them upon the head of Joshua [Jehovah- Saves]
.......... the son of Josedech [Jehovah- Righted], the high priest;

Zec. 6:12 And speak unto him, saying,
.......... Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying,
.......... Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH;
.......... and he shall grow up out of his place,
.......... and he shall build the temple of the Lord:

Zec. 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord;
.......... and he shall bear the glory,
.......... and shall sit and rule upon his throne;
.......... and he shall be a priest upon his throne:
.......... and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Stephen OUTED the fact that Israel had LOST IT because of their charismatic worship at Mount Sinai for which God ABANDONED them to worship the STARRY HOST. FURTHERMORE, he informed them that the temple WAS NOT God's idea and He didn't live in THEIR Houses and WOULD NOT be worshipped in HOUSES. So, the murdered him and they would still if they could get away with it. IF they will steal the church houses of widows they would DO YOU IN if they could.

Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and
.......... the Son of man standing
.......... on the right hand of God.

Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen,
.......... calling upon God, and
.......... saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) is the NAME (singular) of Father, Son and Spirit)

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Paul never uses THE HOLY SPIRIT in the sense of a separated divine being. For instance, in defining the SON of God:

Heb 1:1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners
.......... spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

God was made audible as His CHRIST:

1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

John 1:1 IN the beginning was the Word,
.......... and the Word was with God,
.......... and the Word was God.

Not too tricky: my word is WITH me and is ME made audible.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3
All things were made by him;
.......... and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The SON is therefore defined as the WORD of God:

Heb.1:3 Who being
.......... the brightness of his glory, and
.......... the express image of his person,
.......... and upholding all things by the word of his power,
.......... when he had by himself purged our sins,
.......... sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The brightness of God is (g541) and OFF-FLASH or effulgence: to BEAM FORTH (g827).

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      Two Extremes.  Harding believed that there were two dangerous extremes concerning the Holy Spirit.  One extreme was to teach that the Spirit immediately and directly enters the heart of the sinner in order to convert it or change it prior to faith.  The Spirit convicts the world of sin, but not by a "mysterious, miraculous, and irresistible power injected immediately into the heart."146  Harding, along with the whole tradition of the Stone-Campbell Movement from its beginnings, opposed this "Calvinist" understanding of conversion.  He called it "one of the most popular and hurtful errors in the religious world."147  It was often a proposition Harding debated with opponents in public disputations.  For example, Harding denied while J. B. Moody affirmed the following thesis:  "The Scriptures teach that man is so depraved that he is unable without a direct enabling power of the Holy Spirit to obey the Gospel of the Son of God."148  Harding, like most in the Stone-Campbell movement, believed that the Holy Spirit only enters a person after conversion and never before conversion.  The Holy Spirit cannot enter a sinner, but he does make his abode with saints.

First, we need to note that the Stone-Campbell Movement is absolutely false.

The falsehood of the Stone-Campbell Movement organized to restructure Churches of Christ

Refuted by Burnett

One of the follies of scholars that they rarely read the original resources. For instance Calvin would call anyone a fanatic who thought that they received "Spirit" outside of the Bible text which carries Spirit along with it as Jesus claimed.

John Calvin Necessity of Reforming the Church.

I am willing, however, that all the advantage which the church may have derived from our labors shall have no effect in alleviating our fault, if in any other respect we have done her injury. Therefore, let there be an examination of our whole doctrine, of our form of administering the sacraments (MEANS of Grace) , and our method of governing the church;

and in none of these three things will it be found that we have made any change upon the ancient form,
without attempting to
restore it to the exact standard of the word of God.

But our censurers, even those of them who have somewhat more regard to equity, blame us for excess in having discarded entirely from our prayers the mention of dead saints. But will they tell me wherein, according to their view, lies the sin of faithfully observing the rule laid down by Christ, the supreme teacher,

and by the prophets and apostles, and of not omitting anything which either the Holy Spirit has taught in scripture, or the servants of God have practiced from the beginning of the world down to the days of the apostles?

There is scarcely any subject on which the Holy Spirit more carefully prescribes than on the proper method of prayer; 

John Calvin Connecting the Spirit of Christ to the Word of Christ

1. The temper and error of the Libertines, who take to themselves the name of spiritual, briefly described. Their refutation.
(a). The Apostles and all true Christians have embraced the written Word. This confirmed by a passage in Isaiah; also by the example and words of Paul.
(b). The Spirit of Christ seals the doctrine of the written Word on the minds of the godly.
(2) Refutation continued.
a) The impositions of Satan cannot be detected without the aid of the written Word. First Objection. The Answer to it.
3. Second Objection from the words of Paul as to the letter and spirit. The Answer, with an explanation of Paul's meaning. How the Spirit and the written Word are indissolubly connected.

