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Is the Holy Spirit the Same in the Old Testament?

Evangelist, preacher and a leading Bible scholar
Updated Sep 30, 2021
Is the Holy Spirit the Same in the Old Testament?

What does the Bible teach about the Holy Spirit? No one can be at all acquainted with Scripture without knowing that the Spirit of God is referred to from the beginning to the end - yet that there is a distinct difference between the teaching of the New and the teaching of the Old Testament. They are not contradictory. They are complementary.

Go back in memory to your Old Testament and think of what you find in it concerning the Spirit. His work is referred to in the first chapter of Genesis, the Spirit brooding over chaos, the agent through whom the will of God was worked out so that cosmos came out of chaos, light from darkness, order out of disorder.

I pass along over the pages and I find some individuals at a crisis who, for a special purpose are spoken of as acting in cooperation with the Spirit. The Spirit was with Joseph, and he was able to explain dreams. The Spirit fell upon Bezaleel, and he was able to be a cunning worker in gold for the beautifying of the house of God. The Spirit laid solemn imprisonment upon Balaam, and he was compelled to utter blessing when he desired to mutter cursing. The Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon, and Gideon became the deliverer of his people from Midianite oppression. The Spirit fell upon Saul, and even he for a time was among the prophets. The Spirit spoke through the prophets, gave them visions and voices, and made them the messengers of Jehovah.

You will notice, moreover, through all the Old Testament, that the Spirit was forever associated, according to the thinking of these men, with Jehovah Himself, working with Him in wonderful fellowship. I may quite reverently borrow the language of the letter to the Hebrews concerning the method of revelation in the past to describe the method of the Spirit in the Old Testament as "at various times and in diverse manners." The Spirit fell upon men, equipped them, passed away from them.

As I look back over the history that the Old Testament reveals, I see the Spirit of God interpreting the will of God to men when they specially needed it, equipping men for their work in crisis. No system of teaching is given concerning His work, but He is often referred to; so I find through my Old Testament the presence of the Spirit in the history of men.

Adapted from Unpardonable Sin, by G. Campbell Morgan.


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