Power of the Holy Spirit
Yahweh's Holy Power
The religion of the Bible differs from most worldly religions in a notable way, and that is in its concept of nature. The neighbors of ancient Israel, including the Egyptians, Babylonians and Mesopotamians, looked to each major power of nature as a distinct deity. For instance, the storm was the storm-god; the sun the sun-god; the rain the rain-god; fire was the fire-god. Each force of nature was perceived as a deity exercising his power. As a result, Israel soon took up the same heathen worship.
The Bible declares that Yahweh uses the forces of nature to reveal His power and dominion. He is not in the storm, neither is He in the sun, the rain or fire. But He transcends and controls these forces of nature. Psalm 19 reveals, "The heavens declare the glory of Yahweh; and the firmament shows His handiwork."
True Worship and Heathenism Contrasted
The heavens are a witness to the greatness of Yahweh. To the Mesopotamians they were the very majesty of the supreme ruler Anu. Their deities were in nature. The Egyptians saw in the sun all that man may know of the Creator; the Mesopotamians viewed the sun as the deity Shamah, the guarantor of justice. To the Psalmist the sun was Yahweh's devoted servant who is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber and "rejoices as a strong man to run a race."
But Yahweh the Mighty One of the Bible is not in nature; He transcends nature and controls His creation. The deities of the nations surrounding Israel were mere humans who had become deified and were then thought to be in the heavenlies. Beginning with Nimrod, man set up his own mortal mighty ones who later were "immortalized" in their perceptions. And while heathens celebrated many festivals among themselves, Yahweh set apart distinct convocations for fellowship and exclusive worship of Him. While the gods of the nations of Mesopotamia were going their aloof ways, Yahweh was calling Abraham out of pagan worship, delivering His people from Egyptian bondage--and in Ezekiel, seeking His exiles in Babylon.
Phenomenal Power of the Holy Spirit
Yahweh does not need to come down to earth to accomplish His will. Through His mighty Spirit power He causes events to occur He does this simply by desiring it to happen. Genesis 1:2 explains that Yahweh's Spirit moved over the waters at creation. Psalm 33:6 says, "By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth."
Most Christian churches teach that the Holy Spirit is a personality and the third person of a triune deity. They also teach that the Spirit's personality is not only important to understanding the Holy Spirit's work, but is also important to a belief in the Spirit's existence. Belief in the Holy Spirit as a personality is vital to belief in the doctrine of the Trinity. If the Holy Spirit is not a separate being then the doctrine of the Trinity is meaningless.
Therefore, orthodox Christians consider denial of the Holy Spirit's personality as denial of the Trinity and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This thought is enough to prevent most people from looking into or beyond church teachings on the subject. Those who have investigated have discovered that in every century since that first New Testament Pentecost there have been groups that have rejected the Trinity doctrine. Many of these groups were or are patently off-base religious cults. But many were or are groups of scripturally sound, sincere people who acknowledge the inspiration of the Bible and who seriously live or strive to live by every word of the Heavenly Father.
The ancient trinity of Isis, Horus, and Seb (IHS) are the basis for the Christian "triune godhead." At left is a depiction of them, Isis on the right, Horus on the left and Seb in the center. Below is a Christian trinity symbol.
This concept of a three-in-one being is expressed in the saying: "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each very God, each without beginning or end, each omnipotent and separate from the other, yet all one and only one God."
The Trinitarian Bible Society states: "The members of this Society shall consist of Protestants, who acknowledge their belief in the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, three co-equal and co-eternal Persons in One Living and True God." Other Trinitarians express almost the same concept of three equal persons in one person.
Three in One
Assyrian and pagan Surbian representations of the Trinity and its worship. The three-headed trinity, right, is portrayed by the bird or dove, left, where an elderly figure is inside a circle ("seed") speaking to the two other deities.
The Trinity Borrowed from the Ancients
From where did this doctrine come? Does the Bible teach anywhere that the Holy Spirit is a person? Are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit equal, as some contend?
The student of ancient religion knows that a triad of deities is common to most pagan religions. Whether it is the religion of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt or India, the worship of more than one mighty one was common. The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop points out the many triads of deities worshiped in various mystery religions, and even has entitled a chapter section, "Trinity in Unity." Page 17 graphically illustrates the Trinity concept from pagan sources. The worship of the Babylonians was decidedly a Trinitarian concept, p. 16.
