Where is the “Holy Spirit of Promise?” Where is the Lord God of Paul? Ephesians 1:13

Ephesians 1:13

phs3I am not sure whether it was Calvin or Charles Finney that said, “We must understand that the New Covenant sustains the same relation to the Abrahamic Covenant that the fulfillment of a promise does to the promise itself.  The Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant are not identical, but the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.” (I have the statement in an old notebook of mine and so I am not sure of its source).

 

The New Covenant, that is quoted so often and dwelt on so much, is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant to those who receive it.  It is manifested by the Holy Spirit taking up His home in the human heart and having the human recipient literally immersed in all that the Holy Spirit is, and engrafting His law there in the spiritual DNA of the recipient.

 

Methinks, prophetically and realistically, the time has come when we should feel utterly compelled to consider these promises in the present tense, and only to pray for them as an overdue and unclaimed reality. We need to take hold of them for their glorious intrinsic worth, and for the winning of the nations of the earth. God only blesses us in order to bless others. The fullness of the blessing of the gospel is only seen in the immersion of God’s people in the power of the Spirit. These promises were not due in Abraham’s day.  They were promises made to Abraham and to all the Old Testament saints concerning the world’s future good, and the future good of Abraham’s descendants, i.e. ethnic Israel.

 

phs4Concerning Abraham and the Old Testament saints, the Bible informs us that they, “all died in faith not having received the promises but having seen them afar off”.  (Hebrews 11:13)  And again in Hebrews 11:39, 40, “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”  It is clearly declared to us in the infallible word that these promises are due to us and available to us in a higher sense than they ever were or possibly could be to Abraham and the Old Testament saints. The Kingdom needs to be taken by force, and taken now.

 

The Abrahamic covenant is not abolished.  The Abrahamic covenant has not been completely fulfilled to date.  Some silly folk think that the Abrahamic covenant was fulfilled when Christ came, and thereafter complete, and/or therefore abolished, inferring that Israel has no future purpose in God’s plan. How quaint!  This means that God wasn’t being serious when He used the word forever. Tosh to that one! The Abrahamic covenant is not done away with, set aside or fulfilled. The Abrahamic covenant cannot be set aside until all the nations of the earth are blessed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 

We need to add that this universal outpouring will then continue till the end of time in this world system as we know it.

 

This brings me to todays offering.

 

May I tread on a few toes? Please? Not that I want to tread on anybody’s toes at all – and I am not trying to be confrontational about stuff.  However, I know I will go where some will not want me to go, in as much as what I want to say is not commonly agreed to in the Christian world. I have a personal deep conviction to share today. Some will love it and shout “Hallelujah!” because they profoundly agree, yet I suspect some might stop half way down the first page and vow never to read my stuff again. Some may read it and think, “Tut! What on earth is the fuss about?” So; May I take the risk? Pretty please? Most Christians will agree with the body of my thoughts, but the qualifying introduction is the bit that might upset a few.

 

My opening gambit, you see, is this:

 

phs5Every true Christian is born again, from above by the Holy Spirit. That cannot be doubted. Most of my readers will “Amen” that opener. Also, and this is where some of you might hold your breath, I believe that every individual Christian, without exception, is divinely promised and is qualified to receive through faith, the promise of the Father, the “promised Holy Spirit,” i.e. the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Master said, “You shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” The baptism in the Holy Spirit is stated to be all about spiritual fire, power and authority. This Holy Spirit baptism is every believer’s inheritance. John the Baptist cried, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The Baptist’s statement explicitly indicates that Jesus Christ would literally immerse believers into the living water of the Holy Spirit. That’s the good news.

 

However, I believe that it is clearly and self-evidently not factual to say that every Christian has received the Holy Spirit in the way and the manner He is promised in the passages of Scripture concerning the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That’s the bad news. Many Christians have a practical status quo in the spiritual life that is contradicted by the perspective that we are about to negotiate.

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If it is argued by any that, “It all happened at conversion,” I will as graciously as I can step back and leave my protagonists to their sad and very mistaken delusion.  Of course, I need to insert a caveat and say; I believe that it is possible to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the same moments of conversion. I know quite a few who received their baptism in the Spirit in that manner.  That would be, however, the rare exception and definitely not the common rule. (The need for Peter and John to visit Samaria after Philip’s series of meetings makes that clear.)

 

There are still huge swathes of Christians, and many denominational niche’s where the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the elephant in the room and remains a mere academic Bible College debate and an intellectual exercise.  I am talking of the practical need and the divine provision and I promise I am not even attempting to be doctrinally swanky or supercilious. The baptism in the Holy Spirit should be the normal experience of all Christians. That is my conviction.

 

The separation of “Tongue Talkers” (as they were initially called) from the main body of believers, they having been ejected from churches of all denominations a century or so ago, has in these days completely reversed itself. Not that the intellectual study of the subject has been settled and agreed by all – far from it. In these early days of the twenty-first century we now have the “Tongue Talking rejects of orthodoxy” sitting generally in the driving seat of evangelism, church building, and world winning aggressive and robust spirituality. There are of course exceptions, as there are to every rule. The all-round solid theology and church building praxis of Pentecostalism in general has long killed off the superficial “Tongue Talker” epithet, and the situation is so reversed in the passing of a century that today “Full Gospel” Christians, whether they are wrapped under the Pentecostal packaging or fly under the charismatic pennant, are the folks who have been more successful in keeping the message pure as ever whilst adapting their church praxis into twenty first century acceptability.

