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Lesson 48 of 50 - Theology (part eight of ten)
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Theology (part eight): Pnuematology, the Study of the Holy Spirit

Pneumatology - The Study of the Holy Spirit

Pneuma (pneuma)is the Greek word for spirit, breath or wind.  The Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit is a person and is known to be the third member of the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is not an object, a power or a personification.  The Scriptures reveal that the Holy Spirit has intelligence, exhibits feelings, has a will, demonstrates all the divine attributes, is active in doing the work of deity including the work of salvation and the empowering of believers with spiritual gifts.

Scriptural Definition of the Holy Spirit


Member of the Trinity

Matt. 3:16-17; John 14:16; Acts 10:38

He has Intelligence

Is. 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 2:13, 10-11

He shows feelings

Eph. 4:30; Rom. 15;30; Acts 7:51; Isaiah 63:10

He has a will

1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 16:6-11

He can be obeyed

Acts 10:19-21

He can be lied to

Acts 5:3

He can be blasphemed

Matt. 12:31

He can be insulted

Heb. 10:29

He convicts

John 16:8

He guides

John 16:13

He relates to other persons

Acts 15:28; John 16:14; 2 Cor. 13:14;

The neuter word pneuma is
used with the masculine pronoun “he”

John 16:13-14

Names and Titles

Holy Spirit

Matt. 1:20; Luke 11:13; John 20:22; Acts 1:5

Holy One

1 John 2:20

Spirit of Holiness

Romans 1:4

Spirit of Grace

Heb. 10:29

Spirit of Truth

John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13, Hebrews 10:29

Spirit of Grace and Supplication

Zechariah 12:10

Spirit of Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel

Isaiah 11:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; 1 Cor. 2:10-13

Spirit of Glory

1 Peter 4:14; Psalm 145:5


John 14:16; 16:7

One Spirit

Eph. 4:4

Seven Spirits

Rev. 1:4; 3:1

The Lord, who is the Spirit

2 Cor. 3:18

Spirit of Truth

John 14:17

Sprit of Might

Isaiah 11:2

Divine Attributes

“another helper” is allos – another of the same kind and is not heteros – another of a different kind

Jphn 14:16


Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:18


Isaiah 40:13; 1 Cor. 2:12; John 14:26;16:13; 1 Cor. 2:10


Psalm 139:7


Job 33:4; Ps. 104:30; Rom. 15:19


Hebrews 9:14


Acts 1:8


1 John 5:6


Nehemiah 9:20

YHWH’s words in OT are assigned to
 the Holy Spirit in the NT

Isaiah 6:8-10 and Acts 28:25-27;
Jeremiah 31-34 and Hebrews 10:15-17

Divine Work


Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13

Inspired Scripture

2 Peter 1:21

Empowered the Conception of Jesus

Luke 1:35

Convicts of sin

John 16:8;

Regenerates in the New Birth

John 3:5-6


John 14:16-17; 16:7, 12-14


John 16:12-14; 1 Corinthians 2:13

Enlightens or Illuminates

Ephesians 1:17; Hebrews 6:4

Assures Salvation

Romans 8:15

Resurrected Jesus

Romans 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18


Acts 13:4


Romans 8:23; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30

Work in Salvation


The Holy Spirit causes the new birth and brings eternal life

John 3:3-8; 6:63; Titus 3:5


The Holy Spirit lives in each believer. With out the Holy Spirit’s indwelling the person can not be regenerated, or born again

John 14:17;
Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19


Jesus baptizes the believers in the Holy Spirit forming one body

Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8;
Luke 3:16;1 Co.12:13


A seal is placed on the believer by God by with the presence of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing the salvation and the final work of redemption

2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Romans 8:16


Filling of the believer involves the believer’s volition.   The command be filled with the Spirit is in the imperative mood (For example, Baptizing and Sealing of the Holy Spirit are done to the believer at salvation.)  After the point of the Spirit the believer is told to be filled with the Spirit.  The filling of the Spirit results in fellowship, growth and good works:

  • Fellowship - Staying in fellowship with God and walking in the light (the Spirit). (1 Jn. 1:6-7; Ep. 5:18-19)
  • Maturing - Growing and maturing in God or walking in the word (the Son). (Col. 3:16)
  • Spiritual Works - Using spiritual gifts and doing good works prepared in advance by God (the workmanship of God the Father) (1 Cor. 12:6; Ep.2:10; Col. 3:17)

Acts 13:9; 5:18; 4:31; 6:3; 9:17; 11:24;
Ephesians 5:18-19


Believers also need to allow the Spirit to lead them

Galatians 5:16, 25;
Acts 13:2; 15:7-9;
Romans 8:14


The presence of the Spirit in a believer’s life will provide strength to overcome the world and the Devil

Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:17-18, 22-23


Jesus told the disciples the Holy Spirit would come and teach them

John 14:26; 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 27


Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach.  It can also mean breath, wind, breeze. It is a word that refers to the atmosphere and notably to the wind. The ruach, or wind, is an invisible, irresistible power, sometimes harsh and destructive and sometimes gentle and beneficial.

Just as man was given and possesses a “breath” or “ruach”, God was described as having “breath” or “ruach.”

Old Testament Phrases or Names that Identified the Holy Spirit

  • The Spirit of the Lord was an expression for God’s power.  It was the extension of himself that resulted in many of the might deeds of God in the Old Testament

“The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have town a young goat.”  Judges 14:6

“Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became very angry.” 1 Samuel 11:6

  1. The hand of God


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech.” Psalms 19:1

 “In the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of
your hands.” Psalms 102:25

  1. The word of God


“By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6
“He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.” Psalm 147:15

            “He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes and the waters flow.”
Psalm 147:18

  1. The wisdom of God (Exodus 28:3; 1 Kings 3:28; Job 32:8)
  2. The spirit of prophecy in that the Holy Spirit was the motivating force that caused the prophets to hear and speak.
    1. The Holy Spirit brought them revelation 

“The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah “ Jeremiah 43:8

    1. This is identified by the prophet’s familiar opening statement: “Thus saith the Lord.”
    2. Numbers 11:17
    3. 1 Samuel 16:15
    4. Micah 3:8
    5. Ezekiel 2:2

In Creation

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless, and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1,2 

The word “hovering” is a term that gives the figure of a brooding or hovering bird over its nest of hatching eggs. The Spirit was moving like a wind on the dark, empty, dead earth. The Spirit was working on preparing and arranging the chaotic elements for the recreated earth. This event is in Paul’s mind when he writes to the Corinthians:
“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”                                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 4:6, 7

Other verses that identify the Holy Spirit in the act of creation:

“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

“When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”
                                                                                                                        Psalm 104:30

“If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish         together and man would return to the dust.” Job 34: 14, 15

From Adam to Abraham
In the first 11 chapters of the Bible, the days known as the age of the Gentiles, there are 5 direct references to the Holy Spirit.  It was during this 2,000 year period before Abraham and the Jews that some foundational truths of the Spirit of God were revealed and recorded.

These next verses indicate what had been revealed and understood about the work of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of time.

  1. Genesis 1:2
    1. Reveals the Holy Spirit was involved in:
      • Creating the earth
      • Changing ultimate chaos into perfectly arranged order
      • Bringing life and hope to death and darkness.
  1. Job 26:13, “By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.”
    1. The book of Job occurred near the time of Abraham.  There are three references to the Holy Spirit in the book of Job
    2. “skies became clear” is a reference to Genesis 1:2
    3. “gliding serpent” is a reference usually taken to refer to the Milky Way.
    4. This shows the Spirit’s direct hand in the work of the material universe.
  2. Genesis 6:3, “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
    1. In the days of Noah the Spirit of God was trying to draw all men back to him.  The Spirit did this in a variety of ways that we know:
      • The preaching of  Noah (1 Peter 3:19, 20)
      • The inward checks and the law written on their hearts (Rm. 2:15)
    1. Point One:  The Spirit strives with sinners to turn them to God
    2. Point Two:  The Spirit will eventually stop calling each individual and group back to himself.  There is an ending point to the Spirit’s work of urging men to repent.


