The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is often portrayed as something “weird.” But the Bible makes it clear that the Spirit is not something. He is someone—a Person who has promised to never leave your side. John Bevere invites you into a personal discovery of the most ignored and misunderstood Person in the Church: the Holy Spirit.
BEST BOOK ON THE HOLY SPIRIT EVER!
This is by far the best book I've ever read on the Holy Spirit. John clears up misunderstandings and confusion on the Person of the Holy Spirit and presents a well balanced and Scriptural teaching on His Person, His ways, and His desire to fellowship with us! 10 stars!!!
This book does a great job teaching about the Holy Spirit through the author’s personal experience, biblical evidence, and thought provoking questions. I would highly recommend this book to any believer that wants to learn more about their faith and themselves.
A word of caution.
I’m going through this book with my small group at church, and I’ve encountered several statements that raise theological concerns, and many Scripture references taken out of context.
Before I continue, allow me to say that I truly desire a deeper relationship with the Person of the Holy Spirit. I, along with everyone in our small group, desire a deeper outpouring of the Spirit in our lives, to fill us, lead us, and empower us. Bevere’s book does a great job exposing more of the Spirit to anyone who has been sheltered from a Biblical understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, and how He desires to work in and through our lives.
That said, Bevere has made some theologically careless statements that have raised some serious questions for me. The statement from chapter 1 that we cannot experience the presence of God and Jesus because they are on the throne in heaven, while the Holy Spirit is present with us and in us is only partially true. But to believe that we can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit WITHOUT the rest of the Godhead is a theologically careless statement and can lead to some faulty understanding of the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Spirit are three distinct persons, but they are not separate—they are One. By the Spirit we experience in a real way the presence of the Father and the Son in our lives. Jesus said befor His ascention that He is with us always until the very end of the age (Matt. 28:20). New Testament writers refer to Christ in us. Yes, He is at the right hand in heaven. But He is also with us. That’s the omnipresence of God.
In chapter 3 Bevere states that Jesus did nothing until He received the power of the Holy Spirit (referring to His baptism, when the Spirit descended in the form of a dove). That statement implies that Jesus did not have the presence or the power of the Holy Spirit prior to His baptism. And you cannot make that statement without calling to question His divinity. How could He be fully God—God incarnate, Emmanuel, God with us—without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (remember, the Godhead Three in One)? How was He able to speak with such wisdom in the temple as a youth without the power of the Holy Spirit? How was He able to live a sinless life? And remember, there are roughly thirty years of Jesus’s life that we have no record of—that statement speaks a lot from the silence of Scripture, which is shaky ground.
After the first chapter, I decided that I could not recommend this book to anyone else in my church (I’m a pastor). Throughout the book, Bevere makes these big, emphatic statements to state a point apparently without considering the theological ramifications of his statements. In some cases he will later contradict these statements as he’s making other points. And throughout he uses verses, or partial verses, that loosely support his statements, but are often taken out of context. One example from chapter 4, he prefaces his point that the gift of tongues is a vital aspect of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit by referencing just the first part of 1 Corinthians 14:5—“I wish you all spoke with tongues…” and stops there. That’s his basis for tongues being a vital aspect to an empowered life. But he left out the rest of that verse, which says “…but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.” Doesn’t make it sound like speaking in tongues is “vital.” Valid, yes. But vital, no. In fact, no where else in Scripture are believers admonished to speak in tongues as a vital part of the Spirit’s empowerment. It’s simply not there.
I would urge you to look at other resources that teach the sound, Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity, who is alive and active in all those who have trusted Christ. His power is real. His gifts are real. And I’m convinced that the Church today can experience the same empowerment that we see in the early church if and when we open our lives to the work He wants to do in and through us. Unless you’ve been brought up in a secessionist denomination or congregation, the issue holding us back is likely more cultural than it is theological. We don’t need to rewrite fundamental, Biblical theology to know who the Holy Spirit is. We just need to read our Bible.