 

ph8For anybody out there who thinks I am talking “tosh” let me put the whole stack of cards on the table and disabuse the non-charismatic masses that, by strict definition, “tongue talking” is only a tiny drop of icing on the top of a huge mountainous cake of spiritual enduement for what God imparts in the mighty Holy Spirit baptism. I will not and dare not trivialize the “tongue talking” in any way whatsoever, it is one of the vital organs of the indwelling Spirit – but there is much more than that. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is one of the paths of access into walking like Jesus walked. An “Acts 10:38 lifestyle” is what we are talking about and aiming for.

 

The real point of my thoughts today is a practical one. And this is where I might upset a few folks. It is this writer’s conviction that many Christians have never received the Holy Spirit in any higher sense than the Old Testament saints who had actually been justified by grace through faith and experienced, to some degree, the presence of the Spirit.

 

There! I’ve said it and feel I cannot retract it.  Many Christians, experientially, have nothing more than some of the Old Testament saints. I feel it in my bones that some of my readers will want me taken out at dawn to read the last rites over me before having me shot for those words. I am talking about the real O.T. saints, of whom the Bible says, “They all died in faith not having received the promises” (Hebrews 11:13).  Many Christians have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit – or many other God given promises – that are part of their inheritance because of ignorance. By that I mean lack of knowledge and understanding. I do not mean that anybody necessarily has a bad attitude as the word “ignorant” can sometimes mean in today’s usage of the word. It may be bad biblical teaching, or even no teaching at all that precipitates the “non-desire” for the Holy Spirit baptism.

 

phs1The New Testament experience should have us all walking where the likes of Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah and Daniel, along with many others never walked. However, many Christians do not even walk near the places those men walked. New Testament blessing should take us well beyond Old Testament extremes. The prophets told us that there was a “New Covenant” coming; a new kind of relationship with God through the Holy Spirit, and a new commonality where the weakest member of the Kingdom of God would be even greater than John the Baptist whom Jesus taught us was the greatest among men.

 

The apostle Paul noted that, “after we believed we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13).  Most evangelical and non-charismatic or non-Pentecostal Bible teachers, preachers and writers refer to this “sealing of the Spirit” as if it was the new birth. I believe that explanation to be a complete error.  I promise I am not referring to mental gymnastics to prove, “My theology is better than yours! Tadaa!”  What I am talking about has down to earth practical ramifications that can transform one’s spiritual experience and perceptions. I am talking of an enduement of the Holy Spirit and power. I am talking about the anointing of the Spirit.  I am talking of something that would make Daniel and Elijah jealous. A quiet, sedate walk with the Master with no outward manifestation of anything supernatural is not justified. We each need to know, understand, believe and apply the teaching of the baptism in the Holy Spirit (and all the promises of God) in order to take a firm hold on what God wants for our lives both individually and corporately.

 

Once converted, the baptism in the Holy Spirit needs to be a priority. See what Paul said when he met the “about twelve” disciples he met in Ephesus (Acts 19). It was his first primary thought there: “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is only one of those promises. Some would say it is the most vital promise for any Christian to appropriate. Others would say that it is the one promise that opens the whole bank of God’s purposeful promises. It can, indeed, be logically taught that the Baptism is the umbrella promise that has many more promises embedded within its outworking.

 

I insist that believers in the Old Testament possessed the Holy Spirit. I also believe that they had the anointing of the Spirit that fell upon some in order to bring the miraculous and the divinely supernatural into this time space world.

 

Watch this:

 

phs01We need to understand that the Spirit of God is stated as being “in” the believers throughout the Old Testament. There is the classic verses of 1 Peter 1:10 -11 (NASB) that says, “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow” (The Bold font and italics are my action of course). So clearly, we know that all Old Testament prophets had the Spirit of God dwelling within them. I have been taught nearly all my Christian life that the Spirit of God was “within them” while they prophesied, but was not “within them” at any other time. For me, that is not a biblical proposition made plain by the text.  The Old Testament prophets had what Christians hold dear. There is further evidence below.

 

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? (Genesis 41:38. KJV).  Some may argue that a heathen idolatrous Egyptian Pharaoh may have used the terminology with a different meaning; nevertheless it is how Joseph was perceived by the Egyptian monarch. It suggests that there was much more to Joseph than his ability to dream his own dreams, and interpret other’s. He had a demeanour of character and gifting that spoke of the presence of Almighty All-knowing God to those that knew him. This presence was part of his character. That screams “indwelling Spirit” to me. From what we know of Joseph, it would seem that, indeed, the Spirit of God did actually dwell within him. He could interpret the butler and baker’s dream at the drop of a hat. The anointing is seen to be at his beck and call when necessity required. That’s what I call an “indwelling.”

 

phs 20“You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me. (Exodus 28:3 (NASB)) A large body of men who worked on building the Tabernacle were “filled with the Spirit” in order to facilitate their task. That is what I have always been taught. But the Spiritual wisdom they were given is nowhere suggested to have been given only for this single task. It could just as well have been their lifelong gifting and occupation.

