Sunday, November 21

The Holy Trinity (Part Three)

The previous two entries have covered the biblical basis for "The Trinity," and discussed the pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Bible and briefly touched on the appearances of the Holy Spirit. In this entry, we will take a look at the Holy Spirit's appearances in the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament"), briefly followed by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. As stated in the previous entry, God the Father spoke the Universe into existence (Genesis 1:1Psalm 33:9) and the Holy Spirit acted, bringing life into the cosmos. (Genesis 1:2Psalm 33:6Psalm 33:6 says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their hosts by the breath (spirit) of His mouth.” God’s entire deliverance of His people is by the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 63:7-14).The Holy Spirit only works in and through people. He is never said to enter or fill a place, even the Tabernacle, like Yahweh or Jesus. His presence is known - and clearly shown - by His activity through people. The aforementioned Isaiah 63:10 says, "Yet they rebelled, and grieved his Holy Spirit." The name "Holy Spirit" is actually said. (Photo credit to: AAA Jack)

When Moses is finding a replacement, he is to find a man "in whom is The Spirit." (Numbers 27:18) He finds Joshua, who leads the Israelites to Canaan after the death of Moses. Many leaders were, as Christians are, indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Othniel (Judges 3:9), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11.29), and Samson (Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14), were among such leaders. Samson being first, “stirred by the Spirit.” (Judges 13:251st Samuel 10:10 says, "When he [Saul] and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came on him in power, and he joined in their prophesying." The Holy Spirit came upon Saul again in battle (1st Samuel 11:6), and left him when he did maintain and refused obedience towards God - and dwelled in David "from that day on." (1st Samuel  16:13-14) After King David, no other King is recognized as having the "Spirit of God," not even Solomon the Wise. It is from this that the hope for a king with the "Spirit of God" sprung forth (Isaiah 11:1-2) - and God told the people that he was planning to send his Messiah to them at a future date. Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.

When God's people refused to listen to His prophets, they were told that their actions are ‘not in accordance with the Spirit.’ (Isaiah 30:1) It was for this reason that their situation was hopeless, and will continue to be so until “the Spirit is poured forth from above” (Isaiah 32:15), producing righteousness and blessing, a hope which lies in our future. The prophet Ezekiel, we are told, was carried about by the Spirit, sometimes referred to as a wind (Ezekiel 3:14 and others), and he says that “the word of the Lord came to me.” In Ezekiel 11:5 he says, “the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me,” causing him to speak God’s word, God's truth, because of the Holy Spirit. The future work of the Holy Spirit was also described throughout the Holy Spirit. Not only that Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to work in and through those who accepted him, and that there would be a great purging, but that there would be a pouring out of His Spirit. Isaiah 44:4-5 says, “I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your children, and My blessing upon your offspring.”

Jesus was prophesied about when Isaiah said in Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to announce deliverance to those who are held captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are bruised.” The prophet Joel added another dimension to the future work of the Holy Spirit. Joel 2:18-29 says, "I will send you corn and wine and oil, and you will be satisfied with it --- I will cause to come down for you the early rain and the later rain --- and the floors will be full of wheat --- I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten --- and you will eat in plenty and be satisfied --- and it will come about afterwards that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams and your young men will see visions, and also on the servants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."

The Holy Spirit also appears throughout the Psalms. Psalm 51:11, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me." Psalm 139:7 says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” The Holy Spirit, like God the Father, is ever-present. Psalm 143:10 says, "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God, may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." As Christians, we ought to pray that Psalm.It is truth - God sends the Advocate, his Holy Spirit, to lead us and help us. The Holy Spirit appears all throughout Scripture, and the Hebrew Bible is no exception. This is especially true in the Psalms. The Psalms themselves are important because we see the work of the Holy Spirit working through many men through the ages. We see that God does not desert those who trust in Him, nor has he left them to struggle on their own. God has promised to help us, though we may not always have the kind of help we desire, or understand that our present suffering will somehow help us down the line.

Now, when the Creator entered into His creation, things were set in motion. God had made man in his image, in his likeness at creation. (Genesis 1:26, Mark 10:6) It was when Jesus Christ died, and was resurrected, that he sent the Holy Spirit - in full force. It is because of this that we now have the capacity to have millions of Christ-like people walk around and preach across the world - and had Lucifer known what would have come of Christ's death, he never would have done so. Jesus had promised the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to his disciples, and to all who accept him and follow him. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, he said to his disciples, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized you with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses... to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:4,8) Not long after, the Day of Pentecost came. Acts 2:2-4, "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in their own tongues as the Spirit enabled them." The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord, filled and dwelled within these men and women. The Holy Spirit was not wind, nor the flames, but the actual being that dwelled within these men and women, as stated, and He worked in and through them. The disciples went out into the streets and preached the Gospel in different languages. Peter addressed the crowd, and cited the prophecy of Joel concerning the Holy Spirit, (Joel 2:28-32) along with other prophecies.

During the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, while often mentioned by Jesus himself, is seen. When Jesus goes to be baptized by John, John saw the Holy Spirit descend like a dove. "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'" (John 1:32Mark 1:10, "Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'" Several times in the Gospels God the Father appears to say how glad he is with his Son, Jesus Christ. The Transfiguration was another instance, where Jesus was glorified, and Moses appeared with Elijah before him - God proceeded to speak. (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36, 2nd Peter 1:16-18Matthew 3:16 discusses the same event of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus, "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him." (The word alight means to settle or stay after descending.) The Holy Spirit is just as important as the Father and the Son. The Father is the figurehead of the Trinity - the Son is the one who died for the past, present, and future sins of humanity - and the Holy Spirit is the one who dwells within us, and if we only pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the Lord will work in and through us.

This concludes the series on "The Holy Trinity." Thank you for taking the time to read this entry of "The Truth," I trust it has been enjoyable, informative, and insightful. You may email, visit the facebook page, or comment below if you have anything you would like to ask, a comment, a concern, or what have you. May God bless you, reader, wherever and whomever you may be. Troy Hillman

Previous Entry: "The Holy Trinity" (Part Two)

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