Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Holy Spirit - Session 9 - Israel's Judges and Prophets

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is doing a study of The Holy Spirit. The study will look at who the Holy Spirit is, His role in the Trinity, His interaction with man, His role in and after man's salvation. This is an intense study of the Holy Spirit in scripture. We are using the bible as our primary reference resource. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments below. We welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, and prayers


Before we get into what I want to talk about today let's review what we have already learned.

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Holy  Trinity

He is a person and has;

  •  Intelligence
  •  Feelings
  •  A will
  •  He prays
  • He does miracles  
  • He can be lied to
  • He can be insulted
  • He teaches
  • He directs

As God He has attributes that only God has He’s
  • Omnipotent

  • Omnipresent

  • Omniscient

  • Author of Scripture:
  • Convictor of Sin
  • Deposit/Seal/Earnest/Guarantee
  • Guide
  • Intercessor
  • Revealer
  • Spirit of God/the Lord/Christ
  • Spirit of Life
  • Teacher
  • Witness


  • Dove
  • Fire
  • Wind
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Cloud

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is mentioned in connection with
  • Creation
  • Revelation
  • Filling

The filling is in some cases seen a temporary as in the case of Saul and Samson and also leaving the temple.

Ezekiel 10:18 (NLT)18  Then the glory of the LORD moved out from the door of the Temple and hovered above the cherubim.

Next we talked about the special relationship with the nation of Israel because God made a covenant with Abraham because of his faith.  Abraham believed that God would do what He said that He would do so God chose Abraham’s offspring to be the nation through which salvation would come through Jesus.

Then we started looking at examples of the Holy Spirit empowering man to do specific things.  That brings us to today.  

We will continue with examples of the Judges.  Last week we discussed Othniel, the first Judge, then Gideon, and Jephthah.

Continuing with the Judges


Judges 13:25 (NLT)25  And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 14:6 (NLT)6  At that moment the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn’t tell his father or mother about it.

Judges 15:14 (NLT)14  As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists.

Judges 16:28-30 (NLT)28  Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”29  Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,30  he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

What about Samson what can we learn?

That as long as the Holy Spirit is with you you can accomplish great things even those you may think are impossible.  But unlike Samson even though we blow it the Holy Spirit doesn’t leave us. There were consequences for Samson ultimately losing his strength, his freedom, and his sight,  and for him a time that the Holy Spirit left him.   But the reason for rejoicing is that  even though there are consequences we have our guarantee

2 Corinthians 1:22 (HCSB)22  He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 5:5 (HCSB)5  And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (HCSB)13  When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.14  He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.  

The Prophets

Elijah and Elisha

1 Kings 18:12 (HCSB)12  But when I leave you, the Spirit of the LORD may carry you off to some place I don’t know. Then when I go report to Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. But ⌊I⌋, your servant, have feared the LORD from my youth.

This was during the famine that Elijah had said would last until he said so, or really God said so.  

1 Kings 17:1 (HCSB)1  Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!”

Ahab sent a guy named Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace,  to look for some water for the king’s livestock.  Obadiah by-the-way had hidden 100 prophets in some caves so they wouldn’t be killed.  Meanwhile God had told Elijah to go tell Ahab the king there would be rain.  Obadiah ran into Elijah and Elijah told him to go tell Ahab that he wanted to see him and the verse that we read was his reply.   Obadiah knew that Elijah was empowered by the Holy Spirit and he was afraid that if he told Ahab that Elijah wanted to see him when Ahab got there the Holy Spirit would have taken him somewhere else.

It didn’t happen that time but we do know that it happened later to Elijah.

2 Kings 2:9 (HCSB)9  After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell ⌊me⌋ what I can do for you before I am taken from you.” So Elisha answered, “Please, let me inherit two shares of your spirit.”

2 Kings 2:11-15 (HCSB)11  As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind.12  As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Then he never saw Elijah again. He took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.13  Elisha picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.14  Then he took the mantle Elijah had dropped and struck the waters. “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” he asked. He struck the waters himself, and they parted to the right and the left, and Elisha crossed over.15  When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were facing him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.

And when the sons of the prophets... saw him. Still watching, they saw Elisha use the cloak. The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. Elisha had been granted the same gifts Elijah had, as evidence of his having been anointed to the prophetic office. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

2 Kings 5:26 (HCSB)26  But Elisha questioned him, “Wasn’t my spirit there when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to accept money and clothes, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves?

This was after the Naaman a commander in the army of Aram which had invaded Israel and captured some territory (Read 2 Kings 5) went to Elisha to be healed of leprosy and after he was healed he wanted to pay Elisha and he wouldn’t accept payment.  His servant, without Elisha’s knowledge went after the guy and lied and got he to give him some silver and some clothes.  When the servant, whose name was Gehazi came back Elisha busted him with those words.

That brings up a point I need to make about the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and expressions of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.  There are some instances where the Holy Spirit and the human “spirit” seem almost to merge.

2 Kings 2:15 (HCSB)15  When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were facing him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.

The Holy Spirit is referred to as the spirit of Elijah.

Now back to the Holy Spirit’ empowering the prophets.


