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led men to repent of their sins and to desire baptism. They were given wisdom, courage and power by the Spirit for the planning and prosecution of the work which was still to be done before the Messiah would come. Their performance of miracles caused many to glorify God and their power of exorcising demons in particular demonstrated that the power of the Lord of spirits was residing in them, and that he who had this power was safe from the demons and evil forces about him.
So the benefits derived by the early Jewish Christians from the endowment of the Holy Spirit, according to their viewpoint, consisted of certain ecstatic experiences, from which they judged themselves to have become members of the Messianic kingdom and to have obtained forgiveness of sins for themselves, and power and guidance to lead others into the Kingdom. And it should be noticed that their idea as to what benefits they derived from the possession of the Spirit depended, of course in the first place upon the nature of their own ecstatic experiences, but also on the other hand upon their conception of the spiritual endowment of the Messiah in particular, and of their prophets in general. The Messiah, they thought, was endowed with the spirit of wisdom and might, of knowledge and the fear of Jehovah.' He possessed the spiritual equipment for preaching glad tidings of deliverance, and performing miraculous deeds.10 He sat upon a throne as the Lord of spirits and was anointed with the spirit of righteousness. The prophet, they
. 11 believed, had the privilege of entering ecstatic states in which he saw visions, heard the voice of angels, received messages from God, and felt as if his soul had been transported to heaven.12
When the Christians became convinced of their own spiritual endowment and came to believe that the Spirit which was in them was of the same nature and substance as the Spirit that possessed the Messiah, for since it came from the heavenly Messiah, it must of necessity be the same as his in substance,—then, of course, they could do naught but ascribe the same kind of results and benefits to the Spirit working
8 Acts 1:8; 4:8, 31; 9:31; 13:24; 15:28; 16:6, 7 et al. Cf. I Cor. 2:7-10; 12:28. According to the representation in Acts, one might almost call the Spirit the guardian angel of the Church, a notion that corresponds to the Roman idea of the genius publicus. See also Rev. 1:20; 3:7 et al.
9 Is. 11:2.
12 See in particular the experiences of Ezekiel mentioned in his prophecies: 2:2; 3:12; 11:1 et al, as well as those referred to in the Apocalypses of Enoch, Baruch, and Ezra
in them as they supposed were issuing from the Messiah. They too had wisdom and power in the performance of their duties as members of the Messianic Kingdom; they too had the fear of Jehovah in their hearts and the desire to lead a pious life; they too had power over spirits and demons; they too had a consciousness that their call was one of preaching the gospel, performing miracles, and prophesying. And in a similar way they felt that since the Messianic age would be one in which prophecy would play a great part,13 they would also be partakers of the benefits which were currently ascribed to the ecstatic experiences of the prophet.14 Thus we see how the construction which the early Christians put upon their spiritual endowment depended very largely upon their conception of the heavenly Messiah and of the prophetic office, which they had formed as a result of their religious heritage and training
When we turn to a consideration of what the Gentile Christians regarded as the benefit of their Spirit-endowment, we have to deal first of all with Paul's idea of the matter, for he stands at the turningpoint, as it were, where the Jewish idea of salvation was being transplanted by the Gentile conception.
Paul's Christian life began with an ecstatic experience in which, according to Acts, he had a vision of the heavenly Christ. This vision must have been the result of his contact with the Christians whom he had been persecuting. What the processes were by which his soul in his relations with the Christians became stirred to the point of ecstasy we do not know, but at least he must in some way have come to the place where he was willing to admit that the identification of Jesus with the heavenly Messiah which the Christians had already made, was a matter of certitude, and that he was therefore bound to acknowledge this heavenly being as his Lord. And this involved of course a belief in the death, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus. This acknowledgment on his part was doubtless the cause for the emotional experience in which he is said to have had a vision of Jesus in heaven, or in which, to quote his own words, “God called me through his grace to reveal his Son
