Central Truth: God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, dwells within the believer.
Too many times those who have been filled with the Holy Spirit think of themselves as just having received a wonderful blessing or some kind of rich spiritual experience. And they miss the teaching of the Word entirely. I John 4:4 says, “… Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
The infilling of the Holy Ghost means that He – the Holy Ghost – comes to dwell in us. Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).
Therefore, the seventh – and extremely vital – step in our search for the highest kind of faith is to realize that our body is the temple of God. God Himself, in the person of the Holy Ghost, dwells within us.
Step 7 – The Reality of the Indwelling Spirit
In Old Testament times God’s earthly dwelling place was the tabernacle or the temple. But after Christ died on the cross, rose again, and returned to heaven, sending the Holy Ghost upon the believers on the Day of Pentecost, He no longer dwells in a man-made Holy of Holies. Our bodies have become His temple.
I Corinthians 6:19, 20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
II Corinthians 6:16
16 … For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In every crisis of life we should instinctively say, “I am a conqueror. I am more than a victor, for the Creator dwells in me. The Greater One lives in me. He can put me over. He can make me a success. I cannot fail!” This is not bragging on yourself. It is bragging on the One that is in you. However, too many times Spirit-filled believers cringe before the trials of life, and needlessly allow the devil to defeat them. They run around crying on one another’s shoulders, praying some pitiful, weak, little prayer, wondering why victory doesn’t come. Yet all the time help is present, for the Holy Spirit is inside of them ready to help them.
The Enduement of Power on the Early Church
In the New Testament church it was the exception rather than the rule for there to be any believers who had not received the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the supernatural sign of speaking in other tongues. The apostles recognized the necessity of the indwelling Spirit of God and stressed this in their teachings to the new converts.
Acts 8:14, 15
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:1, 2
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Certainly the church today is no less in need of this enduement of power.
The Apostle Paul said, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16). The Amplified Version of this verse reads, “Do you not discern and understand that you (the whole church at Corinth) are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you, to be at home in you (collectively as a church and also individually)?” We are the temple of God. God indwells us, not only as a body, but as individuals.
Notice the expression, “to be at home in you.” God is actually making His home in our bodies. No longer does He dwell in a man-made Holy of Holies, as in Old Testament times. Then it was required that every male present himself at least once a year in Jerusalem before the Lord. They had to travel to Jerusalem as the presence of God was only in the Holy of Holies. No one dared to approach the holy presence except the high priest, and he only with great precaution. Anyone else who intruded into the holy place fell dead instantly.
But now all this has been done away with, and we may “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Calvary Removes Barrier Separating Man from God
Just before Jesus died He said, “It is finished.” He was not talking about the plan of redemption being finished, because it wasn’t finished when He died. He had to arise from the dead and ascend into the heavenly Holy of Holies with His own blood as a sacrifice to obtain eternal redemption for us. Then He had to ascend on high to be seated at the right hand of the Father and begin His mediatorial intercession, to be the mediator between God and man. Until then the New Covenant was not in effect. When Jesus said on the Cross, “It is finished,” He was referring to the Old Covenant’s being finished.
When this happened the veil, or curtain, that separated the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom. Jewish historians tell us that this curtain was forty feet wide, twenty feet high and four inches thick. Imagine how difficult it would be for a man to tear in two something of this size! But notice that the scriptures do not say that the curtain was torn from the bottom to the top. Rather “… the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom …” (Matthew 27:51). This signified that it was God and not man who tore down the curtain, the barrier separating man from God.
The presence of God moved out of that man-made Holy of Holies and He has never dwelt there any more. Now His divine presence indwells us.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is much more than just a thrilling experience. The Holy Spirit, the divine personality, actually comes to live in you. “… For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II Corinthians 6:16). But how many of us fully realize this marvelous truth? How many of us recognize the fact that in us, ready for our use, is all the power that we will ever need to put us over in life?
If we will just begin to believe what the Bible says, to confess what God’s Word says, then the Holy Spirit will rise up within us and give illumination to our minds. He will give direction to our spirits, health to our bodies, and help in every aspect of life. We can be conscious of His indwelling presence every moment.
Let us look again at the Amplified translation of I Corinthians 3:16, “… God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you, to be at home in you.” Very few of us are conscious of God’s living in our bodies, for we could not be conscious of His living within us and still talk the way we do.
For example, when asked to do some difficult thing, how quick we are to say, “No, I can’t do that.” Why do we do this? It is because we are trusting in ourselves to do it, and we know that we don’t have the ability. But if we know that He is in us, we know that He has the ability. Then we change the “I can’t” to “I can,” because we are trusting in Him. We say, “I can, because He is in me. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” No matter what impossibilities we may be facing, we can say, “He will make me a success, for He indwells me.”
This kind of believing, this kind of talking is faith talking, and it will put Him to work for you.
Some people have a wrong conception of the Holy Spirit’s role in their life. They think that He will come in, take over, and run the show. They expect him to become sort of a big boss, without their having to do anything. However, the Holy Ghost is a gentleman: He will guide and direct you. He will prompt and urge, but He will never force or control your life. Demons and evil spirits will control those whom they enter, forcing them to do things they don’t want to do. But the Holy Spirit gently leads and guides us. He won’t do anything until we put Him to work for us. For He is sent to be our helper. He is not sent to do the job, but to help us do the job. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5, 6).
The Amplified Version of Ephesians 3:16, 17 says, “May he grant you out of the rich treasures of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. May Christ through your faith actually dwell, settle down, abide and make home in your hearts. May you be rooted deep in the love, and founded securely on love.” In this passage of scripture Paul was writing to those who were already born again and filled with the Holy Ghost. How does Christ abide in our hearts? (Through our faith).
Christ wants to dwell in our hearts, to reign as King on the throne of our hearts. But too few have allowed Him to do this.
People look outside of themselves for God to do something, and so they sing, “Come by here, Lord, come by here.” We think that if we could only get Him to come by here, He might do something for us. Then we sing, “Reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by.” But this is all sense knowledge. It is all on the outside; it is all physical.
Someone might argue, “But in the Bible didn’t the woman with the issue of blood reach out and touch the Lord?” Yes, but that was when He was here on earth in physical form. Now He is not only with us, He is in us. We don’t have to reach out and touch Him, He is always in us. Some people sing, “Just to have a touch, Lord, from you.” But why should we want just a touch from the Lord when we have Him inside us?
He is in me, and He is in you. But it is not going to do you any good unless you know it and believe it, because the Holy Spirit will not rise up and take over. When you know He is in there and act upon God’s Word intelligently, then He will work through you.
You can say, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. The Greater One is in me. I am depending on Him. He will put me over. He will make me a success, for He is in me. The Master of creation is making His home in my body.”
Memory Text: “…. Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:22).
Previous Lesson – Kenneth Hagin – Seven Steps to the Highest Kind of Faith (Part III)
Next Lesson – Kenneth Hagin – Six Enemies to Faith