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Studies In The Holy Spirit

Introduction to the Holy Spirit I

(1) Where do we find the first mention of the Holy Spirit?

     In Gen. 1:2 we read,” The earth was £formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was £moving over the surface of the waters.” The Holy Spirit (also called the Spirit of God) was in fact mentioned here in the second verse of our Bible.

(2) Did the Spirit have anything to do with the creation?

       Gen. 1:26- We read here,” Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Who do you think that the `Us' and `Our' refer to? Of course it would be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We also find a similar passage of scripture in Gen. 3:22,” Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.”  

(3) Read the following passages of scripture (and the context in which they are written).

      (A) Who did God give the Holy Spirit during old Testament Times?
            Ex. 31: 2, 3-“See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship” (We see that God equipped Bezalel for the work that he was to do, with the Holy Spirit. He was to do the skillful work in the construction of the tabernacle. Bezalel means, in the shadow (protection) of El.”  

           Judges 6: 34-“So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him. ”God sent His Spirit to help him with the work of destroying the altars and worship of Baal in Israel and calling the people to return to God.
           Judges 11: 29-“ Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed ……..” Jephthah, like Gideon, was given the help of the Spirit to lead Israel against their ungodly opponents. Jephthah did lead Israel to victory over the sons of Ammon.                                                      
      Judges13: 24,25- 24Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the LORD blessed him. 25And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in £Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol  Sampson, like the other judges was given the help of the Holy Spirit in leading Israel out of their idolatry and disparity. Their enemies were causing them to again realize that the situation they were in was caused by “not allowing the Lord God of Israel to be their God”.
     Judges14: 5,6 Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. 6The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.                

Judges 10: 6, 10  (6)Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him………………(10) Then the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, “We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have forsaken our God and served the Baals.”    You can see that Israel needed to return to God to be saved from themselves and their idolatry. Hebrews 3:16-4:2 16For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. 1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

1 Sam. 16: 13 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah (Samuel was a prophet chosen fromm birth by God and dedicated from BEFORE birth by his mother to serve God.).
       2 Sam. 23: 1,2 1Now these are the last words of David.
      David the son of Jesse declares,
     The man who was raised on high declares,
     The anointed of the God of Jacob,
     And the sweet psalmist of Israel,
2     “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
     And His word was on my tongue. ( We will be covering the inspiration of the written Word in future lessons, but we see here that David spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit)

           Nu.  27: 18,19  8So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. (Again, the Lord wanted someone who would lead Israel according to His Will, so He put His Spirit upon Samuel to achieve this task. This does not mean that Joshua could not have still chosen to go against God's will. But it does mean that if he did chose to lead Israel into sin, it would not be from ignorance.

       (B) Why these men?

I believe that we have already covered this question. One reason is that these men `obeyed God'………see Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses £of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”   If we read Heb.11:23-34 we see a summary of how these men and women did the will of God according to their faith in God. The Holy Spirit was their helper much in the same way that He is for us today. Look at some of the names in this passage. How were these people involved in bringing the Messiah to us? (Also read the rest of the chapter)
23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.” 32And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

Moses: Led Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians, this is when they first became a Nation of God's people.
Rahab: She helped the good spies return to Israel with an accurate report. Also see Matthew 1
The Judges: Led Israel back to God

(C) Did God ever take His Spirit from anyone that He had given Him to?

            1Sam. 16: 14 14Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.                        

Saul had directly disobeyed God's instruction and He would not tolerate one in leadership of His people.

(4) What other facts concerning the Holy Spirit are found in the Old Testament scriptures?  Read the following passages of scripture.

(A) How often is the Spirit mentioned in the Old Testament?

       78 times from the Hebrew word “ruach” which appears 299 more times in the Old Testament most translated `spirit' (127) or `wind' (95). The Spirit is referred to other times without the word being mentioned. The word is translated according to the context of its appearing.

(B) What are some of the results that transpired by the work of the Spirit?

       Israel led out of idolatry. Jesus' lineage protected. The Old was Testament written. God's people informed. The prophecy of the Messiah foretold.

       (C) Why did God cause the Spirit to work in this way?

God's purpose was that He might redeem man. Through these works (and more) of the Holy Spirit, He fulfilled that purpose.

      Gen. 41: 16  Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”  

     Gen.41:38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?”

      Ex. 31: 2, 3 “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship  

      Ps. 139: 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

      Zech. 4: 6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, `Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts.    

      Job 33: 4 “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Lessons for us today:

Israel kept turning to the ways of the world (idolatry). When they did, they found themselves in an unpleasant environment. We too turn to the world and realize that we would MUCH rather be in our Father's care and protection. And like the Israelites, if we `call out' to God and seek to return to Him in repentance, He will accept us back with `open arms'.

      2) Just as God would not accept a disobedient Saul as a leader of His people (good intentions or not), He will not accept disobedient or ineffective leadership for His people today.