Says another prestigious source under "Babel, Babylon," "Though in late times the temples were more or less dilapidated, the services to all appearance continued to be performed, and may even have gone on until well into the Christian era, Babylonian religion and philosophy being still held in honor as late as the 4th century," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume 1, p. 355b.
From Budge's Amulets and Superstitions (p. 429) is this comment on the number three: "As symbolic of the Trinity it was most sacred. In Babylonia and Egypt we have triads of gods, e.g. Anu, Ea and Bel; Khepera, Shu and Tafnt; Amen, Mut and Chonsu, etc."
These deep-rooted heathen beliefs influenced later Christian thought about the Heavenly Hosts. The Roman Emperor Constantine called a religious council in 325 C.E. to quell the controversies over the relationship among Yahweh, Yahshua and the Holy Spirit. After two months of wrangling, primarily between Alexandrian theologians Arius and Athanasius, the Pontifex Maximus Constantine (though he was unconverted) decided in favor of the Trinitarian teaching of Athanasius. Thus, the Trinity doctrine has come down to us from the Council of Nicea of 325 C.E. through a legacy known as "The Nicene Creed." The Nicean Council was conducted not in Latin, but in Greek, and the resulting creed was also composed in Greek. It was rather strange for the Roman Church to use Greek when its language and writings were always in Latin. Until recently, the liturgical services of the Roman Church throughout the world were held in Latin irrespective of the local language.
Ruach Is an Invisible Force
We understand what is meant when someone says, "Sorry, I cannot attend the meeting, but I will be there in spirit." We also understand what is meant by the phrase, "The spirit of liberty has influenced Americans since colonial times." The same with, "He has an indomitable spirit and will to live." Is it possible then, that a Holy Spirit-inspired writer such as Moses didn't understand what he was saying when he wrote, "The Spirit of Elohim was moving upon the face of the waters"? Genesis 1:2. The Trinitarian belief might lead us to that conclusion.
The Hebrew word "ruach" occurs 389 times in the Old Testament. Ruach is translated "spirit" 237 times. In the remaining 152 places it is translated in 22 different ways. The Companion Bible appendix states that the root meaning is invisible force. This force may be exerted in different ways and manifest in various forms. Although ruach is invisible, its manifestation and accomplishments may at times be made visible in the physical realm.
English translators of the bible used the word "ghost" to represent the Hebrew "ruach." It conjures up the idea of an apparition or disembodied spirit of a dead person, a faint, shadowy semblance or specter. However, the meaning of the Hebrew "ruach" and Greek "pneuma" ("spirit" in the New Testament) has the sense of complete invisibility and unseen force like the wind. Most translations bow reject the "ghost" of the King James Version and use the more correct "spirit."
Because a number of times the Spirit is referred to as "He" in the King James, some think the Spirit is a person. However, ascribing gender to something does not necessarily make it a male or female being. Notice that Psalm 34:2 refers to the soul as she. Revelation 1:16 says "the sun shineth in his strength." Mark 13:24 and Matthew 24:29 refer to the "moon giving her light." Yahshua said in Revelation 2:5 that He would "remove the lampstand out of his place." He also told Peter to "put up your sword into his place," Matthew 26:52.
From these verses are we to assume that the soul is a woman, the sun is a man, the moon is a woman, the lampstand is a man, and the sword is also male? It is simply a characteristic of the ancient languages to personify objects.
Undoubtedly, the hymnbook with the popular "God in three persons, blessed Trinity" refrain has a great deal to do with popularizing the error of a triune deity of three persons in one being.
"Ruach" occurs for the first time in Genesis 1:2, "And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters." Yahweh's Spirit moved (or brooded like a mother hen) upon the waters and re-created the earth to its present condition. Psalm 104:30 reads, "you send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth."
Yahweh's creative power is in the force or Spirit that emanates from Him, John 15:26. It is not necessary that He physically do the creating as we humans might assume. Psalm 148:5 tells us, "For He commanded and they were created." It is possible with the tremendous power available to Yahweh that He simply desires or wishes something to be accomplished and it is done. His Spirit going out from Him accomplishes the tasks that He wills. From Psalm 139:7-8, we learn that His Spirit is always present throughout the universe.
A prime example is when Israel crossed the Red Sea; Exodus 14:21 relates it was by a "strong east wind." But in the Song of Moses in Exodus 15:8, poetic language indicates that it was "the blast of Yahweh's nostrils" that kept the waters walled up. Obviously, through the power Yahweh exercised, the waters were kept back to allow Israel to walk over on dry ground. The Spirit is compared to wind in John 3:8.