13 Acts 2:16 ff.
14 The chief benefit to the prophet of his pneumatic experiences was the attainment of divine knowledge or revelation. For revelation through vision see Acts 7:55; 9:1, 10, 12 (cf. 2:17); 10:3, 9; 11:5, 12; 16:9; 18:9; 22:17; 23:11; 27:23; Mark 9:2 ff.; Luke 24:31; 24:37, 39; Heb. 11:27; Rev. 1:12 ff.; et al. For revelation through angels see Matthew 1:20, 24; 2:13, 19; Luke 1:11; 1:13, 26; 2:9; John 12:29; Acts 7:53; 8:26; 10:3; 12:3; 23:9; 27:23; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2; Rev. 1:1; 2:1; et al. For the transport of the soul to heaven, see II Cor. 12:2; Rev. 4:1 ff.; Matthew 4:1; Acts 8:39: and cf. I Cor. 5:3; II Cor. 5:6; Heb. 11:5. For revelation through dreams see Matthew 1:20, 24; 2:12, 13, 19, 22; 27:19. For revelation through the eating of a book see Rev. 10:9 ff. For revelation through the prophetically inspired Jewish Scriptures consult Matthew 2:5, 15, 17, 23; Luke 18:31; Acts 1:16; 4:24; Rom. 16:25; II Tim. 3:16; I Pet. 1:11; Heb. 3:7; 10:15. The New Testament writers with the exception of the Apocalyptist (cf. Rev. 22:6, 16) did not regard their writings as inspired, though they must have considered them to be helpful for the readers to whom they were addressed (see John 20:31; Col. 4:16; and II Pet. 3:15 ff. where some of the New Testament books, especially the Pauline letters, were already regarded as Scripture).
16 Acts 9:1 ff.; 22:3 ff.; 26:2 ff.
It was on this occasion that Paul felt that a new power had entered his life. Especially when he was baptized did he feel a new emotion and elation in his soul. He now became a pneumatic person. Like the Jewish Christians whose circle he joined, he began to preach, to prophesy, to speak with tongues, to have ecstatic visions, to exorcise demons, etc.17 He believed too that these pneumatic experiences were somehow connected with his faith in his heavenly Lord, and hence he ascribed them to the influence of the Spirit which the heavenly Christ sent into his heart and which was in fact the Spirit of this very being himself.18
When Paul came to believe that he had some of the spiritual substance of the heavenly Lord in him, he as a result was convinced that he had power over every opposing spiritual being in the universe. As we have seen,'' he believed that in virtue of his possession of the Spirit he was united in a mystic bond with this exalted Lord and hence could claim the same power that his Lord possessed. Since Christ had overcome death and the powers of the underworld, he too had no need to fear these;20 since Christ was the Lord of spirits, he could through his
16 Gal. 1:16. Cf. I Cor. 12:3. In this vision we are not necessarily to think that Paul saw anything objectively real. It was an inner experience which he had and which the author of Acts interprets as an external reality, in accordance with the custom of the ancients who did not distinguish between the objective and subjective. We might add also that the interpretation which Paul put upon this experience was doubtless affected and tinctured by the Apocalyptic ideas regarding the Messiah which prevailed among some of the Jews of his day and with which he must have become familiar perhaps even before he met any Christians.
17 Acts 9:20 ff.; Gal. 1:16; I Cor. 2:4; 13:2; 14:18; II Cor. 12:1 ff.; I Cor. 15:8; II Cor. 12:12; Rom. 15:19; I Thess. 1:5.
I Cor. 12:3; II Cor. 3:17.
power subdue the demonic forces of sin and disease;21 since Christ was the vicegerent of God in Heaven, he was safe from the elemental spirits, 22 the principalities and powers of the air, and the hordes of evil spirits in heavenly places.23
It is clear that Paul regarded the possession of the Spirit of Christ both as a present advantage and as a future benefit. Of course he regarded his ecstatic experiences and his power over evil spirits as present advantages, but he did not stop at these popular ideas. The change which had come into his whole life, he attributed also to the work of the Spirit. He was now already in this life a new creature;24 he was wearing the Spirit of Christ like a garment. He was a new man. New life had come into his being;26 at baptism he had been raised to newness of life.27 In other words his whole inner life had been changed; he had made an abrupt break with the past history of his life. Whereas he had been dead because of sin, he was now alive; whereas he had been a slave to the law and to fear, he was now a freedman;28 whereas he
21 Rom. 6:1-11; I Cor. 12:9b; 11:30; cf. Rom. 8:2. Notice that in I Cor. 11:30 Paul connects sickness with a lack of union with Christ, which is brought about if a man fails to observe the Lord's Supper properly.
