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Warfare and the Holy Spirit

Many scholars say that the Holy Spirit, gifts and baptism of the Holy Spirit are no longer available to us.  Many Pastors, columnists, etc… One man, named Thomas Schreiner wrote this about why he thinks gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer valid:


Here is the article he wrote: Why I Am a Cessationist (this is what he says)

I am not writing on this topic because I have the final answer on spiritual gifts, for the matter is difficult and Christians who love God and the Bible disagree. Readers should know that Sam Storms and I are friends. We love one another, even though we differ on a secondary or tertiary issue, while at the same time upholding the importance of truth. Over the years I've become convinced that some of the so-called charismatic gifts are no longer given and that they aren't a regular feature of life in the church. I am thinking particularly of the the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, tongues, healing, and miracles (and perhaps discernment of spirits).

Why would anyone think that some of the gifts have been withdrawn? I will argue that such a reading fits best with Scripture and experience. Scripture takes priority over experience, for it is the final authority, but Scripture must also correlate with life, and our experiences should provoke us to re-examine afresh whether we've read the Bible rightly. None of us reads the Bible in a vacuum, and hence we must return to the Scriptures repeatedly to ensure we've read them faithfully.

***He goes on to say, he thinks scripture says some gifts were reserved for apostles, but other are very likely still in effect and that people “should pray for such.”



This debate finally boils down to, what do you believe from reading scripture and ultimately, what convictions of the Holy Spirit would be your take homes?  And finally… what if???  

???  What if God's plan is for us to have these gifts and "someone said" they aren't there for us anymore?!?


Devotional Begins here...


Some scripture to think on as we review scripture:


Acts 7:51 - “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

Acts 17:11 - These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Acts 6:9-10 - Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.


Look at our society today and think about what is actually going on…  What big events are going on???

__________________    ______________________  _______________________  __________________  ________________   __________________   _________________________  ____________________

If the following pieces of scripture are true:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
  • Ephesians 6:12 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
  • Mark 4:4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
  • Mark 4:15 - And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
  • 1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
  • Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
  • Deut 28:26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away
  • Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
  • Mark 1:12-13 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him

Then what should or will we do with the following scripture?

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-4  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
  • Romans 13:12-14 - The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
  • Ephesians 6:11 - Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What about the Holy Spirit – Biblical interaction with the Holy Spirit?

  • Luke 12:11-12 - “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
  • Acts 5:32 - And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
  • Acts 4:31 -  And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
  • Luke 11:11-13 - If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
  • Joel 2:28-29 -  “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
    • Acts 2:16-20,33 - 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

  • Romans 8:26-27 - 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

What else does the Bible says about the Holy Spirit?

  • John 7:38-39 - He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
    • Acts 19:1-6 -19 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
    • ·         Jesus says in John 16:5-15 -  “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.  All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.


  • More in supporting scripture below:

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

1) Word of Wisdom 2) Word of Knowledge 3) Faith 4) Gifts of Healing 5) Working of Miracles 6) Prophecy 7) Discerning of Spirits 8) Different kinds of Tongues 9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues

  • I Corinthians 12:4-11 - There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Baptisms – in Christ – in the Holy Spirit

  • Mat 3:11 [John the Baptist:] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
  • Mark 1:8 - I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
  • Acts 2:36-38 - 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • Acts 1: 4-5,8 - And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

In preparation for times of trials, tribulations, and in times of _______, we must:

·        Ephesians 5:18-19 -18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

  • Ps 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
  • Ps 119:97-105 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
  • Psalm 119:

98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.

101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.

 102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me.

103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Other than apostles:

  • Acts 6:3-7 - Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
  • Mark 9:38-41 -38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
  • Acts 2:38-39 - Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Supporting Scripture:

  • John 14:17 - the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
  • Luke 24:49 - Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
  • Acts 1:5,8 - for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Acts 2:1-4 - When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
  • Acts 8:14-20 - Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
  • Acts 10:44-47 - While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?
  • Acts 11:15-16 - And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
  • Acts 18:24-28 - Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
  • Acts 19:1-6 - And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Others regarding Gifts:

  • Rom 8:15-16,23 - 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 - 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
  • Galatians 5:14 - 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
  • 1 John 2:27 - 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
  • Rev 22:17 - 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.


Other present day writing with first hand testimony: http://www.acts17-11.com/dialogs_spirit_baptism.html


This is a personal letter that I wrote to Mr. Hafley, author of the another Cessationist view point.


Good day to you Mr. Hafley,


In response to your article: http://www.watchmanmag.com/0512/051216.htm


  I have read at length, many commentaries on both sides of aisle regarding baptism by fire (of the Holy Spirit) and gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Both are often intertwined, given that one would occur either during or after the other in many cases.


I don't believe I need to try to convince you to another view, but as a Christian, the stance that you take in your writing and others take (some being labeled cessationists) serves a role that could be potentially inaccurate and misleading to others.


The reason that I bring this up is through my own walk and my own experiences in Christ.


My son was in ER at the age of 2, severely sick and dehydrated because he could not keep anything down.  The IV points had blown in both of his arms and he was put under to connect an IV into his neck..  I set down any thoughts that I had control over this situation and agreed with God that I had zero control in this situation.  At that moment, I was granted the gift of faith, unlike anything that I had experienced before.


During a transition from a church that I had been attending to another church that I now attend, the week between the two churches - a man walked up to me, who did not know who I was, my story or my life.  He came to me with a statement of, "I have a word, that I believe God wishes you to  know.  May I give this word to you."  He told me that it was if I had graduated in my belief and walk with God and was taking a step with new faith in my journey to further His Kingdom.  That I was a spiritual leader of men and to stand tall in that area..  I knew what he was talking about so clearly...  He did not tell me, some person - who's name starts with an S is going to leave me some money."  I believe what he told me was a prophetic and timely gift.  Peace overcame me. 


The man that was my mentor for years (almost 9 years at my old church), was an old baptist boy from Louisiana who, at the time of our church transition recommended a specific church to me, in my walk and said - go check out this place, your desire for truth from the bible is amazing.  This church and the people there will be a place for you to grow in the way you are being called.  The moment I got off the phone with him, a buddy of mine called and asked me to join him at this very same church.  Neither of us had ever been to that church.


    Can I say with a shadow of a doubt that my interpretation of the bible is complete at this time to say in no uncertain terms that Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not in effect today?  No.

    I also can't say that gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased near the end of Acts as you have stated.

    I would also say, that on many occasions I have been convinced that the Holy Spirit gave me the words, timing and temperament for many things that are so completely out of my realm of understanding or abilities - that have been utilized to further His Kingdom.  Nothing is from me, but only from Him.


God the Father, God the Son and our Savior and God the Holy Spirit are alive and well.  I believe we can agree on this.


If it were not for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I do not believe I would be where I am today in belief and in my walk with Christ.  Ephesians 6:12 says clearly that we are wrestling, not with flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, authorities and spiritual hosts of wickedness...  I don't know what most people think, but I know God is for us... and the Armor of God that the Word speaks of in 6:13-17 is a pretty big deal (important to do as a man of faith) and it goes on to say in verse 18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."  I will submit to the Word in its’ unedited, uninterpreted form and will claim it and declare it in Jesus' name.


My prayer is that you are correct and that the mysteries of the Gospel have not been revealed to me as of yet on this subject - or I have simply not been convinced of the truth.  Because Revelation 22:18-19 is scripture where I am fully convinced without a shadow of a doubt.


God bless you and keep you kind sir.  May your life be long and your walk be at peace and in the will of God.



Charles Laird


What an amazing opportunity it was to evangelize in Germany.  The trip may be over, and we may be back at it, with "life" but God moved in amazing ways and is continuing to do so.

God is so good!!!

Read about the trip: 

"Germany Mission"

If you have any questions Click here.

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