 

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” (Exodus 31:3 (NASB)). Bezalel was a greatly blessed man. He was filled with the Spirit. Exodus 35:31 states the same phenomena, adding that God actually called Bezalel by name to the task. Again, I add that I have always been taught that this gift was given to Bezalel just for the building of the Tabernacle and then rescinded when the Holy Tent was completed. And yet, again, I add; why should that be a valid conclusion when it is not stated anywhere in the biblical text? I think evangelicals have always made that presupposition to differentiate and make clear that the Holy Spirit experience of New Testament believers is “superior” to and separate from that of Old Testament believers.

There are, however, a good number of statements of scripture that ensure the understanding of the Holy Spirit presence being different after Acts 2 in the life of all believers that totally preclude the need to “make up some differences.” If, as I suspect, the men who worked on the Tabernacle in the wilderness with Moses were Spirit filled in a very practical way all their lives through, that fact – presupposing it to be a fact – in no way prejudices the superiority of the New Testament faith experience when compared with the Old.

 

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“So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.” (Numbers 27:18 (NASB)). Can anything be clearer? The Spirit of God was “in” Joshua. Joshua was a man of faith. Added to the Spirit being “in” Joshua, we have “Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; …” (Deuteronomy 34:9 NASB). Joshua the son of Nun was actually “filled” with the Spirit that was “in” him. That filling, we are told, was because Moses laid his hands on him.

 

Ezekiel 2:2 (NASB) says, “As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me,” And 3:24 (NASB) adds “As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me.” I Peter 1:10-11 above refers to a continual indwelling of the Spirit with the Old Testament prophets, suggesting to me, that these two statements of the Spirit “entering” Ezekiel are referring to a supernatural experience for a particular moment.  Ezekiel 11:5 referring to Ezekiel’s experience of the Spirit of God “falling” on him has echoes very much of the baptism in the Holy Spirit as referred to in Acts 10:44 and 11:15.

 

From 1 Peter 1:10-11 we would understand that Micah had the Spirit of God dwelling within him, but when Micah 3:8(NASB) says: “On the other hand I am filled with power— with the Spirit of the LORD and with justice and courage to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin,” It sounds to me to be the language that acknowledges an external anointing that has imparted power to the prophet, giving him power and courage in ministry. Micah was conscious and clearly aware of the external anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life and prophetic activity.

 

Nebuchadnezzar knew no better when he referred to Daniel as the man “… in whom is the spirit of the holy gods.” (Daniel 4:8, 4:9 & 4:18). Belshazzar used the same terminology in 5:11 and 14. Even though Nebuchadnezzar was a self-deifying person with deep anger and mental problems. And Belshazzar was a mindless hedonist till his last hours of life, their understanding of Daniel, having met him, speaks loudly.

 

phs2So; we have clear evidence that to some degree, no matter how less and no matter how different the relationship to the Spirit of God, Old Testament believers did indeed have the Spirit of Yahweh within them. Any discussion about the Spirit only being in a chosen few and “not in all,” have no biblical justification for their opinion.

 

Note also, that as well as “The Spirit indwelling,” we also have the “Spirit coming upon” Old Testament believers. That anointing of the Spirit that caused ordinary men to do things that were extraordinary and supernatural.

 

For instance:

 

Judges 3:9-10 (NASB) “When the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.”  An anointing that raised Othniel into Judgeship, and precipitated him supernaturally winning battles.

 

Judges 11:29 (NASB) “Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon.” Each Judge was raised up by Yahweh Himself. Sovereignly and –as far as human sight is concerned, seemingly totally random, yet, we understand that nothing Yahweh does is random.

 

ph6Judges 13:24-25 (NASB) “Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Samson was often moved by the Spirit of God throughout his life. I often pray, “Oh that You, Holy Spirit, would stir me as you stirred Samson!”

 

Judges 14:6 (NASB) “The 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.” It was the anointing of the Spirit of God coming upon Samson that gave him whatever was necessary to tear a Lion in two.

 

Judges 14:19 (NASB) “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house.” In 14:6 the Spirit of God helped Samson kill a lion, here he was inspired to kill 30 Philistines.

 

1 Samuel 10:6 (NASB) “”Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man.” It was, of course, the Spirit of God that inspired Saul to prophesy when he was in the same atmosphere of the prophets and musicians of the School of the Prophets. This prophetic word of Samuel’s was fulfilled in 1 Samuel 10:10.

 

1 Samuel 16:13 (NASB) “Then 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.” There was no killing of the bear or slaying of the lion by David until the symbolic anointing of Samuel which precipitated the real anointing, i.e. “the Spirit of the LORD coming mightily upon him. Note also that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David mightily, from that day forward. That phrase informs us that this one off anointing never left him throughout the rest of his life.

 

phs 301 Samuel 19:20-23 (NASB) “Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. Then he himself went to Ramah and came as far as the large well that is in Secu; and he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” He proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah.” It almost suggests that Saul was prophesying involuntarily. The atmosphere of music and the prophetic dance greatly influenced the moving of the Spirit in those first days of the schools of the prophets that were mentored by Samuel.