1.The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
Those who, rejecting Scripture, imagine that they have some peculiar way of penetrating to God, are to be deemed not so much under the influence of error as madness. For certain giddy men have lately appeared, who, while they make a great display of the superiority of the Spirit,
reject all reading of the Scriptures themselves, and deride the simplicity of those who only delight in what they call the dead and deadly letter.
But I wish they would tell me what spirit it is whose inspiration raises them to such a sublime height that they dare despise the doctrine of Scripture as mean and childish.
If they answer that it is the Spirit of Christ, their confidence is exceedingly ridiculous;
since they will, I presume, admit that the apostles and other believers in the primitive Church were not illuminated by any other Spirit.
None of these thereby learned to despise the word of God, but every one was imbued with greater reverence for it, as their writings most clearly testify.
And, indeed, it had been so foretold by the mouth of Isaiah. For when he says,
"My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever,"
he does not tie down the ancient Church to external doctrine, as he were a mere teacher of elements; he rather shows that,
under the reign of Christ, the true and full felicity of the new Church will consist in their being ruled not less by the Word than by the Spirit of God.
Hence we infer that these miscreants are guilty of fearful sacrilege in tearing asunder what the prophet joins in indissoluble union.
Add to this, that Paul, though carried up even to the third heaven, ceased not to profit by the doctrine of the law and the prophets, while, in like manner, he exhorts Timothy, a teacher of singular excellence, to give attention to reading, (1 Tim. 4: 13.)
This is Paul's unique word for worship in Spirit and in Truth: give attention or give heed. This is the same word in Hebrew used by David when he "worshiped" and sang songs upon his bed and meditated in his heart.
And the eulogium which he pronounces on Scripture well deserves to be remembered, viz., that
"it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect," (2 Tim. 3: 16.)
What an infatuation of the devil, therefore, to fancy that Scripture, which conducts the sons of God to the final goal, is of transient and temporary use?
Again, I should like those people to tell me whether they have imbibed any other Spirit than that which Christ promised to his disciples. Though their madness is extreme, it will scarcely carry them the length of making this their boast.
But what kind of Spirit did our Saviour promise to send? One who should not speak of himself, (John 16: 13,)
but suggest and instil the truths which he himself had delivered through the word.
Hence the office of the Spirit promised to us, is not
to form new and unheard-of revelations, or to coin a new form of doctrine, by which we may be led away from the received doctrine of the gospel,
but to seal on our minds the very doctrine which the gospel recommends.
2. The Holy Spirit is recognized in his agreement with Scripture
Hence it is easy to understand that we must give diligent heed both to the reading and hearing of Scripture, if we would obtain any benefit from the Spirit of God, (just as Peter praises those who attentively study the doctrine of the prophets, (2 Pet. 1: 19,) though it might have been thought to be superseded after the gospel light arose,) and, on the contrary,
that any spirit which passes by the wisdom of God's Word, and suggests any other doctrine, is deservedly suspected of vanity and falsehood.
Since Satan transforms himself into an angel of light [knowledge], what authority can the Spirit have with us if he be not ascertained by an infallible mark? And assuredly he is pointed out to us by the Lord with sufficient clearness; but these miserable men err as if bent on their own destruction,
while they seek the Spirit from themselves rather than from Him.
Nay, in the very same passage, the apostle calls his own preaching the ministration of the Spirit, (2 Cor. 3: 8,) intimating that the Holy Spirit so cleaves to his own truth, as he has expressed it in Scripture,
      that he then only exerts and puts forth his strength when the word is received with due honour and respect.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      The other extreme equally concerned Harding.  It was an extreme which he saw in his own fellowship and it greatly disturbed him.  "Many readers of the New Testament," he notes, "stagger at the thought of the Holy Spirit entering into Christians and abiding in them.  They seem to think that he enters into them only in his Word, and he himself remains on the outside."149  Indeed, some seem to equate the Word and the Spirit150 or to say that the Spirit dwells in the Word just as our human spirits dwell in our own words.  Consequently, the Spirit dwells within us only in the sense that the word dwells in us because the Spirit dwells in the word.  But Harding objects that the "Bible nowhere teaches, either expressly or by necessary implication, that the Holy Spirit dwells in the word."151  Harding regards such a reductionistic view of the Holy Spirit as a "perversion" that is just as "sectarian" and "unjustifiable as any Methodist or Baptist perpetrated upon this much abused text [Acts 2:38]."152  He waxes eloquent when he writes, "I am as far as the East is from the West from believing that neither God, Christ, nor the Holy Spirit can help us except by talking to us."153

We have noted that Father and Son are said to be IN the believer in the same sense that the believer is IN the Father and Son.

