Theological Conference 8 – The Holy Spirit In The Old Testament

Click here to listen to The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament presented by Jesse Acuff, Apr 29th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by John Obelenus

“Whatever holds back a spirit of inquiry is favorable to error, whatever promotes it, to truth. But nothing, it will be acknowledged, has a greater tendency to obstruct the spirit of inquiry, than the spirit and feeling of party. Let a doctrine, however erroneous, become a party distinction, and it is at once entrenched in interests and attachments which make it extremely difficult for the most powerful artillery of reason to dislodge it.” – John Wilson

Jesse goes on to point out the lack of solid evidence in the scriptures for the Trinitarian viewpoint, and the stubbornness and persistence of the doctrine in the minds of church-goers. He shows that God is open for change and repentance pointing out Jeremiah 18. He then knocks down a common verse in the Trinitarian playbook Gen 1.26 and the plural hebrew word elohim.

Rather, “In a great number of passages … God and the Spirit are not thought of as identical … of course this does not mean that God and the Spirit were two distinct beings in the thought of OT writers, but only that the Spirit had functions of His own in distinction from God. The Spirit was GOD IN ACTION, particularly when the action was specific, with a view to accomplishing some particular end or purpose of God” – The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

“The term (Holy Spirit) in its latter sense (as a person) does not occur in the OT .. In Ps 51.1 and Is 63.10ff, we find the expression “Thy Holy Spirit” and “His Holy Spirit”, but the meaning is not that of later Christian thought (of the Holy Spirit as a person). All that is meant is that God deals with men by His Spirit, and that this Spirit is holy because it is the Spirit of God who is Himself holy. This, indeed, is the characteristic thought of the OT; the distinction is made between God as a Spirit and the spirit of His Divine Spirt. The spirit of the divine spirit is his very life principle, whereby He can carry on all his diverse activities…” – Harper’s Bible Dictionary.

Jesse contrasts this with Billy Graham: “I have italicized some of the key words. In Genesis 1.26, God said ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ Further, in Genesis 3.22 the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’ And in Genesis 11.6,7 the Lord said, ‘Behold they are one people, they all have the same language. And this is what they begin to do, and now nothing, which they purpose to do, will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech!’ When Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ he answered, ‘Here am I. Send me’”

And further: “God unfolds his revelation of Himself in the Bible progressively. But there are indications form the very beginning of the book of Genesis that God subsists in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — and that these three persons constitute the One God, not three, so it is clear that the Christian faith is not polytheistic. The Bible begins with the majestic statement: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’”

Jesse concludes “What, then, are we to conclude about the Holy Trinity when the bastion of “orthodox” Christianity, and the defender of faith, concerning the Trinitarian Doctrine, makes such dogmatic claims? Logically, we should conclude that the Holy Trinity is patently false and that she is guilty of the grossest hypocrisy.”

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