 

2 Kings 2:9 (NASB) “When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”  Elisha’s unique and classic request of Elijah was in reality a cry for a double anointing of the Spirit of God. His request was granted. It is a wonderful study into the rationale of Elisha’s request, and the biblical meditation as to whether Elijah granted Elisha’s request or whether it was Yahweh. The conclusions from such a study are more than edifying.

 

2 Chronicles 15:1 (NASB) “Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded,” And Azariah thereafter prophesied very forcefully.

 

1 Chronicles 12:18 (NASB) “Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, and he said, “We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you; Indeed, your God helps you!” Then David received them and made them captains of the band.” This was a soldier, not a “professional” prophet. The Spirit anointed whom He willed for prophecy just as He does in the New Testament and in the church today.

 

What does all the above show us? It exemplifies the fact that Old Testament believers had the Spirit of God dwelling within them, and it also shows that the anointing of the Holy Spirit was a “common” occurrence in the prophetic activity of the Old Testament.

 

Having stated my conclusions concerning the relationship of the Spirit of God to believers in the Old Testament, we now want to seek out the biblical explanation and definition of how and why a New Testament believer has what the Old Testament believer’s – even the prophets and men like Elijah – did not have, nor could have.

 

phs40We start at Abraham. A fuller biblical appreciation of the promises given to Abraham can illumine our hearts on this issue making us open to take more of the Spirit of God in our lives and to step more easily into the baptism in the Holy Spirit which is the inheritance of every true Christian and always has been since Acts 2.

 

The concept of being “saved,” as in being “born again,” is not used in the Old Testament, however, faith is. Justification is never mentioned in the Old Testament, however, Genesis 15:6 says that “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.” That is as clear a biblical commentary on the definition of justification without the word being used that one can think of. It may say in the New Testament that faith is the gift of God, but that does not mean it was not the gift of God in the Old Testament. God Himself gives people the faith that saves them. It may not say that Noah repented of sin, and claimed Yahweh as his salvation, but I defy any bible reader to even suggest that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” to mean anything else but that he went through the dynamics and experience of what we call “conversion” even if Noah would have thought we were talking a foreign language if we suggested that word to him. The fact, Enoch walked with God,” could not have been possible without Enoch exercising faith that gave him access to fellowship with God, in exactly the same manner as it does with the New Testament believer. Hebrews 11 and the “Hall of faith and fame” tells us that these things are so. Faith activated Enoch, Noah, Abraham and many others. Faith is a gift of God that can only be exercised by willful choice. One cannot exercise faith ignorantly or unconsciously.

 

So I ask: If Enoch could, by faith, walk with God and not see death, if Noah could find grace and know that final judgement was coming for his generation, and if Abraham could know clearly that it was right that he should leave “the culture of civilization” and set out to create a whole new culture and civilization, how “insane” does it sound to an unbelieving cynic when Christians say, “We have more than the Old Testament believer’s had?”

 

Is there anybody left out there reading these lines? Or have I lost you all?

 

phs 70I believe the New Testament is superior to the Old. I believe the New Covenant is a spiritual ministration of life while the Decalogue of Sinai was and still is a ministration of death. I seriously believe the New Testament Christian has more than the mightiest Old Testament prophet, but …!  And it is an extremely large “BUT!”  Jesus said to the woman at the well that the day was coming, “and now is,” when folks would worship God in Spirit and in truth.” It is statements like that in John 4, as well as Christ’s remarks about the kingdom members being greater than John, and not forgetting the promise of Jeremiah 31 that settles the issue as an incontrovertible fact. The “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit is what separates the very nature of the New Testament believers’ relationship with God from the people of faith in the Old Testament prior to the first advent of Christ.

 

I am, however, not sure that the commonly held explanations of the distinction between Old Testament and New Testament believers is sustainable in the light of close inspection.  I really believe we should re-examine our convictions about what this difference actually is.

 

“I live with the indwelling Spirit. I have what Elijah, Isaiah and even Moses never had” is what many non-Pentecostal charismatic Christians declare. But is that really true? And for the millions upon millions that have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, surely we are vastly under valueing, misunderstanding, and under utilizing what God has given to us.

 

Old Testament saints were “saved,” (i.e. made righteous in the eyes of God) not by works of law, but by faith as in the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham. There has NEVER been any other way that a human being could be received as righteous before God other than “by faith,” meaning “faith alone.” In other words Abraham, together with all that were saved (i.e. those that were “in faith”) before and after him in the days of the Old Testament, were declared righteous before God because of their faith in Yahweh, and the expectation of Messiah’s coming.

 

Let it be understood that the ceremonial law was a continual rehearsal and a practical demonstration of the New Testament message. It was quite literally a shadow of the Gospel, and it clearly says in that, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’”  Paul literally calls the words of the covenant with Abraham, “the Gospel.”

 

phs 60The difference then between the old dispensation and the new, does not lie in the fact that under the old dispensation the saints were saved by works, while under the new they are saved by grace. It is essential that it be noted and kept as a fundamental key to understanding the entire Bible: Everyone who was, is and in the future will ever be “saved” was, is and will be only and ever be saved by grace through faith in Christ.  But, in the days of the Old Testament, prior to Christ’s first advent, the Holy Spirit was neither promised nor enjoyed to such an extent as He is promised and enjoyed under these Gospel days.