His Spirit permeates the universe and keeps it in order. Scientists admit that a definite force keeps the moons and planets in orbit. Even the electrons around the core of an atom are kept in track by a special force. His Spirit power has been likened to gravitational force, magnetism and upper spectrum light waves. All of these are invisible to the unaided eye, but can be noted by their physical effects.
Spirit Influences Human Thought and Actions
Yahweh's Spirit can also affect the mind of man, influencing the thinking, motivation and spirituality of the human being. This is one of the great revelations of the Bible. Certain people in Scripture were receptive to promptings of Yahweh's Spirit and allowed His Spirit to motivate their actions.
Such men included Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are many other examples of people being receptive to the Holy Spirit of Yahweh. This characteristic exists today as unconverted individuals grab hold of the truth shown in the Bible and willingly follow it.
Holy Spirit Directs Physical Workmanship Anciently
Exodus 31 introduces Bezaleel, who is to produce special works in gold, silver, brass, stones and carvings to beautify the tabernacle. He and the craftsmen under him were also to work on the Ark of the Testimony and the furniture in the tabernacle, as well as the lampstand and the altar of incense, verses 1-11.
1. What four attributes were given Bezaleel when he was filled with the Spirit of Elohim? Exodus 31:3.
2. Bezaleel means "in Elohim's shadow." From which Israelite tribe was he? Verse 2.
3. The spiritual endowment given to Bezaleel is an example of the counterpart gifts of the Holy Spirit given in the New Testament. Did Moses say that Bezaleel was also a teacher, showing others how to beautify Yahweh's tabernacle? Exodus 35:30-35. See also chapters 36-39.
4. Not only can Yahweh's Spirit accomplish physical tasks, but it can also control thoughts and impulses of the human mind. In the Book of Judges, Yahweh's Spirit worked with individuals. There was no king, no judge, no priest. The book's closing sentence says, "Every man did that which was right in his own eyes." From time to time Yahweh raised up people to do His will. Yahweh chose the humble, willing and obedient Jephthah to withstand the attacks of the Ammonites, Judges 11:1-4.
5. To what does the Bible attribute Jephthah's military success? Judges 11:29. Does Jephthah rely upon Yahweh's help? Verses 30-31.
NOTE: In his vow, Jephthah states that whatever comes from his house to greet him "shall surely be Yahweh's and [or] I will offer it up for a burnt offering." According to the Companion Bible note, the word "and" should be rendered more correctly as "or" in this instance.
6. Samson possessed superhuman strength. He accomplished tremendous physical feats when under the influence of Yahweh's Spirit. This is not to say that everything Samson did was correct and proper. The Bible shows the true character of its subjects, both good and bad attributes. Even though Samson desired a wife of the pagan Philistines, which was against the will of his parents, Yahweh was able to use Samson for His Name's sake. Was the Holy Spirit given to Samson? Judges 13:24-25.
7. How does Samson react in face of an attacking lion? Judges 14:5-6. What gives him the strength? Same verse.
8. Because of the deceit of the Philistines in getting Samson's wife to divulge the secret riddle, what does Samson do? Judges 14:19. Again, how is he given this superhuman strength? Save verse.
9. The men of Judah tie Samson with cords and deliver him to the Philistines to placate them. What happens when he is delivered as a bound prisoner to them? Judges 15:14. How does he get this strength? Same verse. What else does Samson accomplish? Verses 15-16.
Spiritual Understanding Through the Holy Spirit
Examples in the Old Testament show that the Holy Spirit was given to human beings to accomplish a particular purpose, then it was removed. David pleaded in Psalm 51:11, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me." In the New Testament, the Spirit was made generally available, but it can still be quenched, 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
Joseph was a follower of Yahweh and was given supernatural understanding in dealing with Pharaoh's people. Because Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh's dream, the Egyptians were given preeminence, Genesis 41:25-36.
1. Pharaoh then made Joseph second in command of his empire, verse 40. To what does Pharaoh acknowledge Joseph's superior wisdom? Verses 38-39.
2. In prophesying of the coming Messiah, what does Isaiah say will be some of the Savior's attributes when the Spirit rests upon Him? Isaiah 11:1-3.
3. What does Isaiah further comment about the power of the Spirit of Yahweh in carrying out the message of the Kingdom? Isaiah 61:1-2.
