Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Working of the Ruach Kodesh

Throughout my life, I have subscribed to many misconceptions as to the purpose and intent of the giving of the Holy Spirit. For the longest time, I mostly associated it with emotional release, holding to that understanding and refusing to take a deeper look. I have given the Holy Ghost credit for revelations that in reality were my own self-righteous attempts to elevate myself above other believers. I have treated It as the miracle cure that I expected to take away all my problems and make my walk with God easier. However, it was not until I began to study what Scripture teaches about the purpose and intent of the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit), that I began to understand the benefit of It in my relationship with the Creator.

I believe the best way to avoid misconceptions and misunderstanding is to firmly stand on the authoritative record of Scripture. As David wrote in Psalm 119:89 [LAMED] “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” At the time when David wrote the Psalms, the Word of God he referred to (and wrote Psalm 119 in adoration of) was the Torah, which became the foundation of the prophets' actions, words and writings. The Torah and prophets were the foundation for the life and teachings of Messiah. The Torah and the prophets coupled with the life and teachings of Messiah became the foundation of the Apostles—the same foundation that has been passed on to us through their writings.

It was in the Torah where the record of God anointing Moishe (Moses) with the Holy Spirit, which was also given to the 70 elders of Israel to assist them in teaching Torah to Israel. (Numbers 11) There are many accounts of the Holy Spirit active in the lives of those who loved God and sought to live by his commandments, from Yehowshuwa' (Joshua), to David, to the prophets which wrote of the time when the finished work and sacrifice of Messiah would pave the way for God's Spirit to be freely given to all nations of the world drawing them into a right relationship with Him.

The foundation of the prophets is important in establishing a clear picture of the work of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the New Testament. Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) wrote (31:33) “But this shall be the covenant [literally: sacrifice] that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put [literally: cause to receive] my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The Hebrew idiom translated as “write it in their hearts” refers to God's Spirit becoming so ingrained in our heart, (our decision-making center) that we will not deviate from It's guidance.

Yechezqe'l (Ezekiel) expressed the same concept this way: (36:26-27) “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” The intent in God freely giving humanity His Holy Spirit was to encourage and enable us to live by and keep the statutes and judgments of His Torah.

The same understanding is seen in the Apostolic writings. Sha'ul (Paul) wrote in Galatians 5:16, 18 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...but if ye be led of the Spirit, you are not under the Torah.” [literally: subject to punishment from transgressing Torah] According to Paul, the opposite of walking (living) in the Spirit is to live a life in opposition to the commandments of God.

Yochanan (John) the beloved as a disciple of Messiah, gave a clear summary of the purpose and intent of the Holy Spirit in our lives: (1 Jn. 3:24) “And he that keeps his commandments dwells in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” The purpose and intent of God giving humanity His Holy Spirit was to draw all men into a right relationship with Him, which culminates in our loving and serving God. 1 John 5: 3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Shalom to you and yours.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Have you read Francis Chan's "Forgotten God" ? It changed the way I communicate with the Spirit, and see the importance in my life.
    Your post makes me think of the importance of the gift of the Spirit in the Old Testament. I think I usually concentrate on the New Testament, because it seems like Jesus was an usher for the Holy Spirit. I know the Spirit was made real to Moses, the 70 elders, etc. but it seems like that was all in preparation to usher us in to a relationship with the Spirit, and make it Holy. The problem is it has become so come in our churchy language, that it is no longer Holy. I love that Jesus tells the disciples that an advocate will come, (Holy Spirit) on behalf of Jesus, and it takes three personal visits from Jesus, Emmaus, in the upper room, and finally the place where Jesus found them at the beginning of their ministry, fishing on the shore, for them to realize the importance of the Holy Spirit. From there on the day of Pentecost, their lives are changed, they are no longer fishing, they are the reason you and I know about Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
    If it were not for the Holy Spirit we would not have a relationship with God or Jesus Christ, the Spirit is probably the most ignored of the Trinity, and really is the most important, without the you and I don't even know about the other two.