 

What Abraham and the Old Testament saints did not receive was that measure of the Holy Spirit that constitutes the New Testament Gospel message, and produces the sanctification of the whole person, body, soul and Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  Those promises cascade down through the millennia, from Abraham, and through Abraham to Christ, and through Christ and by Christ to the whole Church of God.  Now remember the Holy Spirit is to be received by simple faith in these promises.  “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29). “As it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith’ (Romans 1:17).

 

In the 12th chapter of Genesis, we have the first mention of the covenant that God made with Abraham, even though the word covenant is not mentioned.

  • “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
  • “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” (Gen 17:4)
  • “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” (Gen 17:7)
  • “Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him”. (Gen 18:18)
  • “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen 22:18)

There were two things promised concerning the covenant made with Abraham.

  1. Earthly Canaan or Israel was promised to the natural descendants of Abraham, i.e. ethnic Israel, vis a vis the Jews.
  2. There was also a blessing promised through Abraham to all the nations of the earth.

This covenant was not only made with Abraham, but as we shall see, this covenant was also made with all the nations of the earth through his seed. This is the blessing that has now come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. We are assured this is true by consulting Romans 4:

  • “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
  • “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure o all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16)

To detail the situation further, the apostle Paul says that those Gentiles who had faith are of the seed of Abraham, and that he is the father of us all.

  • “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” (Gal 3:7)
  • “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” (Gal 3:9)
  • “…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal 3:14,29)
  • “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:29)

Language could not be clearer. Paul clearly includes gentiles in the blessings imparted by the covenant made with Abraham. Paul confirms that if they are Christians, then they are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Further in Galatians 4:28, he says;

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise”.

 

Here Paul affirms that the Gentiles are as absolutely within the promise made to Abraham as Isaac was.

 

Ephesians 2:12-22 declares that the Gentiles inherit all the promises of spiritual blessings made to Abraham and the fathers.  Here, there is absolutely no distinction between Jews and Gentiles.  All who have faith are entitled to all the promises, apart from the land being promised solely to ethnic Israel.

 

The real point to note is that this promise of blessing is not merely that Christ should be of Abraham’s seed, but that the promise was made to Christ through Abraham.

 

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and his seed.  He did not say, ‘and to seeds’ as of many, but as of one, ‘and to your seed’, which is Christ.  What purpose then does the law serve?  The law was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.”  (Galatians 3:16 and 19)

 

“That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:14)

 

This blessing, then promised, was not Christ himself, but the promise was first given to Christ, and then through Christ to all the nations of the earth. This means that we can soundly declare that this promise to Abraham and to his “seed,” and through Christ, (i.e.Abraham’s seed) to all the nations of the earth, is the Holy Spirit Himself.

 

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets seem to have had their prophetic eyes focused on this all the time.  The scriptures, when scoured for these promises of the Spirit, reveal the promises as one unbroken chain pointing out this particular blessing everywhere, starting with Abraham right through to Christ Himself.  Sometimes, it was promised in allegorical language, where the Spirit of God is represented as water, wind or fire.  But in most situations, the prophets promised the Holy Spirit by name.

 

“Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.”  (Isaiah 32:15)

 

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.”  (Isaiah 44:3)

 

“As for Me”, says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants”, says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore”.  (Isaiah 59:21)

 

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (Jer 31:33)

“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.”  (Jeremiah 32:40)

 

“Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.”  (Ezekiel 11:19)

 

“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:27)

 

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”.  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39)

 

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”  (John 14:16-17)

 

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”  (John 16:7, 13)

 

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  (Acts 1:4-5)

 

“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  (Galatians 3:14)

 

We can now plainly see what the great blessing under the eye of divine inspiration was. The great issue of an outpouring promised to Abraham is avowed in the passages notated above. And the list above is by no means an exhaustive one.  These passages demonstrate that the gift of the Holy Spirit in the process of Salvation was indeed the “promise of the Father.”  This was the promise to all nations who followed the words and believed the promise of Yahweh. Messiah was coming, and He would appear in the power of the Holy Spirit. In His death and resurrection, the people of faith would become the body of Christ, and as He was in the world with full access to the sensitivities of the Holy Spirit, so would His body, the church do and be likewise.

 

This is why Ephesians 1:13 clearly refers to the Spirit of God as the “Holy Spirit of promise”. This is verified in other places.

 

“That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14)

 

“He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” But this Jesus spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.” (John 7:38-39)

 

 

We conclude that the Holy Spirit can only be received by faith.  Seeing and knowing the truth is not faith in  itself.  Acknowledging truth is not faith per se.  These things might assist us to have faith, but are not intrinsically faith itself. Faith is an act.  Faith is believing in, divulging to, and compliant with our whole being to the influence of God and His Word.  Faith is actively feeding our voluntary powers to the direction, tuition, stimuli, and rule of the Holy Spirit. On the authority of the whole of scripture I assert my belief that this is the only potential route to receive the Holy Spirit, and to continually be the recipient of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  Knowing truth about Him is not faith, nor is it receiving Him.  We can know all kinds of truth about the Holy Spirit and still reject Him.  This happens often.  No matter how profound or concentrated our understanding is, simply apprehending the truth about Him is neither faith nor receiving Him.  Only when we perceive and realize His offers of guidance, it is faith that grabs a holds the offer and yields up our absolute total being to His Lordship.