4. How did the prophets in the Old Testament make accurate predictions of what was to come? Wasn't it through the Holy Spirit that was given to them? Nehemiah 9:30. See also Ezekiel 3:12; Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6; 7:12.
5. Joshua was given the Holy Spirit to guide Israel after Moses. How did he obtain the Spirit? Deuteronomy 34:9. Spirit Strength"And the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon him, and he rent the lion as he would have rent a kid," Joshua 14:6.
"And the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon him, and he rent the lion as he would have rent a kid," Joshua 14:6
Rabbinical Belief Regarding the Holy Spirit
Indications show that the rabbis believed that Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were the last of the prophets. After them, they thought, the Spirit had been withdrawn, according to the New Bible Dictionary. Most striking is their belief that the Spirit, to all intents and purposes, is subordinated to the Torah (law). Therefore, "The Spirit does not speak apart from the law," and "The Torch fills a far more prominent role than the Spirit...and in the Babylonian Talmud 'Shekinah' (glory) has more or less completely supplanted talk of the Spirit."
The Messiah and His apostles emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit, in stark contrast with the rabbinic teaching of the Jews, who stressed the letter of the law. While this contrast is mostly one of emphasis, both the rabbis and the New Testament teachings of the ekklesia (church) base their teachings upon their understanding of the Bible.
One difference can be noted between the rabbinic teaching of works or deeds of the law, and the New Testament emphasis on the proper attitude that comes from within. There is a danger in relying solely upon obedience to the law as fulfilling all righteousness, as there is in dramatizing the spiritual aspect, as when charismatic groups dwell on what they all "evidence of the Spirit."
Obedience to Yahweh is still required, but the motivation is love for Him and His Son. Keeping His commandments is from the heart, to please our Heavenly Father, not out of fear. Yahweh's Spirit gives us a new attitude, a new understanding, a desire to respond to the love that Yahweh has shown us by sending His only begotten Son to die for us, John 3:16.
New Testament and the Holy Spirit
John the Baptist taught that the Spirit was imminent. He did not hesitate to speak of the Sacred Name, Yahweh's glory, and wisdom--all of which was a way of speaking of Yahweh's existence and activity in the world without compromising His majesty. The consciousness of holy presence was lacking. John taught that the Spirit had been active in the past, inspiring the Torah, and would be poured out in the new age.
1. John the Baptist maintained that the outpouring of the Spirit was near. The One who was coming would baptize in Spirit and fire, Matthew 3:11. What was John the Baptist's primary teaching, as shown in Matthew 3:7-12?
2. He preached the same message as the prophets before him. Would the coming Kingdom age be brought in peaceably? Daniel 7:19-22 and Zechariah 14:12-15?
3. Obviously, the entry into the new age by immersion in a stream of fiery ruach, which would destroy the impenitent and purify the penitent was not a strange or surprising teaching. What do the following prophets say in these verses? Isaiah 4:4, 30:27; Daniel 7:10.
John the Baptist called Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. His was a message to prepare their hearts and minds to accept the prophesied Redeemer. He called Yahshua "the Lamb of Yahweh that takes away the sin of the world," John 1:29. When did John the Baptist receive the Holy Spirit? Luke 1:15. (He had it since birth.)
4. Who did Yahshua the Messiah imply was present and was greater than Jonah? Matthew 12:41-42. Does He repeat this statement? Matthew 12:6?
5. Did the Pharisees recognize that Yahshua was accomplishing His miracles by a supernatural power? Matthew 12:24-28. To what did Yahshua attribute His power? Verse 28.
6. At the Jordan River the Savior experienced a special empowering for His ministry by which His anointing and Sonship were evident. What took place? Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:30-34.
NOTE: Even today we become His children through baptism, at which time He gives us His Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38.
7. John uses the words "abode" and "remaining" in John 1:32-33 (both from the same Greek cognate word) referring to permanence. Notice Mark 1:12, especially the word "immediately." Do both Matthew (4:1-11) and Luke (4:1-14) show that Yahshua was controlled by the Spirit?
NOTE: If all three--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--are equal, as is erroneously taught, then why does the Holy Spirit "drive" the Savior in the wilderness? The Spirit is more powerful than the Savior! Yahshua said, "I can of myself do nothing," John 5:30. He also said, "My Father is greater than I," John 14:28. Furthermore, Matthew 1:20 says Mary (correctly "Miriam") was conceived by the Holy Spirit before giving birth to Yahshua. Then why, if the Holy Spirit is a person, does the Messiah nowhere call the Holy Spirit "Father"? If the Holy Spirit were a person, Miriam would have been guilty of adultery!