“The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. . . Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!” Hosea 4:16,17

    1. Point Three:  Man is mortal (also translated, “flesh”) and is naturally opposed to the immortal Holy Spirit.  It is simply natural and must be accepted that many men will resist the Spirit’s work.  Grace is not an eternal option.  In every case the day of opportunity passes.
    2. The word “contend” (Gn. 6:3, NIV)  also means “strive” with, “rules” in or is “humbled” in. In his 1870 book Old Testament Word Studies, Wilson gives the meaning of this Hebrew word as “to judge, contend, to be at strife.  Most of the ancient versions give it the sense of remaining or dwelling.  Gen. 6:3 may be translated, ‘My spirit shall not always be despised by man, i.e. I will not suffer my spirit, admonishing them and pleading with them by the prophets, to be perpetually neglected, I will punish them.”  More modern studies of etymology show the meaning of “contend” to be better translated as “continue” or “last”.  The Septuagint and the Vulgate confirm this.  This makes more sense of the context and fits the whole theology of the Holy Spirit than the word “strive.”


  1. Job 27:3 and 33:4, “As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils . . .The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
    1. Human life is totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit of God.

The Revealer of Truth
As we have studied the Spirit of God is the source of the written word and the power of illumination to understanding of that written word. We will understand now that the Holy Spirit is the one who produces and provides all communication from God to men.  God sends his word. Jesus is that word. The Spirit empowers man to perceive that word.  The Holy Spirit is part of the communication process.

God spoke to men during the days of Adam to Abraham.

  1. God spoke with Adam
  2. God spoke with Cain
  3. God spoke with Noah
  4. The knowledge of why Abel’s offering was acceptable and Cain’s was rejected had been previously taught and communicated to the first generations on earth.
  5. The book of Job has many highly developed truths of doctrine including Creation, redemption and the Redeemer, righteousness, and end times.  This is the first book written.  Meaning, all these doctrines had been known and developed but scripture was not yet available.  How?  The Holy Spirit.
  6. Melchizedek, a Gentile priest and king, approached Abraham with wine and bread as a priest of God Most High.
  7. Genesis 26:5 says, “Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”  Have you ever wondered how he knew them?  Moses wasn’t going to live for another 600 years.  This is from the twenty-sixth chapter of Genesis and the Law had not yet been given to Moses.  Noah, in the sixth chapter of Genesis, and the tenth generation was a preacher of righteousness.

A distinction can be made between:

    • a thing revealed from God which calls for no proclamation or publication
    • a revelation from God which anticipates its publication

God spoke to non-prophets like Eve, Cain, Hagar, etc. with no command to have all his words recorded.  The prophets were expected to communicate the message to others. It would appear then that one of the distinctions of a prophet from one who is not a prophet is not that they hear from God but that they are instructed to communicate that message to others.  The word nabi is the Hebrew word for prophet and its meaning indicates a person who brings something to people, not a person who receives something from God.

The Spirit of God is the source of Scripture which is the full revelation of God.  The scripture is complete, but the completion of the Scripture does not change the Holy Spirit’s ministry of empowering men to understand God. The Holy Spirit works with the other members of the Trinity in the process to communicate with man.

It is accurate to say that no man will again be called on to receive a revelation from God that should be published along side or as equal to the Scriptures. It also appears to be accurate to say that people will always be communicated to by the Holy Spirit in a variety of ways to reveal to them things they need know but things that are not intended for proclamation or publication.

The Holy Spirit’s Work in Men in the Old Testament
Jesus lived under the Old Testament.  The gospels are in our New Testament, but the events in the four gospels occurred under the old covenant and not during the church age.  A very important verse concerning the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament (covenant) in comparison to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (covenant) is found in John 7:37-39:

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Phrases like “will flow”, “were later to receive”, “the Spirit had not been given”, “Jesus had not yet been glorified”, all point to an event that will occur in the future.  A certain condition had not yet existed or been experienced that was only later to be part of man’s experience with the Holy Spirit.  This change will be discussed in the study of the New Testament and the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s work in the heart of man and with man in the Old Testament was different from what we would experience in the New Covenant. 