Isaiah 48:15-17 (NLT)15  “I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed.16  Come closer, and listen to this. From the beginning I have told you plainly what would happen.” And now the Sovereign LORD and his Spirit have sent me with this message.17  This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.

God was speaking through Isaiah and telling the people that Cyrus would be the person who delivered them from captivity and he was telling them  before the nation of Israel ever went into captivity in Babylon 150 years before he was born.

Here’s what the Wycliffe Bible Commentary says about verse 16

In verse 16 the pre-incarnate Christ identifies himself as the one sent by the Father and the Spirit to convey God's prophetic message to the inspired prophet. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

What do you notice here?

The three persons of the Trinity.


Ezekiel 2:1-3 (NLT)1  “Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.”2  The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.3  “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day.  
This was Ezekiel’s call and commission to speak for God to the nation of Israel.   This was after the great vision of the glory of God that Ezekiel saw in chapter 1.  

Ezekiel 1:28 (NLT)2  All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the LORD looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.

You remember the song Ezekiel saw the wheel way  in the middle of the air?

Ezekiel saw the wheel;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Now Ezekiel saw the wheel in a wheel;
Way in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel 3:12 (NLT)12  Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!)

Ezekiel 3:14 (NLT)14  The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the LORD’s hold on me was strong.

There are other referenced to the Spirit interacting with Ezekiel in 3:24, 11:1, 5, 24, 13:3, and 43:5

Next week we will finish with the prophets and then we will talk about others in the Old Testament who were empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Audio of Session 9 - Israel's Judges and Prophets
The audio has additional discussion that you may find interesting


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Holy Spirit - Session 8 - Israel's Judges

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is doing a study of The Holy Spirit. The study will look at who the Holy Spirit is, His role in the Trinity, His interaction with man, His role in and after man's salvation. This is an intense study of the Holy Spirit in scripture. We are using the bible as our primary reference resource. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments below. We welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, and prayers

Last week we discussed the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

The most frequently used terms or expressions for the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament are what?

Spirit of the Lord, My Spirit, The Spirit of God, Your Spirit

In nearly all of these cases, the reference to the Holy Spirit is clear.

The Spirit’s coming upon men was, as a rule, not the result of their great spirituality nor did it necessarily result in spirituality. When the Spirit came upon men, they possessed supernatural ability (or power). That power or ability was not unlimited but generally was limited to certain tasks, abilities, or functions. That power did not necessarily make the recipient more spiritual.

Examples of men when being empowered by the Holy Spirit didn’t result in spirituality were who?

Samson, Saul,and Balaam.

Men empowered by or filled with God’s Spirit did things they would not and could not normally do. The empowerment of the Spirit meant that God’s work would be done through men. This work was not because of man’s abilities or necessarily his desires.

When men were empowered by His Spirit they would represent God in some way, by word or work. When prophets spoke or wrote under the influence and of the Holy Spirit, they could say, “Thus saith the Lord.” The Holy Spirit's control over leaders like Moses and David enabled them to lead as though God were leading men through them (which He was).

The Holy Spirit accomplished divine communication from God to men, by empowering the prophets. He also had an illuminating and teaching ministry which enabled men to understand what God had revealed in the Scriptures. David, in the psalms, seems to be especially sensitive to this.

Psalm 119:18 (NKJV) Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

If there is any doubt as to whether the Holy Spirit that we are talking about in the Old Testament is the same person in the New Testament let's look references in the New Testament of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Old Testament, first of all by Jesus

Matthew 22:43 (HCSB) He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord’:

This is from

Psalm 110:1 (HCSB) ⌊This is⌋ the declaration of the LORD to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

This was a prophetic revelation given by the Holy Spirit to David.

The apostles referred to the Holy Spirit of the Old Testament too.

Acts 1:15-16 (HCSB)15 During these days Peter stood up among the brothers—the number of people who were together was about 120—and said:16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

Acts 1:20 (HCSB) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position.

Peter said this when the apostles decided they needed to replace Judas. Peter was using a very liberal quotation from Psalms 69:25 and 109:8. Much like some preachers today that a liberal quotation to try to make a point. It works if it applicable but if taken out of context in an attempt to prove a point that is completely against other proofs in the bible it doesn’t work that’s why we need to know the word.

Acts 4:25 (HCSB) You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples plot futile things?

We talked about that verse a couple of weeks ago saying that when the Christians were praying after Peter and John were released after having been arrested they said that the Holy Spirit had revealed those times to the writer of Psalm 2.
One last one

2 Peter 1:21 (NKJV) for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Now let’s get back to what we started two weeks ago talking about the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of men in the Old Testament to do specific things. 

Craftsmen and Artists

Exodus 31:1-6 (NKJV)1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:2 "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze,5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.6 And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all who are gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:


1 Chronicles 28:11-12 (NKJV)11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat;12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things;


Solomon the Builder (1 Kings 5:1–7:51)

In addition to his remarkable insight, Solomon is also remembered for his building exploits. He built the temple of course. The design that David gave him is described in 1 Kings chapter 6.

1 Kings 6:38 (NLT) The entire building was completed in every detail by mid autumn, in the month of Bul, during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.