 

The baptism of the Holy Spirit needs to be sought after and received immediately, by faith, by the worldwide body of Christ.  All preparation on our part to receive Him and all delay, no matter how serious we may think we are in seeking and preparing to receive His fullness, is self-righteous and rebellious.

 

Sorry it is so long today. But …”Here endeth the lesson.”

phs 50

 

 

Post Script:

I have many note books that I have gathered into my library. They are filled with notes of people I have met, sermons I have heard, books I have read and quotations I have never forgotten. Occasionally I insert a few thoughts of my own that – to me at least – are original. Some of the above has been cooking within me for over 30 years.

The Role of the Holy Spirit as Presented in Ephesians

The fact that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned until the thirteenth verse of the first chapter does not in any way suggest that Paul’s letter to the converts of the most successful mission he ever held  neglects Him as a subject or as a major source of what he teaches. He refers to the Holy Spirit some thirteen times in the letter and each time there are flashes of revelation in his explanation of biblical truth and his practical guidance.

 

After reading through the letter several times in quick succession and deep concentration, I suggest a few random thoughts concerning the Holy Spirit as taught solely in Ephesians.  These are thoughts from a recent address.

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In Ephesians we see the following aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life and our understanding of His modus operandi:

 

The Christological role of the Spirit

Ephesians clearly paints the picture of the body of Christ, i.e. the church militant that is alive and well on planet earth, as being the sphere of activity of God’s gift of the Spirit within the household of faith.  Ephesians 1:13  suggests, just as Jesus taught, that the other Comforter would reside in us and teach us in the same manner that Jesus taught the twelve.  It is “after that” we “believed” we were actually sealed by the Spirit having been born of the Spirit. He is here to take of the things of Christ and make them real to us.  Ephesians 3:5 explains how that which was hidden since creation is now revealed through ministry gifts of apostles and prophets.  Those hidden things are centred on the person of Christ.  Ephesians 2:18-22 uses the imageries of building and temple to highlight Christ’s foundational role in the formation of the church and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in the church. In fact the church, i.e. the people are actually His habitat.   Each “stone” as it were, is sealed by the gift of the Spirit after that they had individually come to faith, yet the exaltation and foundation laying of Christ as the very source of salvation is the backbone of all Christian truth, as taught by the Holy Spirit. The presence and manifestation of the Spirit, and the indwelling of the Spirit in the hearts of those who are born again by faith in Christ, leads us to more and more depend on the Saviour. This process creates an ever increasing presence of Christ within us moving towards an ever expanding manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is simply the duplication and engrafting of the character of Christ within the character of the believer.  This is what I am referring to as the Christological role of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians.

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The Eschatological role of the Spirit

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory..” (Ephesians 1:13-14).  Ephesians explains how the Holy Spirit is God’s eschatological seal on the salvation of the believer. He (the Holy Spirit) is the earnest – the deposit  – that guarantees the future eschatological inheritance.  He Himself is the earnest deposit of God on the Christians life that gives the assurance of future blessings which I understand to mean of blessings both in this life and the next. It is in the resurrection that manifests what Paul here refers to as “the redemption of the purchased possession.”

 

To express it in a different manner, the sealing of the Spirit is the first instalment, of the fullness of the spiritual blessing, and divine presence in God’s new temple which is being continually built into a more magnificent structure as the second advent draws near and will be fully exhibited in and after the resurrection. Retrieving Old Testament analogy and illustration, Ephesians images and describes the gift of the Spirit as the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 37), even more graphically than Joel’s promise (Joel 2).  Both Ezekiel and Joel link the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the resurrection future as well as the present aspect of eschatology.  It cannot be doubted that the more the church of Christ understands the eschatological relevance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that started on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) (and Christians are even more aware today because of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements of the present day), the more there will be a general awareness among believers around the world that the “coming of the Lord draws near.”

 

I am seriously convinced that the second coming of Christ is less noted by a particular date on the Calendar, and more as a date when the hearts of believers are in a more Christ like state of heart and mind.  I see it clearly not as God declaring “I have a date set in my Calendar,” but as “I will come when the heart of my people is in a certain condition.”

The Prophetic role of the Spirit

The letter to the Ephesians associates the revelatory work of the Spirit with the saving plan of mankind that has been unravelling throughout time.  The whole programme as presented by Paul is a breathtaking mystery of God.  The whole character of the creation of the plan, designed before time began, and the implementation of the plan in and through Christ, as well as the future summing up of all things in Christ, is not to be dryly repeated and passed on throughout the generations but is to be declared and prophesied through the work of God’s holy apostles and prophets, as well as all those who are called to minister and/or share their faith throughout the world. This is the glorious prophetic role of the Holy Spirit.  Christians believe in progressive revelation. They are forced to by the gradual unfolding of God’s purposes throughout the Old Testament. The Spirit of God revealed as much as mankind was ready for, and as much as they could take. Peter even tells us that the prophets did not properly grasp the awesome truths of Christ’s conception, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and second coming.  When we read the likes of Isaiah 53, Isaiah 11’s early verses and the seven servant songs, we cannot but concluded that Isaiah somehow saw Christ and all He was and did. Peter tells us that the Hebrew prophets spent their lives searching for the details of what they were uttering by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.  Paul himself continued in the same prophetic mode but gloriously knew exactly of who and what he spoke of.  All true prophecy that explains the testimony of Christ is from, and by the Holy Spirit.