Points of Doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit in Men in the Old Testament

    • In the Old Testament the Spirit was not given to all people.  The Spirit was given to men for some service assigned to them.  It is never said that all of Israel received the Spirit.
          • Bezaleel – Exodus 31:3
          • Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah – Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29
          • David – 1 Samuel 16:13
          • Prophets – 1 Peter 1:10-11
    • The Spirit was temporarily given and could be withdrawn
          • Samson – Judges 13:25; 16:20
          • Saul – 1 Samuel 10:10; 16:14
          • David –
              • In Psalm 51:11, David pleads with God not to withdraw His Holy Spirit after he had sinned with Bathsheba and killed Uriah
              • This kind of prayer is never found in the New Testament
              • John 14:16 Jesus says, “He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”
                • Ezekiel – Ezekiel 2:2; 3:24;
                • Others – 1 Samuel 19:20; 1 Chronicles 12:18; 2 Chronicles 20:14
    • Before the cross and Pentecost the Spirit could not do in men what he does now.
          • He could not raise them up with Him
          • He could not bake them members of the Body of Christ
          • He could not baptize them into one Body
          • He could not live eternally with them
          • In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit could be with individuals, come upon them, clothe them, even be in them but he could not change their nature and dwell in them forever.  Jesus death on the cross has purified us from sin.  Since the atonement has historically been accomplished, the Spirit of God can live in men. (Numbers 27:18; 1 Peter 1:11; Exodus 31:3; Micah 3:8; Luke 1:41; 1:67; Numbers 11:25)
    • The Spirit worked within the nation of Israel
          • Haggai 2:4, 5 – “This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt.  And my Spirit remains among you.”
          • Nehemiah 9:20, 30 – “You gave your good Spirit to instruct them . . . By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets.”
          • “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy . . .Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them . . .”
    • The Spirit moved in the lives of the men when he wished
          • Balaam – Numbers 24:2
          • Saul and his men – 1 Samuel 19:20-23

Imparting of Powers for Service
Most of the Old Testament passages that mention the Holy Spirit deal with people being empowered for service. When these verses are studied we find the Holy Spirit empowering his chosen people.  It is the Israelites in their mission to establish the kingdom for God that these powers were manifested. The Spirit communicated with the Gentiles before Abraham, but in Israel people were empowered.

This empowerment for acts of service falls into three areas:

  • Powers given to judges and warriors.
  • Wisdom and skill given for various purposes.
  • Prophecy for encouragement, direction and revelation.

Old Testament Powers to Judges and Warriors

    • Othniel, Judges 3:10 -  “The Spirit of Jehovah came upon him and he judged Israel.”
        • When the Spirit came the men did something.  Here the Spirit came and Othniel began to judge. The Spirit did not come upon someone for no reason and with no reason.       
    • Gideon, Judges 6:34, “The Spirit of Jehovah came upon (literally ‘clothed itself with’) Gideon.”
    • Jephthah, Judges 11:29, “The Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah.”
    • Samson, Judges 13:25, “The Spirit of Jehovah began to move.”
    • Samson, Judges 14:6, “The Spirit of Jehovah came mightily upon him.”
    • 1 Samuel 16:14, “The Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him.” 
    • Others - 2 Kings 2:16; Ezekiel 2:1; 3:12


  • Special powers were given to men
  • It was not necessary that these men be moral in character to receive the empowerment
  • The purpose was not personal but concerned:
    • the theocratic kingdom and the establishment, deliverance or maintenance of that kingdom in earth.  
    • the covenant between God and Israel. God was fulfilling his end of the covenant.

Wisdom and Skill Bestowed for Various Purposes
We see a combination of thought, wisdom and skill coming from the Holy Spirit.