8. One of the first miracles Yahshua accomplished was during the marriage at Cana of Galilee. When the wedding party needed more wine, what did Yahshua's mother ask Him to do? John 2:1-3. What did the Savior command the servants to do? Verses 6-8. What was the response to this simple act? Verse 9.
9. One of the best-known miracles was when Yahshua fed the multitude, Luke 9:11-17. What was the only food available? Verse 13. How many were present? Verse 14. Were there also women and children in addition to me? Matthew 14:21.
NOTE:Through the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, Yahshua was able to multiply the morsels of fish and bread to freed the multitude by converting Spirit energy flowing from Him to the material substance of bread and fish.
10. Luke relates that Yahshua healed by the Spirit power that flowed from Him. Note Luke 6:17-19. It is here called virtue, and is the same power that is used to heal. Did Yahshua know when Spirit power was flowing from Him? Luke 8:46. Did He need to direct the accomplishment of His virtue (power), or was it guided and directed to accomplish what was required? Same verse and 47; Luke 6:19.
11. When the man born blind was healed by Yahshua, what did the Savior do first? John 9:1-6. What was the man then to do? Verse 7. Was he healed? Same verse.
12. Others besides the Jews realized the special power that Yahshua had. Matthew 8:5-13 tells of a Roman centurion who had 100 soldiers in his command. Did he ask Yahshua to use mud to anoint his servant? How did he propose that Yahshua heal him? To what did the Savior attribute the healing of the servant? Verse 10. Obviously, this is a lesson for us today. Do we trust His Word and have the faith that He can accomplish what He says He will do?
NOTE:There is no set formula or magic pattern in the healing that Yahshua accomplished. The point Yahshua makes by His actions is that the miracle comes not by a formula or method, but that our faith is required for healing.
The Day the Holy Spirit Came in Force
The New Testament is a record of the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to this earth in force at Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) and is now active in certain people devoted to Yahweh and the truth of Scripture.
1. Before Yahshua left this earth at the resurrection, He promised that He would send a Comforter, John 14:16. What is that Comforter? John 14:26. What was it to do? Same verse. Also, Acts 1:8.
NOTE:The Holy Spirit was the very power from Yahweh (Luke 24:49) that would enable man to obey Yahweh completely, as Yahshua did (recall that the Savior was COMPLETELY filled with the Holy Spirit and could do great things because of it, John 3:34; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Peter 2:22).
2. What happened at Pentecost, while 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) gathered in an upper room at Jerusalem? Acts 2:1-4. Was this not the awesome power of the Holy Spirit being poured out? Verse 4. Notice that the Holy Spirit can be "poured out," 2:17-18.
3. Were the disciples able to do anything special after receiving the Holy Spirit? Verse 4.
NOTE: This was not some charismatic babbling. These men were from various countries of the world and spoke different languages (see Acts 2:5-11). Because of Holy Spirit power, they were able to speak in other languages. It was a testimony to what Yahweh could miraculously do through the Spirit.
4. What other miracles will the Holy Spirit cause to happen in the last days, the days we are entering? Acts 2:17-18.
NOTE: Only with the power of the Holy Spirit will one be able to withstand the coming calamity about to fall on earth. Without the Holy Spirit, even Peter denied Yahshua three times (Matthew 26:75); the other disciples fled when the soldiers took the Savior because they did not have the strength of the Spirit, Matthew 26:56. But after they received the Holy Spirit, read what happened: Acts 3:11-12, 4:32, 33, 5:15-16, 9:36-41, 13:6-11--all this with the dynamic strength of the Holy Spirit.
A U.S. Catholic Pentecostal group seeks the Holy Spirit through charismatic displays. But the Bible clearly says how the Holy Spirit is demonstrated, Galatians 5:22-23.
True Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Grace is the holy influence in the heart. What has grace to do with the Holy Spirit? Let's look to the Apostle Paul for the answer. In Acts 9:10-18 we are told Paul was chosen for a special mission to the Gentiles. But Ananias had to lay hands upon Paul before Paul received the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 and 9:17 inform us Paul not only received the Holy Spirit, but also power when the Holy Spirit came into him.