Then his palace and the building on the palace grounds;

1 Kings 7:1 (NLT) Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.

Then there were other building projects.

2 Chronicles 8:1-6 (NKJV)1 It came to pass at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house,2 that the cities which Hiram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them; and he settled the children of Israel there.3 And Solomon went to Hamath Zobah and seized it.4 He also built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities which he built in Hamath.5 He built Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars,6 also Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the chariot cities and the cities of the cavalry, and all that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

Administrators, and Leaders

Joseph, Moses, David, Joshua, Saul, most of the kings of Judea and some of the kings of Israel.

The Judges of Israel

Then there were the Judges. They were before the kings.

We don’t have time to go into it during this study but after Joshua led the nation of Israel into Canaan and the captured much, but not all of the Promised Land, Joshua and that generation of leaders died.

Judges 2:10-16 (NLT)
10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.11 The Israelites did evil in the LORD’s sight and served the images of Baal.12 They abandoned the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the LORD.13 They abandoned the LORD to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth.14 This made the LORD burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them.15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the LORD fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress.16 Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers.

The new generation forgot the mercies of God to Israel and the nation's covenant to obey the Law of the Lord. They started to worship Baal who was a fertility-god, whose worship was thought to bring productivity to mankind, animal life, and the produce of the field. They also served The Ashtaroth were the female counterparts to Baal. Ashtoreth was about love and fertility. Idolatry was regarded as a breech of covenant, and it involved immoral rites incompatible with the holiness God demanded of his people. So God chose to use Israel's enemies as a means of chastening them.

When they cried out to Him God answered by raising up judges, i.e., saviours or deliverers. But the ministry of the Judges had no lasting effect upon Israel. The Book of Judges records an unvarying cycle in which Israel repeatedly relapsed into idolatry.

The Lord enabled the Judges to lead the people of Israel victoriously against their foes. Both the victories and the defeats recorded in the book of Judges are interpreted as acts of God. A strong Judge could influence the people for God during his lifetime. The Judges did not form a dynasty, however. At the death of a Judge, the people tended to lapse into idolatry again. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

There’s a lot more to this but as I said we don’t have time and that is not this study. This study is the Holy Spirit.

The first Judge that is empowered by the Holy Spirit was Othniel.

Judges 3:9-10 (NLT)9 But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, the LORD raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz.10 The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the LORD gave Othniel victory over him.


Judges 6:34 (NLT) Then the Spirit of the LORD took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.

We all know the story about Gideon and how he defeated the Midianites with a force of 300 men. So we aren’t going to spend any time on background for him. There is much more to Gideon than the 300 men thing though. I encourage you to read Judges chapters 6 through 8.

What are some of the things we learn from Gideon?

It’s okay to ask that God confirm what He has told us, just so we can be sure that it was him.

Judges 6:36-40 (NLT)
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised,37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.”38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.39 Then
Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.”40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

Once we are sure that it is God speaking then do what He says.  Remember He told Gideon to reduce his army from 22,000 to 300. He did and those 300 men routed the Midianites.

Jephthah (yif-tawkh')

Judges 11:1-3 (NLT)1 Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute.2 Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.”3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.

During Jephthah’s lifetime the Ammonites were the people God was using to chastise the Israelites.

Judges 11:5-6 (NLT)5 When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. The elders said,6 “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!”

Long story short (read the 11th chapter for the whole story) Jephthah confronted the king of the Ammonites and it was on.

Judges 11:29 (NLT) At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites.

Remember Jephthah’s mother was a prostitute which may have caused him to make a vow that wasn’t well thought out.

Judges 11:30-31 (NLT)30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites,31 I will give to the LORD whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

The form taken by Jephthah's vow is reminiscent of his half-heathen background. He vowed to offer as a burnt offering whatever first came out of the door of his house to meet him when he returned as victor from the Ammonite war. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

He defeated the Ammonites and when he returned guess who came out of his house. His daughter.
Judges 11:34 (NLT)34 When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters.

To Jephthah the vow was sacred, and it had to be carried out. Human sacrifices were forbidden in Israel, but Jephthah had lived on the fringes of society, where heathen ideas prevailed. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
She asked him to give her two months to spend with her friends and he agreed but when the two months were up Jephthah fulfilled his vow.

Judges 11:39-40 (NLT)39 When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel40 for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.

Although some commentators suggest that her perpetual virginity would have been a fulfillment of the vow, the text seems to leave no doubt that Jephthah's daughter died at the hands of her father. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

What do we learn from Jephthah?

God can use you no matter your background. His mother was a prostitute and his brothers actually ran him off because of his mother yet God raised this man up to judge His people Israel.

We also learn to not make rash promises to God or anybody else. We need to think before we make vows. As a matter fact God tells us we aren’t required to make a vow to Him but if and when we do we have to keep it.

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 (NLT)21 “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the LORD your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin.22 However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow.23 But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the LORD your God.

We'll continue with one more judge next week. It will be one that you will remember. Then we are going to talk about the Holy Spirit empowering some of the Old Testament prophets.

Audio of Session 8 - Israel's Judges