Dunn The Mission of the Spirit

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Author Biography Lewis Romaine Dunn

I could not find a clear Biography of Dunn. But from searching around, I would place him squarely in the Methodist-Pentecostal camp. I believe he was in the Keswick movement (his name is mentioned in Keswick the Higher Life Movement in relation to this) and I would guess that he was Wesleyan. I believe he is far back enough to not really be placed in the Modern Pentecostal Tongues movement but I am not sure about that one.


Dunn The Mission of the Spirit


I BELIEVE in the Holy Ghost.” So universal Christendom has given utterance to its credo during the roll of the centuries. But while this utterance has been uniform and universal, the interpretations given to it have widely differed. The Greek Church, while holding to his essential Godhead, teaches that he “proceeds only from the Father.” The Romish, as well as the Evangelical Protestant Church, holds to the procession “from the Father and the Son.” The Unitarian or Socinian Church, however differing in its views as to the character of Christ, denies the personality and Godhead of the Holy Ghost, and looks upon him as merely an attribute, an emanation, or an influence.

For ages past fierce controversies have been waged by those occupying these different stand-points. The history of these controversies is of deep interest to the Christian scholar; but it is no part of the design of this volume to enter upon this field.
Nor is this struggle yet ended. It is more than probable that as Atheism has denied the existence of God, and as Arianism has denied the divinity of Christ, so the enemies of God and of his truth will assail the divinity and personality of the Holy Ghost. This, indeed, may be the last great struggle which the “Truth of God” may have to endure before the glories of millennial day shall burst upon this world. The struggle with the Atheist is over. The struggle with the Rationalist, Pantheist, Spiritualist, and Scientist must soon close; but the struggle with the “blasphemers against the Holy Ghost” is coming on. I would do my part toward preparing the Church for this final conflict. In so doing, I shall endeavor to state, illustrate, and enforce the teachings of the word of the Lord concerning the character and perfections of the Paraclete, and his offices and relations in the economy of human redemption.

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I shall now undertake to prove that the Holy Ghost is a Person distinct from the Father and the Son, and not merely an Attribute or an Emanation from either. The evidence adduced to sustain this position is from the word of God. In the very nature of the case there is, there can be, no other. No man can read that word with any degree of care without noticing that there is a Being constantly referred to as acting with the Father, or with the Son, or with both; and that that Being is called by the names, bears the titles, possesses the attributes, and performs the acts of God. Masculine pronouns and relatives in the Greek of the New Testament are used with the neuter noun -spirit; thus showing that the writers of its books intended to teach his personality. ” I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 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.” Joh 14:16-17. ” But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” Joh 14:26. ” But when the Comforter

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is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” Joh 15:26. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.” Joh 16:8. ” When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine.” Joh 16:13-14. Now any interpretation which makes the Holy Spirit an Attribute or an Emanation renders these, and many other portions of the word of God, utterly unmeaning.

It is well known that at the first Arius regarded the Holy Ghost as a creature, created by Christ; but afterward his personality was denied by the Arians; and the view since held by them is that he is the exerted energy, or power, of God. Let us regard this view in the light of other portions of the word of God. ” God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” Act 10:38. The Arian interpretation would make it read, ” God anointed Jesus with the holy power of God, and with power.” Again, ” Now the God of hope fill you

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with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Rom 15:13. That is, according to the Arian view, by the power of the holy power of God. “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.” Rom 15:19. That is, mighty signs and wonders by the power of the power of God. “In demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1Co 2:4. That is, demonstration of the power and of power. These portions of Scripture are sufficient to prove his personality, and to show the senselessness of the Arian interpretation. But the Paraclete is not only at person; he is also a divine person. To prove this, I shall proceed to show that the Names, the Attributes, and the Acts of God are ascribed to him.

I. And first the Names. The apostle Peter said to Ananias, ” Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?… Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Act 5:3-4. Here we see that the Holy Ghost is called God. “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” 2Co 3:17. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” 1Co 2:16. ” For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?”