IN does not mean INSIDE of in the sense of a GOD PERSON being inside of a HUMAN PERSON.  Or bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the Mind of Christ.  The Dove as symbol of the Spirit repudiated the mother and daughter trinity rested UPON Jesus Christ as the Son and did not go INSIDE of Him. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit had been WITH the Apostles.  He (Christ) would be in them based on their keeping the commandments of Christ. A person who obeys the commands of Christ has the mind or mental disposition of Jesus Christ.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      "Of the two errors," Harding commented, "I do not know which is the worse."154  One denies that anyone receives the Spirit and the other affirms that sinners receive the Spirit.  Neither is biblical and both lead to troublesome errors.  The former undermines sanctification and the other hinges justification on the mourner's bench.  The former reduces sanctification to studying the word without the empowering presence of the Spirit.  The latter forces the seeker to wait for some tangible expression of the Spirit's testimony before they obey the Gospel.  Harding affirms a mediating position.

      As Harding sees the problem, the two extremes have mixed oranges and apples.  The "Calvinists" apply texts that are about Christians to sinners and the reductionists apply texts about sinners to Christians.  Both make the mistake of leveling all texts concerning the Holy Spirit to one idea, and consequently both go to extremes.  Harding offered this assessment in his debate with Moody:155 

My friend is, I admit, at times a very ingenious apologist.  And one of his most skillful tricks is, while affirming and trying to prove the direct operation of the Spirit on the sinner's heart in order to his conversion, to weave into his argument a large number of passages which speak about his dwelling in, working in, strengthening and helping Christians.  Of course the ingenuity consists in so introducing these passages as to lead the unsuspecting hearer or reader to suppose that they apply to the sinner.  That the Spirit dwells in the Christian, helps his infirmities, and makes intercession for him with unutterable groanings, the Scriptures clearly teach, and I believe as firmly as I believe any thing....You see, my friends, the temple must be holy before the Spirit will move in, and if it then be defiled he will move out.  I repeat, no one is a stronger believer in the indwelling of the Spirit in the hearts of God's children than I am; the faith fills me with joy; I believe he helps, guards, guides and strengthens me.  he came to earth nearly two thousand years ago to remain till the end of time, and he is not here as an idler; he is the life (the sap) of the vine, the spirit of the body, the dweller in the temple.  He does for us just what he did for the Christians in the apostolic age.

One of the historical opinions is that Paul never speaks of SPIRIT in the sense of another member of the God family: the Spirit OF Christ is the Mind of Christ.

For ye have not received  
        the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
        the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom 8:15

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,
        that we are the children of God: Rom 8:16

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Rom 8:17

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom 8:18

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Rom 8:19

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Rom 8:20

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom 8:21

For we know that
the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth in pain together until now. Rom 8:22

G4959 sustenazō soos-ten-ad'-zo From G4862 and G4727 ; to moan jointly, that is, (figuratively) experience a common calamity:—groan together.

G4727 stenazō sten-ad'-zo From G4728 ; to make (intransitively be) in straits, that is, (by implication) to sigh, murmur, pray inaudibly: with grief, groan, grudge, sigh.
And not only they, but ourselves also,
        which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
        even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
        waiting for the adoption,
        to wit, the redemption of our body. Rom 8:23

Jn 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping,
        and the Jews also weeping which came with her,
        he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

Jn 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man,
        which opened the eyes of the blind,
        have caused that even this man should not have died?
Jn 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave.
        It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

2Cor. 5:2 For in this we groan
        earnestly desiring to be clothed upon
        with our house which is from heaven:
2Cor. 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan,
        being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon,
        that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Isa 26:8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; 
        the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night;    
        yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: 
        for when thy judgments are in the earth, 
        the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:In the same way, reductionists apply texts that about sinners to Christians.  Harding argued that we should understand that sinners received the word and then became Christians through faith and obedience.  Likewise, Christians receive the Spirit after faith and obedience.  "The Spirit is received after faith and obedience; the Word before faith and obedience."156

Walter Scott and the other Restoration Scholars understood the Bible which is perfectly clear: the Holy Spirit is the spirit of the believer made holy after baptism. He therefore has the gift of A holy spirit.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:  A Biblical Theology.  Harding's deep impression of the Spirit's role in the history of redemption arises out of a biblical-theological construct of redemptive history.  In a key article, which he reprinted several times with various changes, Harding lays out a redemptive-historical understanding of the presence of God among his people.157  In this article Harding unfolds the progressive nature of God's presence.  Israel experienced God's presence through the tabernacle and temple where God's angel was "God's representative on earth" (see Exodus 23:20-23; 32:34).  
        Then God himself dwelt among us in Jesus Christ. 
        The incarnate Son of God was the presence of God among his people. 
Jesus, in that sense, represented the Father through his incarnational presence. 
        In this sense, God was "with" his people and, as John 14:17,
        the Spirit was "with" them in the ministry of Jesus.

