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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1989

 The Holy Spirit

That Adam was, originally, made a partaker of the Holy Spirit is quite evident to the writer from Genesis 2:7, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” If those words were interpreted in the light of the Analogy of Faith, they can mean nothing less than that the Triune God imparted the Holy Spirit unto the first man. In Ezekiel 37 we have a vivid parabolic picture of the regenerating of spiritual Israel. There we are told, “Prophesy unto the Wind, prophesy,son of man, and say to the Wind, Thus saith the LORD God, Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe upon these slain,that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the Breath came unto them, and they lived” (vv. 9, 10). Again, we find the Savior, after His resurrection, “Breathed on them (the Apostles), and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22): that was the counterpart of Genesis 2:7: the one the original gift, the other the restoration of what was lost.

The Old Testament saints had far more in common with the New
Testament saints than is generally supposed.A verse which has been grossly perverted by many of our moderns is John 7:39, “The Holy Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” It seems passing strange that with the Old Testament in their hands, some men should place the construction which they do upon those words. The words “was not yet given” can no more be understood absolutely than “Enoch was not” (Gen. 5:24); they simply mean that the Spirit had not yet been given in His full administrative authority. He was not yet publicly manifested here on earth. All believers, in every age, had been sanctified and comforted by Him, but the “ministration of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:8) was not at that time fully introduced; the outpouring of the Spirit, in the plentitude of His miraculous gifts,had not then taken place.

Let us next observe the relation of the Holy Spirit unto the nation of Israel. A very striking and comprehensive statement was made by Nehemiah, when he reviewed the Lord’s dealings with His people of old: “Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them” (Neh. 9:20). He was, until quenched, upon the members of the Sanhedrin (Num. 11:16, 17). He came upon the judges (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 15:14), upon the kings (1 Sam. 11:6; 16:13), and the Prophets. But note it is a great mistake to say, as
many have done, that the Holy Spirit was never in any believer before Pentecost: Numbers 27:18, Nehemiah 9:30, 1 Peter 1:11 clearly prove otherwise. But alas, Israel “rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit” (Isa. 63:10), as Stephen declared, “Ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).

That the Holy Spirit indwelt saints under the Legal economy is clear from many considerations: how otherwise could they have been regenerated, had faith, been enabled to perform works acceptable to God? The Spirit prompted true prayer, inspired spiritual worship, produced His fruit in the lives of believers then (see Zech. 4:6) as much as He does now. We have “the same Spirit of faith” (2 Cor. 4:13) as they had. All the spiritual good which has ever been wrought in and through men must be ascribed unto the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was given to the Old Testament saints prospectively, as pardon of sin was given in view of the satisfaction
which Christ was to render unto God.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). This verse presents to us another aspect of the varied work of the blessed Holy Spirit. In addition to all His other functions, He performs the office of Guide unto the godly.Nor is this peculiar to the present dispensation: He so ministered during the Old Testament times. This is brought out clearly in Isaiah 63, “Where is He that brought them up out of the Sea with the shepherd of His flock? where is He that put His holy Spirit within him? That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an
everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a glorious name”(vv. 11-14). Moses was no more able, by his own power, to induce the Hebrews to pass between the divided waters of the Red Sea and to cross the trackless desert, than by the mere extending of the rod he could divide those waters. Moses was simply the human
instrument: the Holy Spirit was the efficient Agent.

It is well known to some of our readers that during the last generation many earnest souls have been deeply exercised by what is known as “the Pentecostal movement,” and the question is frequently raised as to whether or not the strange power displayed in their meetings, issuing in unintelligible sounds called “tongues,” is the genuine gift of the Spirit. Those who have joined the movement—some of them godly souls, we believe—insist that not only is the gift genuine, but it is the duty of all Christians to seek
the same. But surely such seem to overlook the fact that it was not any “unknown tongue” which was spoken by the Apostles:foreigners who heard them had no difficulty in understanding what was said (Acts 2:8).If what has just been said be not sufficient, then let our appeal be unto 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. God has now fully revealed His mind
to us: all that we need to “thoroughly furnish” us “unto all good works” is already in our hands! Personally the writer would not take the trouble to walk into the next room to hear any person deliver a message which he claimed was inspired by the Holy Spirit;with the completed Scriptures in our possession, nothing more is required except for the Spirit to interpret and apply them. Let it
also be duly observed that there is not a single exhortation in all the Epistles of the New Testament that the saints should seek “a fresh Pentecost,” no, not even to the carnal Corinthians or the legal Galatians.



 2010/2/18 22:40Profile

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