Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Holy Spirit - Session 7 - The Old Testament Ministry of the Holy Spirit

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

I want to back up a little bit before we go on with the part of our study we started last week about the Holy Spirit empowering men in the Old Testament.  Two weeks ago when we started talking about the occurrences of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament we said that the Holy Spirit is mentioned in connection with Creation, Revelation and Filling; and He’s identified as the Source of Life, as One Who strives with man, a Teacher and Guide, and the manifestation of God’s presence.  Then last week we talked about His special relationship with the nation of Israel, and how that relates to us  today, and then we went right into the empowering of men in the Old Testament for specific work or tasks.  We talked about him empowering the skilled artisans for the tabernacle and temple, David for designing the temple, and for administration and leadership.  The examples were Joseph, Joshua, Saul, and David, and how that fits with the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gives today for work in the church.

But in working on the study for this week and looking at more men empowered by the Holy Spirit as recorded in the Old Testament I realized that we haven’t really talked about the ministry of the Holy Spirit before the advent of Christ.  So I want to go back and take a look at that.

We’ve looked at the names and symbols for the Holy Spirit in scripture but we should really take note of the fact that the term Holy Spirit is found only three times in the Old Testament.  

Psalm 51:11 (NLT)11  Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

and twice in;

Isaiah 63:10-14 (NLT)10  But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them.11  Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people?12  Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever?13  Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling.14  As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation.”

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

The Spirit of the Lord

Judges 3:10 (NKJV)10  The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim.

This was the Holy Spirit coming on one of the Judges Othniel.  We will actually talk about him later.  
Judges 6:34 (NKJV)34  But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.

We know the story of Gideon when he was Israel’s Judge.

Micah 3:8 (NKJV)8  But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.

This is the prophet Micah contracting himself with the false prophets in Israel and Judah at that time.

The Spirit of the Lord appears 23 times in the New King James Version

My Spirit

Genesis 6:3 (NKJV)3  And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

Isaiah 30:1 (NKJV)1  "Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD, "Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin;

The Lord here pronounces woe upon those who seek human counsel instead of divine, and follow the dictates of worldly wisdom. The league (asv; counsel, av). A secret alliance with Egypt to throw off the yoke of Assyria (a policy into which Hezekiah was unwisely allured at the death of Sargon in 705 b.c.). - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Isaiah 42:1 (NKJV)1  "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Who is He talking about here that He would put His Spirit on?

Jesus Christ The Messiah.

Matthew 12:18-21 (NKJV)18  "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.19  He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20  A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;21  And in His name Gentiles will trust."

Joel 2:28 (NKJV)28  "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.

This prophesy has been fulfilled.  Do you remember when?

Acts 2:14-28 (NKJV)14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.15  For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.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.21  And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'22  "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--23  Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;24  whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.25  For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.26  Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.27  For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.28  You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.'

My Spirit appears 13 Old Testament

The Spirit of God

Genesis 1:2 (NKJV)2  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Genesis 41:38 (NKJV)38  And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"

This is what Pharaoh realized after Joseph interpreted his dream and then told him what he should do so that the Egyptians would survive during the severe famine that was coming.

Numbers 24:2 (NKJV)2  And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

Now here’s an example of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person who was not a descendant of Abraham but an example of how God can use anybody to bless His people.  Balaam was hired by Balak the king of the Moabites when he saw the nation of Israel approaching his territory, to curse them.   Many of the Jewish writers say, that Balaam had been a great prophet, who for the accomplishment of his predictions, and the answers of his prayers, had been looked upon justly as a man of great interest with God. However it is certain, that afterwards for his covetousness, God departed from him. - Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament.

He was hired to curse the people but after the Spirit of God came upon him;  

Numbers 24:3-9 (NKJV)3  Then he took up his oracle and said: "The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened,4  The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open:
5  "How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel!6  Like valleys that stretch out, Like gardens by the riverside, Like aloes planted by the LORD, Like cedars beside the waters.7  He shall pour water from his buckets, And his seed shall be in many waters. "His king shall be higher than Agag, And his kingdom shall be exalted.8  "God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox; He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones And pierce them with his arrows.9  'He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?' "Blessed is he who blesses you, And cursed is he who curses you."
The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan, Exodus 13:21-22 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire.

The Spirit of God occurs 14 times in the Old Testament.

Your Spirit

Nehemiah 9:30 (NKJV)30  Yet for many years You had patience with them, And testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets. Yet they would not listen; Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.

We talked about this verse a couple of weeks about when we said that the Holy Spirit was a Guide and Teacher as referenced in the Old Testament.

Psalm 143:10 (NKJV)10  Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

Your Spirit occurs 4 times.  

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.

Who was an example of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit not making the person more spiritual?

Samson, was “overcome” by the Holy Spirit, but his life was a moral disaster.

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.

Saul was not a greatly spiritual man before the coming of the Spirit upon him nor was he so afterwards.

1 Samuel 10:9-10 (NLT)9  As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day.10  When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy.  

Balaam was a man who is perplexing, because we are not even certain that he was a true believer in God, even though he had tp speak for God when the Spirit of God came upon Him.

Numbers 24:2 (NKJV)2  And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

Next week we will get back to the occurrences of the Holy Spirit empowering men in the Old Testament.


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