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      However, something decisive happens at Pentecost that breaks open a new era.  It is the "peculiarity of the new covenant" that God now dwells "in" his people through his Spirit.  This was the promise of John 7:37-39 and it was fulfilled on Pentecost when God poured out his Spirit and made his dwelling in his people through the Spirit.  God the Father, then, still has a representative on earth.  But unlike his angelic presence with Israel, or the Son's incarnational presence, now God dwells in his people.  God's representative on earth is now the Holy Spirit.  He abides in the hearts of saints.  God and Christ dwell representatively through the personal presence of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).  Thus, "as in former dispensations God dwelt among his people, so does he now; then, in the presence of an angel, now, in the presence of the Holy Spirit;" then "with" his people, now, "in" his people.158  "We are nearer to God than they were."159

      Yet, even this is not the final story in the history of God's redemption.  Just as "a greater age, a greater people and a greater temple required a greater representative from the Celestial City"160 -- and we now have that by the presence of the Spirit in the church, God's temple -- so we anticipate a fuller presence of God in the new heaven and the new earth.  This fuller presence is the presence of the Triune God among us in the everlasting kingdom.  Though, "as far as we know," the baptism of the Spirit has only been "granted in the two cases referred to [apostles and Cornelius]," there, in the new heaven and new earth, all the saints will receive the full measure of the baptism of the Spirit just as the baptism of fire will be administered to all the wicked.161

      Harding's theology of the Spirit, then, is partly a function of his eschatological structure.  God dwelt with his people in Eden, but sin destroyed that communion.  God could no longer dwell with a sinful people.  Nevertheless, by his grace, God revealed himself and represented his presence among his people by an angel, and then God came among them through the incarnate One, the Christ.  Now the Holy Spirit dwells within the church in the present stage of redemptive history.  But the millennial reign is the time when Christ will return to dwell among his people, and the new heaven and new earth will be the time when God himself returns to Eden.  The history of redemption is the history of God's progressive presence among his people to restore them to Eden and thus fulfill his original intent.  The denial of the personal presence of the Spirit in the Christian, then, undermines the very structure of Harding's theology.  It is no wonder, then, that he regarded the denial of that personal presence as perverted and tantamount to a denial of the reign of Christ in the world.

      The Function of the Spirit.  Harding believed that sanctification is as much a struggle for the Christian as it was for the Jew in the Old Testament.  "Under Christianity no man can do right any more than he could under Judaism" and "the Christian has precisely the same sort of struggle as did the faithful Jew in trying to do the will of God."  But there are basically two differences between Judaism and Christianity when it comes to the command "Do and Live."  The first is the atonement of Jesus Christ in the light of which "there is no condemnation; in him all these shortcomings are overlooked; in him our sins are blotted out."  As long as we remain in Christ, his blood covers us and there is no condemnation, and the Christian "remains in Christ just as long as 'he wills to do his will;' as long as he strives earnestly and prayerfully against the world, the flesh, and the devil."162

      The second advantage the Christian has in this struggle against sin is the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  According to Harding, the Spirit is an enabling presence in the life of the Christian.  By the strength of the Spirit the Christian is able to do things he could not otherwise do.  Does all the Christian's strength for the struggle against sin come through the Bible alone?  Harding responds:  "Dr. Holloway ridicules the idea of any man getting any help from God except what he gets by studying the Bible.  Does the Doctor never pray?"163  The struggle against sin involves the personal work of the Spirit and without that strength we could not remain faithful.  "When Paul teaches that 'the Spirit helpeth our infirmity,' I understand that he supplies to us that which we need for the greatest efficiency in the Christian's life, but which we, unaided, can not secure."164 

      Thus, Harding emphasizes the human inability to "do right."  We are unable to remain faithful on our own strength.  "Who does not know that he is unable to care for himself, to guide, to guard and to strengthen himself?," Harding asks.165  Further, we are not even able to do the "best we can."  The test of faithfulness is not doing the best we can, but the willingness to do God's will.  "I have yet to meet the man who does the best he knows.  If Brother Clark's definition is correct, there are no Christians; for, of all men, Christ is the only one who did the best he knew how.  What we need is a Savior to save people who have not done the best they knew, to save sinners; and Christ came to do that."166  It is the faithfulness of Christ then that saves us from our own weaknesses and failures.  There is no condemnation in Christ for those who seek to do his will.  But it is precisely because we are weak and unable to fulfill the will of God that the Spirit dwells within God's saints to help their infirmities and to strengthen them.  Believers who deny this presence evoke Harding's pity:167 

I feel sorry for those who are afflicted by these dreadful, blighting, semi-infidel, materialistic notions, that leave God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and the angels wholly out of the Christian's life--for those who think all these spiritual beings left us when the Bible was finished, and who think that we now have to fight the battle alone.  Some of these people pray, but what they pray for is more than I can tell, unless it is for the 'reflex influence':  and when they are praying for that they are praying to themselves, not to God.

What, then, does the Spirit do?  He helps our infirmities in the sense that he strengthens us in our fight against sin.  "Do we not feel the need of divine help every day?," Harding asks.  "No man is competent to direct his own steps, to express his own thoughts, to do the simplest duties, to pray the shortest prayer, without divine help.  I am glad in believing that in each child of God the Divine Helper dwells."168

      What does the Spirit do?  He guides us in our daily walk and in our ministries.  In Harding's first printed article (as far as I have been able to discover) he affirms his resolve "to go from day to day where it appears we can do the most good, and where in the providence of God we are led."169  This language is not uncommon for Harding.  He will often speak of being "led" by God to do something or to go somewhere.  For example, he thanked God that the Lord "led" him to the American Missionary Society convention in Lexington, Kentucky in 1883.170  Claiming the promise of Matthew 6:33, Harding suggests that all evangelists pray "Father, lead me where I can do the most good in thy service. 'My times are in thy hands.'  Do thou direct my steps."171  Harding links this divine "leading" to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and does not shrink back from calling it "miraculous."  Indeed, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is itself "an incomprehensible, miraculous thing necessary to the well being of the Christian and the church."172

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      What does the Spirit do?  The Spirit aids in the understanding, application and teaching of the Bible.  Harding writes:  
        "The greatest need that I feel in living the Christian's life is divine help to handle aright the word of truth
        I constantly realize my inability in and of myself to say what I ought to say, as I ought to say it, to whom I ought to say it. 
I feel no lack of truth, for I have in the Bible all the inspiration man needs.  But to remember that truth, to apply it to saint and sinner as it should be applied, to handle it aright at all times, is far beyond my unaided powers."173
God, through Zechariah, shows how people so damage their spirits that they no longer belong to God. Therefore, as He did the nation of Israel, He allowed them to walk in their own ways and worship like the nations.

But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Zechariah 7:11

They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that
the LORD Almighty had
sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. Zechariah 7:12

Therefore it is come to pass, that

as he cried, and they would not hear;
they cried, and I would not hear,
saith the Lord of hosts: Zechariah 7:13

The prophets with the power of the Spirit or Mind of Christ were ministering the Spirit through the Word. Peter says that they were--

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11

In Matthew 13 Jesus spoke parables to of the multitudes to keep them from even hearing the word. When they do not hear then God quits speaking to them. In this sense He "hardens" their heart. Stated in another way, when people reject God and He lets them go by His permissive will He is said to have hardened their hearts.

This was repeated as the Jews killed Jesus and Stephen. Stephen was not gentle when he lashed out at the clergy who took away the key to knowledge and would murder you if you threatened their jobs:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51

Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Acts 7:52

Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Acts 7:53

Resisting the Holy Spirit is resisting the MIND OF CHRIST Who has already wriitten ALL of the songs and sermons and Peter OUTLAWS private interpretation which is FURTHER EXPOUNDING.

To resist or quench the spirit is to refuse to listen to God's words which are Spirit.

Proof that this little TID BIT is NEVER from a holy spirit is the fact that it is CUT and pasted. The FACT is that Paul and other apostles and faithful evangelists MINISTER the NEW TESTAMENT throug PREACHING. And the SPIRIT is defined as THE NEW TESTAMENT.

Who also hath made us able ministers of the NEW TESTAMENT; not of the letter [Law], but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Cor 3:6

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. John 6:68

Now, it is pretty simple that the TEXT ON PAPER does not kill. What kills? The LETTER is the LAW OF MOSES. How did it kill?

First, it was added because of the musical idolatry transgression at Mount Sinai.

God honored this as their PRAYER to worship as idolaters.

God "turned them over to worship the starry host."

The laws were good but their RELIGION was not and the law--which prescribed DEATH--could not be kept.

How can one say that being baptized because one OBEYS CHRIST'S COMMANDMENT makes one guilty of the DEATH PENALTY.

But if the ministration of death, WRITTEN and ENGRAVEN in STONES, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 2 Cor 3:7

The Israelites repudiated The Book of the Covenant because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. He gave them The Book of the Law and TURNED THEM OVER to worship the starry host. The LAW was not a system of salvation but legislation for the lawless.

The Gospel, on the other hand is written on the human SPIRIT after it is cleansed by God at the time and place of baptism.

How shall not the ministration of THE SPIRIT be rather glorious? 2 Cor 3:8

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:10

Therefore, the Spirit God and the Spirit of CHRIST are not two people. Again, ministering the holy spirit is through the word of Christ the Spirit.

To the Galatians, Paul shows that receiving the Spirit is not by external works (singing, dancing, chanting, pleading for God to save you), but by hearing and believing the message of and about Christ.

