Part 1: The Holy Ghost Incognito
It may seem odd to think of the Holy Ghost in transition. After all, isn’t he God? Yes, the Holy Ghost is one of three distinct persons who are God. The word of God describes this phenomenon as “The Godhead”.
Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Within the Godhead resides a distinct personality who is identified in the word of God as the Father. He is a person in every sense of the word. He is the person in the Godhead who makes the plans. His will is all important to the other two members of the Godhead and it should be to us. Also within the Godhead is the person of Jehovah God who is the creator. He is the person who was made flesh and of whom the gospels and epistles bear witness.
Both the Father and Jehovah God are identifiable as distinct persons in the Old Testament. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one, Isaiah 57:15.
The third person named and described in our bible is the Holy Ghost. As English speakers we have an advantage over many languages. In most languages the terms Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost are the same. This has led to some confusion in distinguishing when the Third Person of the Godhead is singled out as a distinct person and when the term spirit is describing a working of the Godhead. For example, And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, Genesis 1:2. In this passage the common Spirit called the Spirit of God shared by all of the Godhead moved upon the waters.
We know that there are seven Spirits of God, (Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6). Throughout the word of God those seven Spirits manifest themselves many ways and with many titles but should not be confused with the Holy Ghost.
All Germanic tongues use the term Holy Ghost in one form or another. For example, Anglo Saxon used the term “Halig Geist”. It is unique to Germanic tongues such as Dutch, German, Afrikaans, and English (which is a Germanic Tongue). For readers in these languages the work of distinguishing between a spiritual working of God and the person of the Holy Ghost is done for them.
With that being understood, the term Holy Ghost is never used in the Old Testament. We will see that he worked throughout the Old Testament but was never singled out and named. For those who are still having trouble separating the terms Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost, think about the twelve disciples of John the Baptist who the Apostle Paul met outside of the synagogue in Ephesus. Paul acknowledged that they believed; He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, Acts 19:2a. Their response says a lot; And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, Acts 19:2b.
Is it feasible that anyone could have been a disciple of John the Baptist, traveled in a group of 12 men who apparently visited synagogues, and yet never opened the scriptures? If what Paul asked them about was the general term Holy Spirit or Spirit of God, how could any person who was even vaguely familiar with the Hebrew scriptures not be aware of that? But, if the Apostle Paul was speaking of a distinct person who had begun openly ministering to believers but was never called out by name in that Old Testament, their answer makes perfect sense.
To understand this study and to understand the work of the Holy Ghost as he transitioned how he operated in the affairs of men it is necessary to believe that a King James Bible is perfect and that every word means exactly what it says. In the Old Testament we are told that the Holy Ghost was the author or moving force in giving us scripture But, he worked behind the scenes and was never manifest as an individual person in the same way that the Father and Jehovah God were manifest.
Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
Hebrews 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Hebrews 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
Hebrews 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
Hebrews 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
The Apostle Paul quoted the 95th Psalm. By every appearance it is a typical psalm written by a prophet of that day, and yet Paul said that he was quoting the Holy Ghost. Indeed he was. The Apostle Peter explained that when he said; For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2nd Peter 1:21.
In our King James Bible the Holy Ghost is part of the Godhead. He is a distinct person in his own right. He worked throughout the Old Testament but was never outright named so that a person confined to only the Old Testament would not be able to single him out. We will see that as the Gospel record of Jesus Christ unfolds, the work and presence of the Holy Ghost makes a transition.