What was the power? Ability to "speak in tongues"? Acts 9:20-22. Read Paul's comments about "speaking in tongues" in 1 Corinthians 14:6-19. The power Paul received was power to perform the mission for which he was chose. That mission was to preach the Good News to the Gentiles with demonstrations of Spirit power.
NOTE: Consider what Paul said to the Gentiles at Ephesus: "Assuming you have heard of the stewardship of Yahweh's grace that was given to me for you," Ephesians 3;2. And: "Of this Good News I was made a minister according to the gift of Yahweh's grace, which was given to me, though I am the very least of the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Messiah and make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in Yahweh who created all things," Ephesians 3:7-9.
1. What was Paul's understanding of the Holy Spirit? Compare Scriptures from Acts with Paul's statements to the Ephesians. Acts 2:38 (the gift of the Holy Spirit); Ephesians 3:2 (Yahweh's grace was given to me); Acts 1:8 and 9:17 (power is received with the Holy Spirit); Ephesians 3:7-8 (grace was given with power).
NOTE: Can it be doubted that Paul equates the gift of grace with the gift of the Holy Spirit? In Paul's mind, the Holy Spirit is Yahweh's influence in the heart. He told the Ephesians, and so tells us, that the influence of Yahweh's willpower enabled him to accomplish the mission for which he was chosen. This leads us to conclude that the Holy Spirit is Yahweh's influence in the heart of the baptized believer. Keep in mind, though, that the influence of Yahweh's willpower does not overpower the believer. The Spirit can be quenched so that the carnal takes over the man. The Spirit must be "exercised," 1 Timothy 4:7-8. This influence of Yahweh's Holy willpower Moses called the Spirit of Elohim. This influence of Yahweh's dwells in each individual baptized in Yahshua's Name. It must be this holy influence the prophets and the apostles called the Spirit of Elohim, Spirit of Yahweh, Holy Spirit of Yahweh or merely Holy Spirit.
2. The following Scriptures refer to the Holy Spirit. Do they support the belief that the Holy Spirit is a person? Spirit of holiness, Romans 1:4; Spirit of truth, John 14:17, 1 John 4:6; Spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10; Spirit of meekness, 1 Corinthians 4:21; Spirit of wisdom, Exodus 28:3, Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17; Spirit of understanding, Isaiah 11:2; Spirit of knowledge Isaiah 11:2; Spirit of counsel, Isaiah 11:2; Spirit of adoption, Romans 8:15; Spirit of glory, 1 Peter 4:14; Spirit of grace, Hebrews 10:29.
3. No one contends Satan's evil spirit is a person--separate yet one with Satan. Why, then, if the Holy Spirit is a person, do Bible writers use similar references to Satan's evil spirit? Consider these examples: spirit of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7; spirit of bondage, Romans 8:15; spirit of error, 1 John 4-6*; spirit of slumber, Romans 11:8; spirit of divination, Acts 16:16; spirit of the world, 1 Corinthians 2:12.
*Note the contrast between spirit of truth and spirit of error in 1 John 4:6. Is there the slightest intimation one spirit is a person and the other is not?
NOTE: Each of the preceding Scriptures, whether a reference to the Holy Spirit or to the evil spirit, is of the same tenor as a reference to the spirit of liberty. We know the spirit of liberty refers to the determined will of Americans to remain free and safeguard their constitutional rights. Is it possible inspired writers of Scriptures didn't know the truth or were hiding the truth? Of course not!
Who Receives the Holy Spirit?
1. How did Peter say one must receive the Holy Spirit? Acts 2:38.
NOTE: This is Peter's answer to the question: "Brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Everyone has heard ministers quoting Peter's answer. Yet, much confusion and many divisions result from different understandings of this simple, straightforward answer. Most differences are the result of not understanding what the Holy Spirit is, which leads to not understanding what the gift is and why it is given.
2. Is obedience necessary for receiving the Holy Spirit? John 14:15-17. The promise of the Holy Spirit is an extension of Yahshua's promise to His disciples, John 15:26. The promise of the gift was limited to His disciples, but Peter extends the promise to everyone who is baptized into Yahshua's Name.
3. What must happen so that the Holy Spirit can be imparted? The disciples who received the gift at Pentecost had to lay hands upon the baptized believer and pray that the believer receive the gift before the Holy Spirit was give. 1 Timothy 4:14 explains that elders (who have previously received the gift) do the laying on of hands following the baptism. ("Presbytery" comes from the Greek "presbuterion," meaning "order of elders.") Also see Acts 8:14-17, 19:6; 2 Timothy 1:6.