If there is no COMMANDMENT then there is nothing to OBEY.

If Jesus didn't establish a NEW LAW then there would be NO PENALTY for DISOBEYING.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you,

that ye should not obey the truth,
before whose eyes
Jesus Christ hath been
evidently set forth, crucified among you? Galatians 3:1

Jesus said MY WORDS are SPIRIT and LIFE. Therefore, the Galatians had begun in the SPIRIT which is the LAW written on the spirit or mind by preaching.

Are ye so foolish?

having begun in the spirit (mind),
are ye now made perfect by the
flesh? Galatians 3:3
Have ye
suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. Galatians 3:4

The SPIRIT is contrasted with the FLESH. That is OUR SPIRIT is where we live if we are baptized believers understanding what we were REQUESTING.

And again, Paul was ministering the Holy Spirit by preaching:

He (Paul) therefore that
ministereth to you the Spirit,
and (he that) worketh miracles among you,
doeth he it by the works of the law, or
by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:5

Paul MINISTERED the Spirit through preaching: they received the Spirit by listening. Therefore, Paul was not ministering a THIRD PERSON. Luther in Law and Gospel wrote:

"But Paul says that the Spirit, through his preaching, has wrought in the hearts of his Corinthians, to the end that Christ lives and is mighty in them. After such statement he bursts into praise of the ministerial office, comparing the message, or preaching, of Moses with that of himself and the apostles. He says:

"Such confidence have we through Christ to Godward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.

8. These words are blows and thrusts for the false apostles [PAGE 227] and preachers. Paul is mortal enemy to the blockheads who make great boast,

pretending to what they do not possess and to what they cannot do;
who boast of having the Spirit in great measure; who are ready to counsel and aid the whole world;

who pride themselves on the ability to invent something new. It is to be a surpassingly precious and heavenly thing they are to spin out of their heads, as the dreams of pope and monks have been in time past.

"We do not so," says Paul. "We rely not upon ourselves or our wisdom and ability. We preach not what we have ourselves invented. But this is our boast and trust in Christ before God,

that we have made of you a divine epistle; have written upon your hearts,not our thoughts, but the Word of God.

We are not, however, glorifying our own power, but the works and the power of him who has called and equipped us for such an office; from whom proceeds all you have heard and believed.

9. It is a glory which every preacher may claim, to be able to say with full confidence of heart:
."This trust have I toward God in Christ, that what I teach and preach is truly the Word of God."

There is a role for PROFESSORS and Rhetoricians and Sophists but we quoted Luther above to say that it WAS NOT of ANY value in the spiritual realm: that is why Jesus repudiated the Doctors of the Law who might go and make a living in Canon Law:

In short, let him who would be wise, who would boast of great skill, talents and power, confine himself to things other than spiritual;

John Mark Hicks on Harding:      This does not undermine the sufficiency of Scripture because we "are limited absolutely to the Bible for instruction in righteousness.  It is abundantly sufficient to lead the sinner to Christ, and to guide the Christian all along the way to heaven."  
        It is sufficient for knowledge, but it is not sufficient for that which it was never intended.  
        It supplies sufficient knowledge, but wisdom comes from God through prayer. 
asks, "has not Dr. Holloway yet learned that we need more than knowledge?"174  1 Timothy 3:16-17, then, "does not teach that the Bible alone thoroughly furnishes the man of God for every good work, but that the Bible in addition to what had already been given does so."175  

        God has given us Scripture
        and he has given us his Spirit who equips his people
                through leading, strengthening and guarding them.

But, Jesus fired the doctors of the Law who need to go beyond the sacred page.

Click to read 2 Peter 1: it will do you good.

2Pet. 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained
        like precious faith with us
       through the righteousness of God
        and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2Pet. 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you
        through the knowledge of God,
                           and of Jesus our Lord,

2Pet. 1:3 According as his divine power 
        hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
        through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pet. 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
        that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
        having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Pet 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Here is what you CANNOT do:

Epilusis (g1955)ep-il'-oo-sis; from 1956; explanation, i.e. application: - interpretation.
Epiluo (g1956) ep-ee-loo'-o; from 1909 and 3089; to solve further, i.e. (fig.) to explain, decide: - determine, expound.
Epi-lusis  1. A. release from, e. phobôn [fear] didou A.Th.134 (lyr.): abs., exemption from banishment, [purgatory?]. The word dissertio also carries the idea of trying to REMOVE fear by explaining away any worry about keeping laws.
3089 luō loo'-o A primary verb; to “loosen” (literally or figuratively):—break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-) loose, melt, put off.