22 The otoixeia (Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20) were the demonic beings that resided in the elements of the world and were thought to bind men under a fatalistic law of necessity from which they could not free themselves without the aid of divine power or knowledge. On this subject see Case, Evol. of Ear. Xty, pp. 244 f. and the authorities cited there. Diels, Elementum, is especially worthy of mention.
23 Eph. 1:21; 2:2; 6:10 ff.; Rom. 8:38, 39; and cf. Slav. En. 20; Eth. En. 61:10; Test. Levi, 3. The heavenly bodies were deified and were quite generally regarded as holding men in a sort of bondage and as endangering the safe passage of the soul to its abode in heaven. For an idea as to what it must have meant for a man of Paul's day to have the power of conquering the evil forces and beings with which he thought he was surrounded, read Plutarch's essay on Superstition.
24 II Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15.
28 Gal. 5:1, 18; II Cor. 3:17. Paul's emphasis upon the freedom of the Spiritendowed man involved him in the charge of antinomianism, a charge that was doubtless supported by the licentious conduct of some members of the cult who by their release from old social sanctions and restraints lost their self-control. Paul deals with this charge in Rom. 6 and Gal. 5. His idea is that a man who has the Spirit can not sin, for his mind is the mind of the Spirit which is holy. The flesh and sin have no more power over him since he has this new divine increment in his soul controlling all his actions. The Spirit works like an inner law; the believer's self or ego is subject to it and acts according to its dictates (Gal. 5:18; Rom. 7:6; 8:2). The same idea occurs in I John 3:6.
had been a child of bondage, he was now a son in God's household;29 and whereas in his former life, living under the domination of the flesh, his life had issued in naught but impurities, excesses, and hatred of his fellowmen, he now was living an unselfish and virtuous life.3 was nothing else than Christ driving sin and Satan out of his heart and taking up his abode therein.31
But this inner change and transformation of life and this union with Christ could not be maintained without a struggle on man's part. It meant a severe battle with Satan and his hosts of demons. It was a contest against the chthonian, the earthly, the heavenly principalities and powers who were always trying to get possession of a man's heart or do him injury, and to sever his connection with Christ. 32 A man had to use all the weapons, spiritual weapons of course, which he possibly could, if he hoped to gain the victory. And notice that one of the chief weapons was the sword of the Spirit.33 It seems then that Paul did not think that a man should hold his human powers completely in abeyance; he was to put forth his utmost energy in opposing the evil forces around him. And yet he was thoroughly convinced that it was the divine power or entity in the Christian that after all gained the victory for him. Without this divine insert a man's own powers would
a be unavailing
But Paul did not only believe that the endowment of the Spirit procured the believer present advantages; he held that the future had promise of far more glorious things. The present power and possession
29 Rom. 8:16; Gal. 4:6.
30 Gal. 5:16-25. Paul per haps never went so far as the Greeks who deified some of the emotions and virtues such as shame, pity, fear, love, wisdom, etc. (Paus. I, 17, 1; Plut. Cleom., 9). But he did regard the virtues as due to spiritual agency. This appears, besides the passage just cited, especially in I Cor. 4:10 and Gal. 6:1 where he speaks of the "spirit of gentleness.
31 The idea of a god becoming incarnate in his worshippers, which Paul certainly approaches, is illustrated by the reference in Pausanias (IX, 39, 7) to the ministrants at the oracle of Trophonius at Lebadea in whom Hermes supposedly took his abode. And the same can be said with regard to the Bacchic mystae (Arist., Eq. 408). Furthermore, according to the thought of the day, it was felt that no good spirit could dwell with an evil spirit in the same body at the same time (Philo, Quis Rer. Div. 53; Hermas, Mand. 5, 1 & 2; 10, 2; 12, 5), and if a man could command the power of a good spirit that was stronger than the evil spirit within him, the latter would be displaced.
32 Eph. 6:10 ff.; Rom. 8:38, 39. 33 Eph. 6:17.