A video of this teaching can be found HERE
To understand the Holy Spirit thoroughly, we need to start at the beginning, literally. We have to lay some grass roots understanding of how the Holy Spirit fit into things.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
Let’s break it down a bit:
“In the beginning, God…”
1) In Hebrew the word for God, used here, is Elohim. Elohim is a plural form of God. The root name in this form is Eloah, a derivative of the Aramaic Elah, or God in the singular. The ‘im’ at the end in Hebrew, is the same as our ‘s’ in English – it designates plurality. So, in the very first line of all of scripture, God very intentionally establishes Himself as a plural being, what we come to learn and know through the rest of scripture as the Trinity. If anyone or any religion doubts the concept of the Trinity, they only need look at the Hebrew writing in the opening line of the Bible.
“…created the heavens…”
2) The Hebrew word for “created” here is ‘Barah’ , which literally means ‘to create out of nothing’. It’s not improving upon something or correcting something, but rather is starting with nothing and ending with something.
- Barah is singular, so right off the bat, God is defined as a plural being, but acting (creating) as one.
“…the Spirit of God was moving…”
3) This is the first reference to the Holy Spirit in scripture.
“Then God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.”
Question, when you ‘say’ something what are these things called that spill out of your mouth? Words, right?
4) Cross reference with John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
This verse tells us that it was the Word that created everything.
This verse tells us that it was the Word that created everything.
Now look at John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Who in the Trinity became flesh? Jesus. So, if the Word is who created everythingand Jesus is the Word, A+B=C Jesus was the creator in Genesis 1!
Paul tells us in Colossians 1:15-17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Psalm 33:6 says “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.”
- Again reiterating that it was Jesus that created.
- Not only is Jesus the word who created ALL things, but all things are for Him and are held together by Him. Jesus is a living part of everything that exists. (Recount the atom story…)
NOTE: This is the first time we get a look at the ‘mystery’ of the Trinity – in the first three verses of scripture. Notice that that although one, each “person” acts independently, but in conjunction with the others.
The creative power of God is channeled through His word (the Son, Jesus) and His Spirit (the Holy Spirit). Here, the Spirit was moving and when Christ said, “Let there be light”, light came into existence.
According to these scriptures, the first person of the Godhead mentioned individually, is the Holy Spirit. Even though in verse 1 it says “God”, this is referring to the plural God, Elohim, the Trinity, all three acting as one. This is significant because it is also the Holy Spirit that we first come into contact with at salvation – not the Father or the Son but it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us and leads us into salvation. In turn, once convicted and surrendered, the Holy Spirit immediately introduces us to the Son, Jesus.
NOTE: In every aspect of redemption or blessing, the three persons of the Trinity are working together, just as they were during creation, for our good – that’s how much God loves us!
(See Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34; Acts 10:38; Hebrews 9:14 and Romans 1:4)
· In every case it is 1) From God, the Father (2) By the Spirit and (3) Through the Son.
· In Hebrews 9:14, Christ the Son offers Himself to God the Father by way of the Holy Spirit.
o “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
(NOTE: Hebrew for Holy Spirit is ‘Ruach Hakodesh’, which literally translates to “spirit of holiness”)
· In Romans 1:4 God the Father raised the Son by the Holy Spirit:
“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”
NOTE: Acts 10:38 defines the ministry of Christ in one verse. After being anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, Jesus sets out ‘doing good’ (loving the people), healing the sick and casting out demons.
Matthew 10:1 confirms that this is the ministry that Christ gave to His disciples:
“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”
Notice that the disciples had not yet experienced the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” when they were casting out demons and healing the sick. What does this tell you? That this was and is the norm for all followers of Christ! Who is a follower of Christ, you ask? Well, when Jesus walked up to Matthew (Levi) and said “Follow me”, in the original Koine Greek the word used for ‘follow’ there is ‘akoloutheo’ which literally means ‘to walk the same road’. That description doesn't apply to ‘pew potatoes’ but true disciples of Christ.