2. solution, sophismatôn  explanation, 2 Ep.Pet.1.20,  2 Pet 3
Sophisma A.acquired skill, method, stage-trick, claptrap, rhetorikos 2. of persons, skilled in speaking, fit to be an orator Pi.O.13.17 2. in less good sense, sly trick, artifice, dikên dounai s. kakôn E.Ba.489 , cf. Hec.258; eph' hêmas tauta paronta s. Th.6.77, cf. D.35.2; stage-trick, claptrap

Pi.O.13.17 Pindar Ode 0.13 [17] the Seasons rich in flowers have cast ancient inventiveness. But the fame for every work is due to its inventor. Whence did the graces of Dionysus first come to light, with the ox-driving dithyramb? [20] Who invented the bridle for the harness of horses, or placed the double king of birds on top of the temples of gods? And in Corinth the sweet-breathing Muse blossoms, and also Ares, with the deadly spears of young men.

4.  spell, Magic:
g4486 rhegnum to sunder by separation of the parts,  a shattering to minute fragments; but not a reduction to the constituent particles, or disrupt, lacerate; by implication to convulse (with spasms); figuratively to give vent to joyful emotions:
Peter defined his written "memory" as the result of eye-- and ear--witness to Jesus Christ Who confirmed HIS wisdom by supernatural signs. Why would we accept a humans WISDOM which contradicts the TEXT.  Paul said that elders must "teach that which has been taught" and Peter laid anything beyond the sacred pages as a MARK of false teachers.  
2Pet. 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pet. 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pet. 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
John Mark Hicks on Harding:   God, then, through his Holy Spirit, is present among his people to help them.  He has provided a text which guides us, but we need more than cognitive information.  Harding writes:  "we need more help from God than knowledge. 

We need love, wisdom, protection from unseen dangers, our daily bread; we need to be guided where we can do the most good; we need to be strengthened to do what good we can get there."176 

God gave us Scripture but he also gives us much more. 
        With Scripture and
        through the power of the Holy Spirit
        the saints of God are enabled to live faithful lives before God as they seek to do his will.

That clearly says that Jesus has NOT adequate 
2Pet. 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
        to them that have obtained like precious faith with us
        through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2Pet. 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pet. 1:3 According as his divine power
        hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
        through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pet. 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
        that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
        having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We have noted that Jesus Christ is the revelation of the SPIRITUAL Father, Son and Spirit: this was to repudiate the pagan trinities.  The NAME of the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ the Righteous. He selected, trained and empowered the Apostles to validate THEIR wisdom by supernatural signs.  The Spirit OF God or the Spirit OF Christ is the MIND of Christ and not another person.
Here are the SPIRITS a believer WILL imbibe day and night:

Is. 11:1  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
        and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Is. 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
        the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,
        the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Is. 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD:
        and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

So, you can sing lord lord a thousand times and Jesus says that proves that the Father DOES NOT EVEN KNOW YOUR NAME: it is the MARK.

Is. 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor,
        and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:
        and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,
        and with the breath [SPIRIT] of his lips shall he slay the wicked

Meek: 6035.anav, aw-nawv´; or (by intermixture with 6041 [depressed in mind)  {anayv, aw-nawv´; from 6031; depressed (figuratively), in mind (gentle) or circumstances (needy, especially saintly): humble, lowly, meek, poor. Compare 6041.

Interestingly, the MEEK are the same HEAVY LADEN where the laded burden means SINGING.
6031 hurt, ravish, sing from 6030 specifically to sing, shout, testify, lift up, sing together by course
Anath: This Canaanite Goddess' name means 'to answer' and may be related to the Akkadian word ettu meaning 'active will.160' She was a major deity all over the western parts of the Near East, including Egypt where she was later considered to be the same Goddess as Libyan Neith. Titles for her include Belet'net 'virgin Anath,' 'Nethebely161 'the destroyer,' and Yebemet-limm 'widow of the nation(?)'162. Her worship extended from the 2nd millenium BCE deep into the Hellenistic Age, when it began to be forced underground. Like the original Athena, she ruled battle, the hunt, and the passage of souls from one world to the next. She was also a Death Goddess who wore the goatskin [cappella] aegis -- or at least, the Egyptians attributed Neith's aegis to her. This sacred garment has been described as a cloak, apron, breastplate, or shield. In Anath's case, it shifted in function as religious ceremony changed. Originally it was probably a garment worn by each Libyan woman when she came of age, made of cloth and marked with snakes and Moon symbols, or made of many braids of string.

Later it was remade, parts of its feminine symbolism removed and turned into a garment worn during animal sacrifices. Then it was decorated with severed penises, representing both types of death men experience, loss of erection and the ending of their lives.

Conclusion: The Loss of a Theological Tradition

John Mark Hicks on Harding: Within the lifetime of James Harding himself, or at least during the initial twenty years of the Bible School movement (1891-1911) when Harding was a President of either Nashville or Potter Bible School,
        a theological tradition existed which formed a coherent paradigm.
        It is epitomized by James A. Harding though substantially shared by others
        (including David Lipscomb, J. N. Armstrong, R. H. Boll). 