 

The future plan outlined throughout the first dozen or so verses of Ephesians 1, which has to do with the believer’s purpose and inheritance, is in itself a prophetic inspirational declaration. The insights and understanding of God’s plan do not come by book reading and study but by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is of the Spirit  or it isn’t prophecy. Paul prays in the first chapter that the Ephesian believers may be given a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ.  Such knowledge of God is not and cannot be gained by academic  learning, it is a thing of the Holy Spirit Himself.

 

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The Revelatory role of the Spirit

“Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”  (Ephesians 3:5)  I use the word “revelatory” here to differentiate from the “prophetic  role” meaning that the actual knowledge that comes along with the hearing and receiving of the gospel and the penetration of the light of the truth of God’s word.  I am here talking of the ever increasing understanding and establishing of those truths that the Christian already believes.  The old song that repeats “Tell me the old old staory of Jesus and His love,”  is seriously profound. Repetatition of biblical truth is like pile driving the pillar of truth deeper and deeper into the Christians psyche and heart.  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing..” That means repetition. It may be considered by some to be unnecessary, having considered the prophetic role of the Holy Spirit above, but my point is to highlight the fact that Christ is building His church on the rock of revelation concerning Himself, and the Spirit of  is always wanting to reveal more light concerning the truths that we are already aware of. All revelation held within the hearts of human beings is light imparted by the Spirit of God Himself.

 

Spiritual understanding is what the Spirit of God has revealed to people what He knows of Christ and the full breadth of gospel truth and data.

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The Supernatural role of the Spirit

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18).  There is clearly an aspect of the Holy Spirit that is manifested not only in the miraculous, but in the overwhelming of the normal rationale of humanity.  Speaking in tongues, falling as dead, revealing truth by dreams and visions, which according to Joel is to be part of the norm in these gospel days is all part of the role of the Spirit.  It is the Spirit of God that brings this about.  The sealing of the Holy Spirit that is after coming to faith is what this writer believes is a reference to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That is supernatural in its manifestation of tongues and/or prophecy.  The opening of the mind to gospel truth is a gloriously supernatural thing that literally changes people’s character. It is all done by the Spirit of God.

 

Strangely Ephesians 5:18 refers to the extraordinary unnatural manifestation of alcoholic drunkenness as the opposite of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The fact that strange things happen in outbreaks of the Holy Spirit, should not necessarily surprise us.  Being strange and acting strange could never be in and of itself  proof of a visitation  of the Holy Spirit, but remember even Jesus was considered out of His mind at some points. Read Mark’s Gospel.  It happened when the Holy Spirit was breaking out in different ways.

 

The Unifying role of the Spirit

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).  Everything the Holy Spirit does is to bring unity amongst mankind, even when it is separation from the world. Because there is one Lord, One faith, One Baptism and One Spirit, and because that self same Spirit is He that has convicted every Christian of their sin, brought them to faith and caused them to be born again, one does not need a degree in theology to conclude that there is an intrinsic unity in the fellowship of every Christian that has ever lived. The unity that is a manifestation of the Spirit, needs to be cultivated and developed with the binding power and strength of peace amongst the Christian family worldwide. Ephesians particularly draws attentions to the chasm between Jews and gentiles.  “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples,” said Jesus, “That you love one another.”  The “agape” love that Jesus was talking about is something that cannot take place without the work of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:3 tells us clearly that even though the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of love and peace, Christians need to work hard at maintaining that unity that the Spirit has placed within us, and it has to be done in the bonds of peace. In plain English, aiming for peace with all men is not an option, but a God given goal – and it is the goal of the Holy  Spirit.

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The universality of the role of the Spirit

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” (Ephesians 4:4).  I have absolutely certainty when declaring that the wall that Paul refers to as being broken down between Jew and Gentile did not in any way suggest any similarity in the format of their worship.  Jewish Messianic fellowships that I have visited worship differently that any kind of gentile body of believers.  There are in the world, as far as outward practice is concerned, differing “brands,” “types,” or “flavours” of Christianity.  The different “brands” and “flavours” of the body of Christ should not, in our hearts, disenfranchise any other “brand” or “flavour” from being considered as right, true or orthodox.  The body of Christ is utterly diverse.  That is how it should be.  Anybody that is born of the Spirit of God is part of the body of Christ.  And there is only one body of Christ. Different doctrinal emphases or practical differences in modes of worship, music style or bible translations used is fine. However, none of that sort of criteria should reduce us to bad naming other churches, movements or people simply because they “do church” differently that the way we, personally like it done.  Where people of God worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, they are carried on the wings of the Spirit no matter what it says on the notice board at the front entrance.  The Holy Spirits vision is huge and broad. The Spirit lives within us. We are to be submitted to the will of the Spirit, therefore the exterior and superficial differences should be acknowledged but not allowed to separate us.  It is truth that makes us one, not our worship style or doctrinal emphases, not our central Headquarters or our autonomous fellowships, not our leaders who are called pastors as opposed to those being referred to as bishops, prophets or apostles.

