Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament the God used the prophets to reveal His Word to His people, but behind the prophet was the Holy Spirit working through him and guiding him along the way. Peter informs us that these “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The apostle Paul would remind us that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16). I would like to point out two things here in connection to our study: First, at the time Paul was writing this, the Scriptures that they were all Old Testament writings and second they were God breathed. As we have seen (Job 33:4, Ps. 33:6) this is a reference to the Holy Spirit working!

There are many Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments that show us the Holy Spirit working in and through men to give the Word of God (2 Sam. 23:2, Ezk. 2:2, Micah 3:8, Mt. 22:43, Acts 1:16, 4:25). God used many different means to make His revelation known. He used the spoken word coming directly from Him through a man (Ex. 19:9, 1 Sam. 3:1-4). He also used dreams (Gen. 20, 31, 37, 40-41) and will again in a coming day according to Joel 2:28-29). Revelations in the Old Testament also came through visions (Gen. 15:1, 46:2, Is. 1:1, 6:1, Ezk 1:3). In the New Testament the God revealed Himself through the Spirit to men whom He used to reveal His Word (Jn. 14:26). God also reveal Himself through the Incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus Christ whom was always filled, led and controlled by the Spirit of God. Acts 10:38 reminds us “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

In the Old Testament we see that the Holy Spirit was in certain people (Gen 41:38, Num. 27:18, Dan. 4:8, 1 Peter 1:11). We also read of the Holy Spirit coming upon individuals equipping them for specific tasks (Judges 3:10, 1 Sam. 10:9-10). But it is good to see the difference between how the Holy Spirit was with them and now after Pentecost He is in every true born again believer, just as the Lord Jesus had promised (Jn. 14:17). The Lord clearly taught the difference between the Spirit dwelling (abiding) “with” individuals and now dwelling “in” them. In the Old Testament the presence of the Holy Spirit was not permanent, but now He has sealed the believer (Eph. 1:13-14) and is the guarantee of Christ's be ever present never leaving us or forsking us!

Today each individual believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20), as is the church as a whole (1 Cor. 3:16). In fact, Paul elaborates on this reminding us, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).

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