DISCIPLESHIP CLASS NO 9
(No notes for number 8 - spent examining Articles of War)
Don't forget to look up the Scripture references.
THE SCRIPTURAL CONTRAST OF THE REVELATION
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD & NEW TESTAMENTS
What we must continually remember is, that we are trying to understand the Great Creator of the whole universe, with what is, in essence, a part of His creation, the human brain. We are trying to understand the infinite, with the finite!
There is a sense in which the whole of the Old Testament points us forward to the coming of the Messiah, and the new dispensation, that would one day dawn! So in a sense, they were trying to describe something completely beyond their comprehension!
"OUR GOD IS ONE LORD!"
(Deut 4:35, 6:4)
The Israelites were of course MONOTHEISTIC. In other words they believed in ONE SUPREME BEING - JEHOVAH!
To say any other was indeed looked upon as
This is why they took such exception to Jesus proclaiming Himself to be the SON OF GOD! They felt such a thing to be absolutely impossible - even ridiculous! (Matt. 26:63-65)
The idea of THE TRINITY was totally foreign to them. The concept is difficult enough for the Christian, even with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to be able to grasp and understand, let alone those whose revelation of God was very sparse and undeveloped. (1 John 5:7)
To my mind it is something of a miracle, that with this background, the story of creation begins - "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." (Genesis 1:26)
THE SPIRIT'S PERSONALITY
Although the Jews believed in a Spirit of God, they did not believe in the Holy Spirit as a PERSON. When they spoke about the Spirit of God, as in v.2 of Genesis 1, they were speaking more about Jehovah acting or working in a certain way, and the power which He exercised. They were unaware of the PERSON of God the Holy Spirit acting upon their lives. The new revelation of the Spirit as actually being God's presence on earth, was a foreign concept, and the thought of Him not only leading, but SPEAKING, (Acts 10:19-20, 13:2, 16:6) would have been nothing less than mind boggling for them.
The New Testament believers, would never for a moment have contemplated referring to the Holy Spirit as 'IT'; He was every bit as much a Person, as was the Lord Jesus Christ, or God the Father! (John 14:16-18)
When in the Old Testament, they spoke of the Spirit of God coming upon Samson, and giving him his great ability (Judges 14:6), they had no vision of the person of the Holy Spirit coming upon him, but simply the FORCE or POWER of God resting upon him.
Of course with our knowledge of God the Spirit today, we are much more aware of what was happening, and how in so many instances, the person recording the events, was Divinely inspired, and given an insight which perhaps the writer did not have, through the learning and awareness of his day. (Numbers 11:25, 24:2, Judges 3:10,6:34, 1 Samuel 10:10, 16:13, 19:20)
THE SPIRIT'S INFILLING
In the Old Testament, under the OLD
COVENANT, God's Holy Spirit came upon
men in a temporary fashion. It was not usual for Him to ENTER INTO THEM AND FILL THEM IN A
CONTINUAL WAY, AS IS POSSIBLE TODAY.
That first took place in Acts chapter 2, at the birth of the Church, and was what Jesus had promised in Acts 1:8. Jesus told His disciples, "He dwelleth with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU." (John 14:17)
WE have come a
long way, from the Old Testament idea of God's power moving upon us, to "Being filled with all the fullness
(Acts 4:8, 9:17, 13:9, Ephesians 3:19, 5:18)
Bible theologians tell us we are living in the "DISPENSATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT".
It is therefore essential, that in our own lives, we are not only conversant with the teachings of the Holy Spirit in relation to ourselves, but that we seek to experience all that God has provided for us in these days.
HOW RESPONSIVE ARE WE?
There is a fantastic verse in Judges 13:25,
where is speaks about the young Samson,
and it says, "The Spirit of the Lord began to move him."
Some of you know exactly what that means, because you have on occasions felt the Spirit of God 'begin to move' you. If we are to allow Him to have full sway in our lives, we must learn to trust His leading - as someone once put it - we must "let go, and let God!"
Remember what we said in an earlier class - it is NOT how much of Him we have - it is rather how much of us He has!
Remember, the limitations of today's experience, are no good for tomorrow. Our experience of the Lord must grow from day to day. If we feel we have not taken a further step in our walk with the Lord, then we have actually gone back, because it's a bit like being on an escalator that's going down, while we're going up - we can't afford to stand still!
God knows exactly what you and I need in our walk with Him, and it's there, waiting to be claimed!
SPEND TIME IN SEEKING HIM FOR ALL OF HIS FULLNESS - HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU!
IT IS ALL PART OF THE PATH OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP.