The Holy Spirit Hasn’t Changed

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As Desiree and I worked on The Holy Spirit of the Bible, a central message began to take form: the Holy Spirit hasn’t changed. He is the same Spirit that was at work as far back as the Old Testament takes us. This is particularly significant for Christians to understand who dismiss the complete work of the Holy Spirit because of confusion over Acts 2 and Pentecost.

I was reminded of this reality once again today as I read Numbers 11. Moses is exhausted, frustrated and burned out as he faces the reality of leading the children of Israel. As Moses brings his frustration to the LORD, God responds by offering to Moses to “take some of the Spirit that is upon him” and distribute it upon the Elders of the 12 tribes. Look at what happens as the Spirit of God, very early on in the Bible, falls on His people:

“…it came to pass, that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied.” Some sources state that this was a one-time occurrence. Other biblical texts state that they prophesied and “continued to do so.” The point is that the Spirit of God behaved here as He did elsewhere in the Old Testament, as well as in Acts 2, as well as in the rest of the New Testament, as well as He does today. God has not changed, nor has Jesus’s intent for us through His Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, the people’s response to this activity of the Holy Spirit resembles what it often looks like today:

Eldad and Medad, two of the Elders on whom the Spirit had fallen, were prophesying out among the people. “Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, ‘Moses, my lord, restrain them.’ But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!'” Numbers 11:25-29

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, reiterates the same exact sentiment when he states, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…One who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now, I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy…”

Many Christians believe that a transition happened after the first century, once the last of the disciples(turned apostles) died off, and that the Holy Spirit stopped being needed in the capacity Jesus told us we would need Him. The Bible, however, doesn’t indicate at all that such a transition would happen.

If there is any sort of transition identified in Scripture, it is between the Old and New Testaments, where Jesus changed how we interact with God. If there is any sort of delineator in the Bible between God’s former and current approach, it is hinged upon the work of Jesus Christ.

And while this, THE transition of all history, does change the access we have to the Spirit of God, it does not change Him, His attributes, or His behaviors as recorded in the Bible.

 

One thought on “The Holy Spirit Hasn’t Changed

  1. Pamela Vitale

    I finished reading “The Holy Spirit of the Bible” and am now reading it again while underlining items that really stood out. I was not raised in a church, although went to the Methodist church for a while as a child. My church background has been (since my mid 20’s and now late 50’s) in a Pentecostal church. However, only in the past 6 years have I opened up my heart to truly seek a meaningful relationship with my Father. Your book is definitely well written in an approach that is safe for those Christians who shy away from the working of the Holy Spirit. We must yearn to know our Father in a more deeper personal way. Your statement “When we yield ourselves to God and He empowers and works through us, we start to understand, to the extent our human faculties allow, the heart of God and the working of the Holy Spirit. God becomes very real to us at that point”. Personally, I would have to say that God has slowly become real to me in the past six years and very real to me this past year and a half. At various times when I am just quiet and listening for that still, small voice; I have received very personal and inspiring messages for our church and myself. I am so excited and encouraged that my Father wants to commune with me personally through the Holy Spirit. Once a person experiences that level of intimacy, he/she will never want to go back to the “religion” they previously had. I am still in awe of the relationship we can have if we are obedient and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Thanks so much for writing this book. My prayer is that others will “stumble” upon your book and be curious, as I was, and not be threatened when they hear the word “Holy Spirit” This e-book was well worth the money.

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