When Christ sent out the 12 He didn’t tell them to go make church members, He told them to make disciples, or ones that were willing to walk in akoloutheo with Him.
In Acts 2:32 says “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (Jesus) has poured forth this (the Holy Spirit) which you both see and hear.”
On Pentecost, the Son receives from the Father the Holy Spirit and pours it out on His disciples. Jesus bestowed the Spirit on His disciples – this also proves His statement in Matthew 28:20 when He told the disciples that He would be with them until the end of the age.
ESTABLISHED PATTERN: In every major stage in the plan of redemption, it’s Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the triune Godhead, working together in one accord for the good of man. God is totally on our side!! This pattern repeats itself many, many times in scripture. Do you know how much God loves you?!?
The Holy Spirit, the Church and Accessing the Father
Ephesians 2:18 tells us that we access the Father, through the Son, by way of the Holy Spirit.
“…for through Him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
It isn’t doctrine that gives us access to the Father, it’s the Holy Spirit. This is why churches without the Holy Spirit don’t see miracles – they don’t have access to the Father!
One of my favorite Derek Prince quotes says “We can say all the right words but if the Holy Spirit isn’t there, our prayers go no further than the ceiling of the church. Jesus is Lord over the church, but the Holy Spirit is Lord in the church”
Ephesians 2:22 says “you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
Our Access To God
Notice the vertical relationship and chain of command, so to speak, in accessing God the Father; from us through Jesus (the Son), by the Holy Spirit, to the Father. The returned blessings come from the Father, by the Spirit to the Son and to us. This displays, in graphic form, what Jesus was saying in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
As you can see, the entire process is dependent upon the Holy Spirit. This has nothing to do with ‘religion’ or doctrine – we must have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most major issues with the condition of the church today – no relationship with the Holy Spirit. And, if the church has no relationship with the Holy Spirit, their prayers aren’t heard by the Father; God isn’t personally a living reality to them because the Holy Spirit is shut down.
The Holy Spirit is a Person!
John 16:6-8 Here, Jesus is saying farewell to His disciples and they were very upset at the news. He goes on to explain to them that it is better for them if He goes, so that the Holy Spirit could come. He goes as far as to say that as long as He was on earth, the Holy Spirit could not come.
“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”
NOTE: Notice that Jesus didn’t say ‘I will send it to you’. We don’t ever refer to a person as an ‘it’ or an it as a ‘him’ do we? Of course not. The word ‘He’ then is in reference to a person and not an ‘it’. Just as Jesus is a person, so too is the Holy Spirit.
(Helper in the Greek is ‘Parakletos’, which means ‘someone called in alongside’, an advocate)
Further, this scripture defines an exchange of persons – Jesus for the Holy Spirit. Notice that Jesus instructs His disciples that is was to their advantage that He leave them so that the Holy Spirit would come. This is because Jesus’ mission on earth was done. On the cross He stated this, “It is finished”. Further, Jesus knew that without the Holy Spirit alive and activated in the disciples, they would not be endowed with power and therefore not prepared to complete their ministry missions on earth.
NOTE: This scripture also tells us that the power that Jesus had (to heal, cast out demons, etc) did not come from Him but from the Holy Spirit. This was depicted as the dove that descended from heaven when Jesus was baptized and it also marked the beginning of His ministry. In turn, Jesus knew that the disciples absolutely must have the Holy Spirit in order to enter into their own ministries.
QUESTION: Who are we to second guess the very process that Christ set forth as the model for entering ministry? If it applied to the first century disciples it applies to us as well.
This scripture also tells us that we all can know the Father better and have a closer relationship with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, than having Jesus sitting in the room with us! Jesus Himself said this in so many words. The Holy Spirit is the personal representative of God on earth and He is the only authorized representative of God on earth. No one can take His place.
In 2 Corinthians 3:17 it tells us “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom).”