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Did believers have the holy spirit prior to Jesus?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Rubiks, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

    Word of Faith
  2. NorrinRadd

    NorrinRadd Xian, Biblicist, Fideist, Pneumatic, Antinomian

    If one takes the Calvinist view that "Regeneration Precedes Faith," then yes, by necessity in order to "believe," they had to be "born again," which happens by the incoming of the Spirit.

    If one believes John 1, where being born of God is the result, not cause, of believing and receiving; and John 7:39, which explicitly said that the Spirit had not yet been given (in the regenerating "living waters" sense), then no, believers prior to Jesus did not have the Spirit and were not yet born of God.
  3. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    A good clue to what the Cross gave, gifted (grace, charis) the New Covenant believers is found here:

    Luke 7
    28"I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

    If John said the greatest in the Old Covenant was not as great as the least in the new Covenant, we must find out what the difference is. It must be a related to another clue here:

    Hebrews 4
    8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,e just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

    Joshua was one of the few successful leaders in the Old Covenant. He managed to complete the full cycle of what ever the phases were that was required of a believer's life in the Old Covenant:

    1. leave dependence on the world, abandon Egypt
    2. follow dependence on God, switch loyalty to God
    3. be exposed to God's teachings, drink from the Rock
    4. understand the mission goal: inherit the Promised Land
    5. be a blessing to the world: be a light to the Gentiles, who would see God and turn to and glorify Him (honour God)

    Yet Joshua never gave Israel closure. There remained for Israel to be obedient with the Jubilee Laws, laws made in the context of the Land, until the Land was cleansed of Adam's curse. Finally, Israel disobeyed and was exiled from the Land.

    The Land is important, like a secret ingredient that makes a superhero powerful, the Land made Israel, God's superhero, powerful.

    Non-observance affected even the surrogate tenants, when the Land was sub-let to people who were not formally in covenant:

    2 Kings 17
    24The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them which killed some of them. 26So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land.”
    27Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into exile and let him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land.” 28So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

    What went wrong with Israel's attempt to inherit the Kingdom of God?

    A clue is found here:

    The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses | The Works of John Frame and Vern Poythress

    We may return to the same conclusion that we reached before: the sacrifice of animals is inadequate to achieve final cleansing, nor can it cleanse anything more than the copies of heavenly things. Then who will bring the definitive sacrifice? A man must do it. A similar point is made indirectly in Num. 35:33-34: “Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.” When a man had shed blood, the man must die. But there is one exception, when the blood of the death of the high priest releases a manslaughterer to return home (Num. 35:25-28). The blood of the high priest has special value. In agreement with this principle, Zech. 3 uses all the symbolism of a defiled human high priest Joshua and then speaks mysteriously of the Branch in connection with which “I will remove the sin of this land in a single day” (Zech. 3:9).

    The Cross cleansed the Land and the Land was Christ, who identified with Israel. Believers, could rest IN Christ, the Israel of God. He was the Promised Land, foreshadowed in the Old Testament. Mankind was cleansed of the curse of Adam. A believer could be a blessing to the world as long as he was a tenant IN Christ, something the OT believer, even Spirit filled, like Samson, could not.

    Look at the phases in the New Covenant believer's life:

    1. Believers had to leave Egypt, dependence on the world
    2. They had to follow God, switch loyalty to God
    3. Drink from the Rock, hear God's teachings
    4. Be pleasing to God, unlike the Israelites who perished in disobedience to the command to overcome the Canaanites, be born again, see the value in serving others
    5. See the Kingdom of God, see the treasure that does not rust
    6. Obey when they heard His call to leave self, heed God's call to conquer the Canaanite (leave dependence on self, attempts at self preservatio/n)
    7. Enter the kingdom of God, continue in valuing self sacrifice, continue abandoning serving self
    8. Inherit the kingdom of God, function in sanctified mode, chayei olam, doing works that men saw and gave God glory for.

    I will leave the last part out, as it is a VERY HARD teaching. Those who have ears will understand. You are the ones ready for meat, have left milk food. Able to follow through to the logical conclusion...
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  4. ARBITER01

    ARBITER01 Legend

    United States
    The only one would have been John the baptist. The rest of the Jews could only attain to a renewed spirit by GOD,...

    The Holy Spirit would come upon the saints of old at particular times, according to scripture, but He resided in the temple in OT times, not inside the believers at that point.

    John the baptist was the real oddball in this, since the OT had not been fulfilled by Jesus yet, thereby starting the "new" covenant.
  5. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

    Do you suppose that the glory of God had not been witnessed before Christ?
  6. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    There are different portions of the Spirit:

    The indwelling portion seems to be what Jesus promised the disciples and all Christian would come after he left to go to heaven. This was to be his replacement.
  7. NorrinRadd

    NorrinRadd Xian, Biblicist, Fideist, Pneumatic, Antinomian

    How is that relevant?
  8. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

    Because the verse you referenced says the Holy Spirit was not given because Christ was not yet glorified, and because this is relevant to the subject at hand. Further, consider the following:

    And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. -John 17:22,23

    It appears to me, then, that to perceive His glory is not merely to watch an impressive fireworks show. In other words, to see the work of God's hand does something to the observer, as does faith. Now, as that pertains to the subject of the thread, do you suppose that the OT saints never perceived this glory? I believe scripture clearly states otherwise, and if so, then why is it so difficult to understand that they received the gift of God's righteousness and Holy Spirit through faith just like us, and just like Abraham?