    • Bezalel was filled with the Spirit for wisdom and understanding as a metal worker (Exodus 31:2-4; 35:31)
    • Skill is given for the making of Aaron’s garments (Exodus 28:3)
    • Ability is given to the builders of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:14; 2 Chronicles 2:14)
    • Joshua was given leadership ability (Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9)
    • Daniel could interpret dreams and receive governmental authority because of the Spirit in him (Daniel 4:8; 5:11-14; 6:3)
    • Zerubbabel could build the temple by the Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament Prophets and Prophecy
This was the Spirit’s most common and productive work in the Old Covenant.  Early in the Old Testament the man who spoke by the Spirit was a seer (roeh) and later they were called prophets (nabhi).  They bean their message with “This is the word of the Lord” or “The Lord Says.”  The focus of the prophet’s ministry was the nation and not the individual.  Hosea the prophet was called “the watchman over Ephraim.” (Hosea 9:8).  In the earlier days (1 Samuel) the prophets spoke from ecstasy and accompanied by musical instruments (1 Samuel 10; 2 Kings 3:14-15).  Later in the Old Testament the prophetic focus was on teaching and drawing the people back to the Law of Moses. The earlier days required action and deliverance.  The later days of the Old Testament required teaching and a call to righteousness.

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit Led People to Holiness in Character
The very name, Holy Spirit, gives the main focus of his work (Psalm 51:11; Isaiah 63:10).  The inward nature of the Spirit was God’s nature or character.  He is called the “good Spirit” (Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10) and is good because he teaches God’s will (Psalm 143:10).  The Spirit provides the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2-5), righteousness (Isaiah 32:15, 16), devotion to the Lord (Isaiah 44:3-5), and a spirit of repentance and prayer (Zechariah 12:10).

The Old Testament Prophesied the New Covenant
In the Old Testament the Spirit spoke of a future day when his ministry would be intensified.  It included these prophecies:
The Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-29)
The Holy Spirit will be poured out on Israel (Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 39:29; 36:26,27; Isaiah 59:19-21)
The Holy Spirit rill remain forever (Isaiah 59:21)
The Holy Spirit will live in the heart of man to renew it and sanctify it (Ezekiel 37:13-14; 36:26, 27; Jeremiah 31:33)
The Holy Spirit will rest upon the Messiah who is the Mediator of this New Covenant. (Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1-4; 61:1).  The Old Testament spoke of:
A Messiah who would be anointed with the Holy Spirit and do a work among the people
A people who would respond to the Messiah and receive this same Holy Spirit.  According to the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Hebrews 8:7-13), this people would:
Be given a new nature – “will put my laws in their minds”
Be given a personal relationship with God – “they will all know me.”
Be removed from the judgment for their sin – “will remember their sins no more.”

Holy Spirit in the Closing of the Old Testament
Zechariah, 520 BC, the second to last book of the Old Testament, says that all God’s works are by his Holy Spirit and not by the efforts of man:

             “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says       the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6

The prophecy in Zechariah’s book gives a comprehensive view of the future history of the Jewish people from 520 BC through the coming of the Messiah and then extends all the way to the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth. (The church age was still a hidden mystery to the prophets in Zechariah’s day.)

Malachi, 430 BC, a contemporary of Nehemiah, lived at a time when Israel had returned from captivity, resettled their land, rebuilt the temple and where once again functioning from Jerusalem under an operating priesthood.  Malachi appeals to the Jews to return to the Lord with:
proper ritual obedience to the Law of Moses
a proper righteous attitude toward God
If they did not return to God, he would not return to them (Malachi 3:7).  The closing comments of his book are:

  1. Remember the Law of Moses (Malachi 4:4)
  2. “I will send you the prophet  Elijah” before the coming of the Lord (Malachi 4:5)

This “Elijah” was to be the next man to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and to bring a message from God to the people.  According to Jesus, the angel Gabriel and the testimony of the writers of the gospel this “Elijah” was John the Baptist (Matthew 11:14; Luke 17:12; Luke 1:15-17).

The Concept of the Holy Spirit Between Malachi and Matthew
(or, between the Old Testament and the New Testament)

Judaism at this time developed the concept that the spirit of prophecy had ceased within Israel at the end of Malachi and the days of Nehemiah.

             “We cannot see any sign for us, we have no prophet now; no one among us knows how log this      is to last.” Psalm 74:9 (written sometime after 586 BC)

             “They therefore pulled down the altar, and stored away the stones in a suitable place on the            temple hill, until there should arise a prophet to give a decision about them.”
                                                                        1 Maccabees 4:45, 56 (164 BC)

             “The Jews and their priests confirmed Simon as their leader and high priest in perpetuity until a       true prophet should appear.” 1 Maccabees 14:41 (142 BC)

Many people of this time lived in a state of continual hope expecting the arrival of a prophet.  Many men and groups stepped up in hopes of fulfilling this position (Acts 5:35-37).  A religious sect of Judiasm known as the Essenes who formed the Qumran community understood Malachi’s promise of the coming of Elijah and Isaiah’s words of a “voice” in the wilderness as a reference to themselves:

“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.’” Isaiaha 40:1

The Essenes moved into the wilderness of Judea near the Dead Sea to fulfill their work of preparing the way for the Lord.  They were one of the active sects of Judaism in Jesus’ day along with the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  The Essenes do not appear in the scriptures as clearly as the Sadducees and the Pharisees since they were in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord.  John the Baptist was probably one of their members.  They were the writers of the Dead Sea scrolls.  In Qumran literature “the spirit of prophecy” begins to be identified as “God’s Holy Spirit”.  The people of this time did not look for the Holy Spirit nor did they anticipate his coming since they assumed the Spirit was simply the Spirit of God in a prophet.  In a sense, they believed that the Holy Spirit’s power had disappeared along with the office of the prophet.

Scriptorium in Qumran 
Scriptorium in the city of Qumran located in the wilderness of Judea where the Essenes wrote their scrolls known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Dead Sea is in the background and the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized is visible from this location and just upstream to the left of this photo
Cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Qumran
Cave number 4 in the Judean wilderness near the Essenes city of Qumran, where they hid some of the Dead Sea scrolls around 66 AD when the Roman armies were approaching Judea.
Jordan River
The Jordan River

The Jewish world was waiting for Elijah to come and restore the office of the prophet and introduce the Messiah.  Even though the office of the prophet had ceased and no new revelation was being given the New Testament begins with the Spirit speaking to several people before John the Baptist:

  1. Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
  2. Anna (Luke 2:36-38)
  3. Elizabeth (Luke 1:41)
  4. Mary (Luke 1:46-55)
  5. Zechariah (Luke 1:67)

The Holy Spirit and the Messiah
The Holy Spirit was the cause of the conception of Jesus (Luke 1:35). Jesus was filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:1) and was anointed by the Spirit (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Hebrews 1:9). The anointing of the Holy Spirit was the reason for many of Jesus’ miracles (Acts 10:38) but Jesus also did miracles because he was God (Mark 5:30; Luke 5:17; 6:19; John 11:25, 43)and to prove he was God (John 10:38).

Jesus revealed and explained the Holy Spirit with greater revelation than the Old Testament. He showed that the Holy Spirit was God and that the Holy Spirit was coming to live in the believers as was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34.

  1. John 7:37-39 (John 4:13-14)
  2. John 15:26
  3. John 16:7

The Holy Spirit in the Church Age
Once the New Covenant was sealed in Jesus blood (Luke 22:20) and we were justified (Romans 4:25) the Holy Spirit could come into the believer.  This new age went into affect in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Beginning on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit could recreate a believer and give them a new birth into the spiritual kingdom of light as sons of God (John 1:12, 13). Ten major things occur personally to every believer because of the Holy Spirit:

  1. Indwelling – The Holy Spirit indwells or lives in every believer at their point of faith in Jesus Christ (John 7:37-39; Acts 11:16-17; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:5).  It is impossible to be a believer in Jesus and not have the presence of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). Believers can not lose the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by sinning (Corinthians 1:2; 7; 3:1;6:19; 12:27).  This indwelling is permanent and eternal (John 14:16)
  2. Sealing – A seal is placed on every believer indicating two things: 1-God’s ownership of that believer, 2 -guaranteeing the ultimate salvation of that believer in the future. (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
  3. Baptizing – This baptism is not water baptism and is not the same as filling with the Spirit.  We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit because it is something we can do or may chose not to do (Ephesians 5:18-19), but we are never commanded to be baptized by the Spirit just like we are not commanded to be sealed or indwelt by the Spirit.  These are the work of the Spirit.  The Baptizing by the Spirit refers to the work of the Spirit of baptizing us in Christ or into the body of Christ at our point of salvation and it is never repeated (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4, 5).  This baptism joins us with Christ or puts us “in Christ” and in the body of Christ, the church.
  4. Gifting – Each believer is given a gift or gifts at the point of their new birth.  These are spiritual gifts or supernatural endowments in addition to your natural talents, inherited ability and naturally developed skills (leadership, I.Q., piano playing). Gifts are distributed through out the body of Christ to each believer to benefit and strengthen the body (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-13).  There is a distinction between gifts and offices in the church.  Everyone has a gift (teaching, administration, helps, etc.) but not every one has an office (pastor, evangelist, elder, etc.).
  5. Filling – The filling of the Spirit mentioned in these verses requires the believer to be obedient and walk in the light:
    1. Acts 4:8 – “The Peter filled with the Holy Spirt, said to them . . . “
    2. Acts 4:31 – “They were all filled with the Hoy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
    3. Acts 9:17 – Ananias said to Saul, “The Lord . . . sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
    4. Acts 13:9 – “Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said . . .”
    5. Acts 13:52 – “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
    6. Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

These verses lead us to two points of doctrine concerning being filled with the Spirit.  One, the filling of the Spirit refers to God empowering the believer by the Holy Spirit to do a special activity, ministry or to manifest a gift.  Two, the filling of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit manifesting his own character in us when we are in fellowship with God.  Both of these require the believer to respond or to do something for the filling of the Spirit to take place.  In the first case of performing an activity or using the gift the believer must be willing to do the service God asks. They must be obedient. In the second case, the believer must be living in fellowship with God. They must be walking in the light and not in sin (Ep.5:17, 18).This is a state of fellowship and growth which is also a condition which is referred to as being spiritual (1 Cor.3:1).  Thus, the spiritual believer is any believer who is in fellowship with God and maturing. A spiritual believer does not need to be a mature believer but a maturing believer, one who is in fellowship and is in the process of growth.

Contrasting: Baptism of the Spirit with Filled with the Spirit










Every believer by the Spirit’s

Point of

None, no works only
faith in Christ

Permanent; cannot
be undone

Needed only once for each believer

NT only, after Pentecost

Position in the body of Christ and
“in Christ”;


Offered to each believer; not all achieve or desire

Anytime during life of the believer

Walk in light
confess sin;
Obedient to Spirit’s will

Can be lost due to sin or disobedience

experience and always available

Only in NT concerning “in Christ” and certain gifts but a form of it was in OT

Growth, Maturing

  1. Teaching – The Spirit is in the believer to reveal and teach them about God (John 14:26)
  2. Leading – The Spirit will lead the believer in truth and in God’s plan (John 16:13; Romans 8:14)
  3. Assuring – The Spirit will testify to you that you are believers and are sons of God (Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:6-10)
  4. Praying – The Spirit, along with Jesus, prays for us (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18)
  5. Sanctifying – Sanctify means to be set apart.  In this case it means the Holy Spirit sets us apart as God’s possession and for God’s purposes (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11).  This sanctification by the Holy Spirit takes place at the point of salvation.  There are two other aspects of sanctifying that take place in the believer’s life. The second, the believer will sanctify themselves in life by not walking in sin and maturing as sons of God. The third, is final sanctification or ultimate salvation that takes place in the end at the resurrection of our bodies.


Three Aspects of Sanctification – “set apart” (holy, holiness, saints)




Also Called:

Positional Sanctification

Done by the Holy Spirit to the believer at the point of salvation
This is why all believers are called “saints”

1 Co. 1:2 –“sanctified in Jesus Christ”
2 Thes. 2:13

Initial Sanctification

Temporal Sanctification

Done by the believer to themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit during their lives as they make decisions to holy and not to sin

1 Pet. 1:15
Heb. 12:14
1 Co. 1:2 – “called to be holy”
1 Thes. 5:23

Experiential Sanctification Progressive Sanctification

Ultimate Sanctification

Done by God to the believer at the resurrection of the dead.  It involves total removal of the sin nature

Ep. 5:26-27
Jude 24-25
Rev. 22:11
1 John 3:2

Complete Sanctification
Final Sanctification

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