 

My point, in what I am referring to as the universality of the role of the Holy Spirit, is not to suggest universality with every wind of doctrine as long as it includes Christ.  Not at all!  But I am amazed in my travels to discover the different manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the lives of different groups of Christians.  Some are noisy, some quiet, some worship with huge musical accompaniment, and some sing acapella in perpetuity, some emphasize evangelism, some stress devotion  – and one can go on and on. The Holy Spirit adapts to the culture, the age, the music, and the race.  As long as a group of people are born again and gathered in Christ’s name around the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is there to glorify Christ.  In that respect the Holy Spirit promotes a universality of attitude.

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The Soterialogical role of the Spirit

Soteriology is the study of the process of salvation. “Soteria” means “salvation.”   Ephesians 1:3 allows us to conclude that every blessing that  heaven can bring us is the inheritance of the believer. Those blessings are sourced in the manifestation and ministry of the Holy Spirit – that is why they are referred to as spiritual blessings. Those heavenly blessings are embedded in our salvation.  Ephesians 1:13, informs us that being sealed by the Holy Spirit after we have believed leaves us with the firm certainty that the Spirit of God is our personal heavenly tutor all the way through our earthly walk with Jesus. So the Spirit of God is the “hands on” heavenly tutor, comforter and counsellor. That is what He does, because that is who He is.  Ephesians sees the Holy Spirit as God’s seal of ownership of the believer, and the first instalment of the believer’s eschatological inheritance. It links the Spirit explicitly with the believer’s sonship to God.  When Ephesians 1:17 says; “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,” it is clear that the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation,” is a euphemism for the Holy Spirit implanting both His wisdom and His revelation in the hearts of those that Paul was praying for. We could go on to elucidate more and more that the Holy Spirit is working within us those things the Christian needs to work out.  We are kept by the Holy Spirit. The Christian has access to deep intimacy with Him.

 

The developmental role of the Spirit

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). The principle of “self” decreasing and “Christ” increasing within us is a principle that is actuated by the Spirit of God.  Strengthening with might in the inner man is a developmental process that only the Spirit of God can activate

 

The Ethical role of the Spirit

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).  This thought in Paul’s prayer links the Holy Spirit with mutual edification in the context of corporate worship, with charismatic wisdom in daily life, and with the transforming power of God conforming the believer to the image of Christ by getting to know Christ more and more.

 

The Ecclesiological role of the Spirit

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18)This statement facilitates our envisioning of the Spirit as the presence of God in his one temple, and the gift of Christ to his one body, unifying the believing Jew with the believing gentile.  It stresses the common endowment of the Spirit on all believers of differing cultures and races. It emphasise the edifying and unifying impact of the Holy Spirit in the church.

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The Missiological role of the Spirit

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).  In Ephesians Paul tends to highlight the role of the Spirit in the ecclesiological interaction of the believers for mutual edification and growth. In plain English he helps Christians to bless and help each other, as well as seeking to reach out to those beyond the body of Christ.  This verse is encouraging prayer in the Spirit (i.e. in tongues) whilst praying for mutual edification throughout the entire church of Jesus Christ, worldwide.  The apostle exhorts all kinds of prayer with great perseverance and observation of the needs of all Christians.  The important highlight I wish to impress my readers with is that the prayer is required to be made in the Holy Spirit. The principle being expressed is that which is expanded upon in Romans 8 which tells us that when we do not know how to pray it is expedient to pray in the Holy Spirit and to allow the Spirit of God to pray through us.  I conclude automatically that the purest manifestation of the Holy Spirit praying through me without my own thoughts and emphases seeping through is when I pray in tongues. This is missiological prayer on every conceivable level, and it is the Holy Spirit that empowers the whole.

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The Spiritual Combat role of the Spirit

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Christians are to fight the devil and his hordes with the word of God. This is not to in any way infer a parrot like quoting of scripture like some vain superstitious mantra, but to speak biblical truth, in faith and energised by the Holy Spirit. I declare this to be true simply because when Paul writes, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” the word or “word” is not “logos” but Rhima. This suggests that the combat with demonic forces must be engaged in with the Holy Spirit’s empowering. To engage with demonic forces without the empowering of the Holy Spirit is extremely dangerous.

 

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The music and praise creating role of the Spirit

“speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19 NIV) or “But speak to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and songs of The Spirit; be singing in your hearts to THE LORD JEHOVAH”(The same verse from the Aramaic Bible in plain English.). There are songs of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sings. The Old Testament prophet spoke of Yahweh singing over us. Jesus sang a hymn, surely a psalm, as they left the upper room after the last supper.  It is essential to edify ourselves by singing the praises of Him who bought us and paid our ransom with His own blood. To glorify Christ, such songs of the Spirit need to be discovered and sung. Discovered in the Holy Spirit, sung in the Holy Spirit, and this is a mutually edifying exercise that Christians need to do together.

 

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a list that helps us to see the comprehensive nature of what it means to live our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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