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The Holy Ghost in Transition Part II

Part 2: The Holy Ghost Revealed

When we reach the pages of the New Testament, we see that the Holy Ghost is no longer hidden behind the scenes. We see that he is plainly spoken of and we see him working towards the birth of Jesus Christ.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost, Matthew 1:18.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, Matthew 1:20.

Matthew 1:20 is the first time ever recorded wherein the term “Holy Ghost” is spoken to anyone. Until then, the third person in the Godhead has worked in the affairs of men but had never been revealed in his own name. From that point on, he will be openly named. John the Baptist freely spoke of the Holy Ghost. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, Matthew 3:11.

To get an idea of the subtle difference between the terms “Spirit of God” and “Holy Ghost”, look at the four places describing what happened when John baptized Jesus Christ. .

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, Matthew 3:16.

And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him, Mark 1:10.

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him, John 1:32.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased, Luke 3:22.

Notice that in the first three accounts we are told what John saw. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. It is told through John’s eyes. In Luke’s account, we see it as it is. We do not see it through John’s eyes, we are plainly told that the Holy Ghost descended. By this we can see that the term “Spirit of God” and Holy Ghost are almost synonymous. To understand the term “Spirit of God”, think of the bible definition of God. God is the eternal being who is revealed to us as three persons who can act independently of one another, but who coexist in perfect harmony of purpose and being.

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of their union. If we examine the seven Spirits of God through the any of the three persons in the Godhead, we will see three distinctly different sets of seven names. If the seven Spirits of God are examined through the person of the Father, they will illustrate works of the Father such as the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15). Likewise, when the Seven spirits of God are examined through the working of Jehovah God, the creator, they bear seven other titles but use a lowercase “s” to identify themselves such as “the spirit of faith”, (2nd Corinthians 4:13). The Spirit of God is associated with the Holy Ghost and is nearly synonymous. When the term “Spirit of God” is used it is the Holy Ghost acting for the entire Godhead.

We must not think of God as if he was a muddle of three persons trying to exercise one title. As God he reigns supreme. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth, Psalm 46:10. There is a perfect unity in the Godhead so that the three can and often operate as one.

All too often people mistake the Godhead for the Father. In a King James Bible, the Father is a distinct person within the Godhead. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Colossians 1:3.

Almost all other versions change that to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so they erase the Father as a distinct person. There are at least five more places (Galatians 1:4, Ephesians 5:20, 1st Thessalonians 4:13, James 1:27) in the King James Bible wherein the Father is distinguished as a person in his own right and dwelling in the Godhead. It is the Father to whom the other two persons look to for direction. Jehovah God does the work, and the Holy Ghost empowers the work and keeps it pure.

That the Spirit of God is named in the Gospels is nothing new to the bible. What is new is that the Holy Ghost is named. His working in the birth of Jesus Christ is revealed. He is revealed in the prophecy of being baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. He is revealed as having told Simeon about the coming Christ. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ, Luke 2:26.

Throughout the gospels we see the Holy Ghost exercising his great ministry of manifesting Jesus Christ. We see that his person and holiness is such that to blaspheme him was unpardonable. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven, Luke 12:10. We also learn that he was not yet given to men in the manner to which he is given in the New Testament. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.), John 7:39.

He was not yet given because a transition needed to take place. Just as Jesus told Philip that the Father was with him; Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?, John 14:9; he also said that the Holy Ghost was there also.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Notice in verse 17 that Jesus says that the Holy Ghost is currently dwelling with them, but shall be in them. That verse led to the canard often quoted by preachers of old that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon people, but in the New Testament the Holy Spirit is in you. Verses that contradict that are numerous throughout the Old Testament and identify the spirit as being within men many times, but false teachings once they take root are difficult to expunge (1st Peter 1:11, Exodus 31:3, Nehemiah 9:30 as examples).

Instead, the Holy Ghost is currently with them in the same way that the Father is with them. The flesh of Jesus Christ is composed of all that is God; For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Colossians 1:9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9. Wherever Jesus Christ dwelt, the Holy Ghost dwelt. Jesus Christ explained that to his disciples when he said, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you, vs 18.

Simply put, a transition was needed before men could receive the Holy Ghost as he is received today. As John 7:39 had said, the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus Christ was not yet glorified. Jesus spoke of that coming in more than one place.

John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

John 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

John 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Jesus Christ spoke of a future ministry of the Holy Ghost. A transition was coming. We will see that the Apostles were given the Holy Ghost twice. In our next section we will explore that and by doing so will learn much.

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Oct 05, 2023

I pray that among others, John 16:7 will be explored in the next section:

John 16:7

Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

It is expedient for you that I go away:

for if I go not away,

the Comforter will not come unto you;

but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

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