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Rom 11:34. Both these passages are evidently quotations from Isaiah: “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his Counselor hath taught him?” Isa 40:13. “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” 2Th 3:5. Now this person, thus prayerfully addressed, is called time Lord, is regarded as able to direct the hearts of the Thessalonians, and to inspire them with patience; and prayer is offered to him by an inspired apostle. Yet he is evidently neither God the Father nor God the Son. Hence we see that the highest names, ” God” and ” the Lord,” are given to the Holy Ghost.

2. With equal clearness the Attributes of God are ascribed to him.
Eternity.-” Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.” Heb 9:14.
Omnipotence.-This is so frequently ascribed to him as to seem to afford some show of reason for the Arian view that he is the power of God.
Omniscience. – “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” “The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” 1Co 2:10-11.

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Omnipresence.-” Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Psa 139:7. “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?” 1Co 6:19. But this is said of all believers. Now, then, if the body of each Christian is the temple of the Holy Ghost, then he must be present with, and abide in, a multitude at the same time, and in widely different localities; and to do this he must be omnipresent.
Holiness.-” The Holy Ghost.” “Holy Spirit.” “Spirit of Holiness.” And in the New Testament he bears this emphatic name no less than ninety-three times.*
Truth.-” When lbe, the Spirit of truth, is come.” Joh 16:13.
Goodness.-” Thy good Spirit,” Neh 9:20. “Thy Spirit is good.” Psa 143:10.
Glory. -“The spirit of glory and of God.” I Pet  4:14. 3.

The Acts of God are ascribed to him.

Creation.- ” The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Gen 1:2. “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.” Job 26:13.
* Spirit of Life, p. 53.

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“The Spirit of God hath made me.” Job 33:4. The power of working miracles, which the inspired writers explicitly declare is of God, is said to belong to him.

Inspiration. Paul, writing to the Hebrews, says, ” God spake unto the fathers by the prophets.” Heb 1:1. And Peter says, ” Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2Pe 1:21. Also, that it was “the Spirit of Christ which was in them” which ” testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1Pe 1:11.
Quickening. -” It is the Spirit that quickeneth.” Joh 6:63. ” Quickened by the Spirit.” 1Pe 3:18. ” Shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom 8:11.

4. The Holy Ghost is acknowledged in his personality and Godhead in the formula of Christian Baptism, and in the solemn and impressive form of benediction-” Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Mat 28:19. ” The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost.” 2Co 13:14. Now, if the Arian interpretation

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be correct, then these formulas are in the name of one God, one creature, and one attribute or emanation.
5. In many parts of Scripture the Holy Ghost is associated with the Father and the Son in acts, titles, authority, and worship, and is spoken of, or addressed, as of equal power, glory, and authority. For instance, in the Old Testament Scriptures we read as follows: “And now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.” Isa 48:16. ” I am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.” Hag 2:4; Hag 2:7. Here is God the Father speaking of his Spirit and promising the advent of his Son. ” The Lord of Hosts,” whom Isaiah declared spoke to him, the apostle says was the Holy Ghost: “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send?” etc. Isa 6:8 -10. And, ” Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers.” Act 28:25. It may be well here to add that the Apostle John says that in this sublime vision and call of the prophet he saw the

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glory of Christ. ” These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory”-the glory of Christ-” and spake of him.” Joh 12:41. It was in view of the presence of the three persons in the Godhead in this vision, doubtless, that the six-winged seraphim cried, ” Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts!” Isa 6:3. To come to the New Testament Scriptures: here we find at the baptism of Christ the presence of the Father and of his Holy Spirit. After his baptism, ” The heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mat 3:16-17. Here is the Father speaking from heaven, acknowledging the one just baptized by John as his beloved Son; and here is, also, the Spirit, distinct from both, and yet in harmony and union with both, anointing the Son of God and the Son of man for his work. In the great work of saving the sinner, and of adopting him into the divine family, the Spirit is said to be associated with the Father and the Son in a number of places. Take only the following: ” Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of hDunn The Mission of the Spiritis Son into your hearts, crying

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Abba, Father.” Gal 4:6. “After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,… according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Tit 3:4-6. These proofs might be greatly multiplied. They are, in fact, so abundant that to quote all legitimately bearing upon these several points would occupy a large part of the present volume. Here are enough to convince any honest mind of the distinct personality and essential Godhead of the Holy Ghost. Let us, therefore, bow before the throne, and devoutly say, ” Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end! Amen.”