4. How do we know the Holy Spirit is working in us? Galatians 5:22-26; Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 1:4. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are found in 1 Corinthians 12. Note especially verses 8-10; 28-31.
5. What motivates our actions once we are empowered by the Holy Spirit? Acts 5:32; 1 John 5:3-6.
How the Spirit Can Change Your Life
A person given missions requiring special gifts and powers will be given the gifts and extraordinary power necessary for those missions, Colossians 1:25. To expect all Spirit-baptized believers to exhibit all special gifts and extraordinary powers is like expecting the ear to see light or the eye to hear sounds, 1 Corinthians 12:13-31. Paul plainly says in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 that not all will speak with tongues or perform miracles. Paul also wrote: "Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive," Romans 3:13; Psalm 5:9. Tongue was translated from "glossa," Strong's Greek Dictionary No. 110, literally meaning tongue, but figuratively meaning language.
False prophets can use the tongue to change the truth of Yahweh into lies, Romans 1:25. They an also deceive by creating false imitations of spiritual gifts, but which with time will bear out the fact that they are nothing but falsity.
1. What is the overriding criterion for knowing whether a person is begotten of Yahweh? Matthew 7:20. Galatians 5:22-26 lists the fruits of the Spirit. Is "speaking in tongues" a fruit? The presence of the indwelling Spirit will not be manifest by signs and wonders in most people who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but by the fruits produced in their lives. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness goodness, faith and meekness," Galatians 5:22-23. One or two fruits will not be evident without the others. Also evident in the person's life will be the ability to discern good from evil, Hebrews 5:14, and the willingness to live by proven truth, 1 John 4:6. These fruits and their influence cannot result without Yahweh's Holy Spirit, his motivating power in the heart. Jeremiah said, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt," Jeremiah 17:9.
2. Which "fruits" does the carnal, Spirit-starved man produce? Can the unconverted man obey Yahweh's law? Galatians 5:9-21; Romans 8:7-8. Paul says seek spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, but he says make love the reason for seeking the gifts, 1 Corinthians 14:1. "This is the love of Yahweh that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome," 1 John 5:3. "if you fulfill the royal law according to Scripture, you shall love your neighbor as yourself..." James 2:8. The only reliable evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence are the fruits of the Spirit--especially love--in the believer's day-to-day life. Paul is adamant that we seek to allow the Spirit to dominate our lives. The motivation must come from Yahweh's power, which works within us to accomplish His will. Remember Yahshua's statement in John 4:48, "Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe." The New English Bible translates it this way: "Will none of you ever believe without seeing signs and wonders?" The Bible also cautions that not all who can perform miracles are of Yahweh if they do not show fruits of obedience, Matthew 7:20-23. Those who truly have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them will not be led or deceived into following after magnetic wonder workers who speak not according to Yahweh's law and testimony, Isaiah 8:20. We are warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 that Satan's false prophets will work with all power, signs and lying wonders to fool whoever they can.
You, Too, Can Obtain the Power of Yahweh!
As we have proved from the Bible, the Holy Spirit is available to anyone who repents, obeys Yahweh and is baptized. It doesn't matter what nationality you may be or what your background is. When you receive the Holy Spirit, you are placed in the Body of Yahshua the Messiah, 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:28. But it happens only at baptism.
With His Spirit power, your understanding will suddenly open up and you can begin to understand Yahweh and His Word much more clearly, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16. You can have direct access to the Father's throne through prayer in Yahshua's Name, which was not possible before.
With a close relationship with Yahweh, we can ask of Him and we will receive it, as promised in Hebrews 4:16 and Matthew 21:22. We will receive answers to our prayers because we are obedient, 1 John 3:22.
Your entire attitude and life will change as you gain a new perspective; your old, carnal, materialistic values will fade, and you will find a new contentment in obedience to Yahweh. The greatest gift the Holy Spirit will give you is love, 1 Corinthians 13.
Most importantly, Yahweh promises that with His Holy Spirit we will receive the promise of everlasting life. "For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Yahweh: and if children, then heirs; heirs of Yahweh and joint-heirs with Messiah: if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us," Romans 8:13, 16-18.
Find eternal life through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you would like baptism, write or e-mail us using the Contacts page.
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