All Christians receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. This revelation is received in the same way that Peter taught about Judas’ death by quoting the Spirit. Soon after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter used this same mode of revelation to teach what the Spirit said to the disciples in Acts 1:16. This is the same way that Paul spoke about those who reject the Gospel by the Holy Spirit to the Jews in Acts 28:25-27. This is also the way that the writer of Hebrews presented the speaking of the Holy Spirit regarding the danger of the hardening of one’s heart in 3:7-11 and the revealing of the new covenant and the remission of sins in 10:15-16. This mode for which the Spirit spoke to the Apostles, to the prophets of the New and Old Testament, to all of Israel (under OT and NT), to the Church, and to everyone in the world is by the Scriptures. This is how the Spirit has told me about Himself. The Apostles quoted the Scriptures as quoting the Spirit.
The passages just referenced quote the Holy Spirit by quoting Scripture. The Scriptures are the speaking of the Holy Spirit. Certainly, the writers of the Scriptures received direct guidance from the Spirit to write the Scriptures. While understanding that to prophesy is to speak forth by God and not to just predict the future, 2 Peter 1:21 states,
“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit has revealed not just to certain people but to all so many things about Himself through the Scriptures. By the Scriptures, Christians may understand the mode of the indwelling of the Spirit of God and the operations of the Holy Spirit.
Most people who confess Christ believe that the Holy Spirit operates within them outside of the Spirit-revealed Word in the Scriptures. These types of operations attributed to the Spirit consist of just about every kind of spiritual and physical emotion, reasoning, and activity of the Christian life. From enlightened reading of Scriptures to the sense of comfort, peace, anxiety, and excitement to tingling sensations to actual modern-day revelations from God; the Spirit is given credit for so many things. What truth is there to all this? Unless someone is an Apostle or one who the Apostles’ laid hands on becoming a prophet, then that person does not receive direct supernatural revelation from the Spirit of God (Acts 8:14-17, Eph. 3:3-5). The Spirit dwells within all Christians, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit…But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:5, 9). Understanding the Spirit is very important since having the Spirit is essential to be saved according to Romans 8:9, and understanding the Spirit serves depends on us going to the revelations of the Spirit in Scripture to understanding the Spirit’s actions upon the Christian life and to settle once and for all who the Spirit is and what He is doing.
What can man know is true about the works of the Spirit? We can prove the spirits whether from God or not. First John 4:1 and 6,
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world…We [the Apostles] are of God: he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God hears us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
Apparently, we can test the spirits using the revelation of the Apostles, so lets look at some Scriptures and “prove the spirits”. As the introduction to this post has proved, people can really know the Holy Spirit by what the Holy Spirit has revealed by the Scriptures. Let’s look at the Scriptures about who is the Spirit, how the Spirit dwells in man, what are the actions of the Spirit, what are the instruments of the Spirit, how the Spirit acts on man’s spirit, and what are the true sources of these actions attributed to the Spirit.