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We review a few more aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. We conclude, noting that Old Testament ministry was glorious. New Testament ministry is to be more glorious. We must expect greater glory, greater manifestations of the Spirit in our time!
Duration:2 hrs 39 mins 10 secs
Last Sunday we began to explore the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. We stated, that while the Testaments have changed, the Spirit of God is still the same. He is able to do what He has done and even more!

The same Holy Spirit who worked in the Old Testament also worked in the time of Jesus, and in the Early Church and is at work today. The Holy Spirit did not change across the Testaments. However, the way in which He worked in the Old Testament, differs, from the way in which He works under the New Covenant. In OT He came on few individuals for particular reasons. He moved upon them guiding, directing and encouraging. He did not reside with them permanently. He ministered through prophets, judges, kings & few other individuals. In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer, and empowers every believer.

Today we cover a few more selected references to the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and then close with what we have been promised as believers under the New Covenant.

Elijah & Elisha
Elijah was prophet during the reign of Ahab and Ahaziah. Later, as instructed by the Lord he anointed Elisha as his successor.

We see some amazing things about the work of the Spirit in the lives of these prophets. Just a few highlights here:

Elijah ran faster than horses, when the hand of the Lord (that is the empowering of the Holy Spirit) came upon him. The Holy Spirit can supernaturally empower our physical bodies.
1 Kings 18:45,46
45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.
46 Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Three kings, of Israel, Judah, and Edom came to the prophet Elisha wishing to hear the word of the Lord. Elisha called for a musician and then, as the musician played the hand of the Lord came upon him enabling him to prophesy. So we see here, how the right kind of music can activate the flow of the prophetic.
2 Kings 3:14-16
14 And Elisha said, "As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.
15 But now bring me a musician." Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
16 And he said, "Thus says the LORD:...

The gifts of revelation (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits) were operating powerfully in these two prophets. We see one example in Elisha, where he was able to speak to the king of Israel and reveal the secret battle plans of the Syria.
2 Kings 6:8-12
8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, "My camp will be in such and such a place."
9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there."
10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?"
12 And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."

We learn some very important aspects about "impartation" and "transfer" of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist
 
  • We see that Elisha received and walked in a double portion of the anointing that Elijah walked in. There are exactly twice as many recorded miracles through Elisha as through Elijah. So we learn,
(A) that there are different "measures of the anointing", or as we said last week when talking about Moses and his seventy elders, different "levels of empowerment" coming from the Holy Spirit. Jesus walked in the "Spirit without measure" (John 3:34).
(B) as Elisha did, we can desire and receive increased measures of the anointing from God, and grow in different dimensions of the anointing.
(C) association with people sets us up for impartation of the similar kind of grace and anointing. But all anointing comes directly from God and is dependent on our personal walk with God. "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven." (John 3:27)
  • John the Baptist walked in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:16,17, Matthew 11:14, Matthew 17:1-12, Malachi 4:5,6), although these two lived several hundreds of years apart. So we learn that
(A) the same kind of anointing can be transferred across time to different individuals. It is really the empowering of the Holy Spirit who never changes.
(B) John the Baptist only walked in one aspect of Elijah's anointing, which was to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord. John the Baptist did not work miraculous as Elijah did. So in transference of the anointing, all or just certain aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit in one persons' life, can be transferred to another person.

Isaiah 59:21
"As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."

God desires that the Word and the Spirit He imparts to one generation, to be passed on to the next generation. We believe that this is God's heart for us today as well. Lets us desire and steward what God has given to us, to the next generation.

Ezekiel
The prophet Ezekiel has amazing experiences with the Spirit of God. We see Ezekiel being "set on his feet", being transported in the spirit, being transported in visions, having feelings/sensations when the hand of the Lord was upon him.
We just look at two references:

Ezekiel 3:14
So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

Ezekiel 37:1
The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.

The Holy Spirit can do these and much more for us in our day and time. We too can have similar experiences in the Spirit.

Zechariah

Zechariah 4:6
So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.

Zerubbael was part of the leadership that was responsible for the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian captivity. Zechariah delivers a prophetic word, that Zerubbabel will complete this assignment empowered by the Spirit.

We learn that the Holy Spirit empowers us to complete the assignment given to us by God, no matter how big, how difficult, and regardless of the challenges. Lets learn to depend on the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

There is a lot more in the Old Testament about the person and work of the Holy Spirit and a detailed study will take several weeks to cover. We have only highlighted some Scriptures from the Old Testament.

We'd like to close with what the New Testament states:

2 Corinthians 3:6-8
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,
8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?

Old Testament ministry was glorious. New Testament ministry is to be more glorious. We must expect greater glory!

For us believers in the New Testament, we must expect so much more of the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested through our lives.

More coming up, in the weeks ahead!
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