Richard Hughes has called this an "apocalyptic" tradition.[177] Whatever we call it, it is correct to understand the Lipscomb-Harding tradition as a particular theological frame which shaped a generation of preachers at the Nashville and Potter Bible schools.

This theological paradigm included not only 
        an appreciation of the gospel of grace,
        but also a preference for the poor,
        a strong view of providence and prayer,  [from below:
(providence, prayer, miracle, Holy Spirit). ]
        opposition to rebaptism,
        millennial eschatology,
        an insistence on the personal work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the believer,
        non-participation in human governments,
        sociological sectarianism in distinction from both denominations and the world,
        and an inclusive approach to racial concerns.

What was at the heart of this "apocalyptic" vision of the kingdom of God? What gave coherence to this vision so that we might perceive it as a distinctive theological tradition which shapes every thought it embraces?
        Every component of this tradition, as listed in the above paragraph,
        reflects a central concern, and it is this center which serves to frame and shape
        the understanding of each of those components.
        While it is difficult to formulate a sentence that embraces and fully entails that center, 

        I would suggest the following: 
God is dynamically introducing his kingdom into the fallen world.
God takes the initiative (grace).
God is dynamically active to care for his people
and advance his kingdom (providence, prayer, miracle, Holy Spirit).

God opposes the Satanic kingdoms of the fallen world (apocalyptic eschatology). The theological tradition is theocentric, eschatologically structured, and kingdom-oriented. It entails pacifism, non-participation in human governments, sociological sectarianism, cultural separatism, opposition to materialism (including a preference for the poor),
and even a understanding of faith
and baptism that focuses on trust in Christ
        rather than the design of baptism as the central concern.[178]

I wonder if anyone ever taught baptism as an act disconnected from faith or trust in Christ?

Eph 4, carnal instruments
1 Peter 3
This paradigm did not remain intact. Indeed, it was never a dogmatic creedalism, but more of a fundamental consensus. But this consensus broke down during the mid-20th century. 
A subtle Deism emerged among Churches of Christ.
Pacifism almost disappeared. 

The Lipscomb-Harding understanding of rebaptism became a minority position,
even in Tennessee. Premillennialism was driven out.
The personal indwelling of the Spirit became the minority view.
Special providence was ridiculed and secularism dominated.  

Churches of Christ became middle class, patriotic and nationalistic citizens of the United States. We embraced segregation instead of integration. The church as a whole moved across the tracks and gained cultural respectability as a "denomination" in the 1940s-50s. 

This breakdown was a slow process, but by the late 1940s it was rather complete. 
By that time a new consensus had replaced the old and it would dominate the Churches of Christ
until the beginnings of a new paradigm(s) arose in the 1960s.

Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme being created the universe, and that this (and religious truth in general) can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without a need for either faith or organized religion. Deists generally reject the notion of divine interventions in human affairs – such as by miracles and revelations. These views contrast with a dependence on revelations, miracles, and faith found in many Judeo-Christian, Islamic and other theistic teachings.

Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God (or "The Supreme Architect") has a plan for the universe that is not altered either by God intervening in the affairs of human life or by suspending the natural laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.

Deism became prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment, especially in what is now the United Kingdom, France,http://www.piney.com/Count.cgi United States and Ireland, mostly among those raised as Christians who found they could not believe in either a triune God, the divinity of Jesus, miracles, or the inerrancy of scriptures, but who did believe in one god. Initially it did not form any congregations, but in time deism strongly influenced other religious groups, such as Unitarianism and Universalism, which developed from it. It continues to this day in the forms of classical deism and modern deism.

Robert H. Boll, Harding's student, colleague and theological heir, probably embodied this theological tradition more thoroughly than anyone else. Others continued to embrace parts of Harding's theological vision, such as S. H. Hall (providence), R. C. Bell (grace) and G. C. Brewer (grace). But the unity of this theological vision began to disintegrate as even Harding's heirs and students rejected certain aspects of his vision (e.g., pacifism, non-participation, rebaptism, providence, etc.).

Boll's exclusion from the fellowship of the Churches of Christ in the 1920s-30s is probably the most significant indicator of this paradigm shift within the Churches of Christ. 

I think that Hicks means the Churches of Christ in middle Tennessee.

By the 1940s Boll was an outsider as he continued to embrace and teach Harding's apocalyptic vision. He maintained the central core of Harding's theology and held its component parts together in a coherent way unlike any other of Harding's students (perhaps with the exception of J. N. Armstrong). When the Churches of Christ lost Boll's voice, they lost James A. Harding. All that remained of his apocalyptic vision in Churches of Christ was the fragmented minority voices that had little impact of the broad landscape of theological thought among Churches of Christ from the 1930s to the 1950s.

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