God's Holy Spirit & "Old Testament" Heroes
"Old Testament" People Received God's Holy Spirit
There are plenty of examples of people in the so called “Old Testament” who received God’s Holy Spirit.
For example: Moses and the seventy elders were given God’s Spirit (Num 11:24-29).
Would any of them have claimed that any of the laws which God had just given them had become immediately irrelevant to them personally, because they had God’s Spirit and were henceforth under the "New Covenant" instead ?
If so, why doesn’t the author of Hebrews claim historic examples like these as precedents for arguing that the “Old Covenant” was replaced by the “New Covenant” in these cases?
Like Moses and the seventy elders, Joshua too was given God’s Spirit (Deut 34:9). So was Bezaleel (Exodus 35:30-31) and so was Othniel, Caleb’s younger brother (Judges 3:9-10). Gideon was given God’s Spirit (Judges 6:34) as was Jepthah (Judges 11:29) and Samson (Judges 13:24-25), Saul (1 Sam 9:27- 1 Sam 10:1,6-7,9-10), David (Psalms 51:11-12, 2 Sam 23:1-2), Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:9-12), Amasai (1 Chron 12:18), Azariah, son of Oded (2 Chron 15:1), Jahaziel, (2 Chron 20:14), Zechariah (2 Chron 24:20), Job (Job 27:3).
None of these individuals who were given God’s Spirit claimed to no longer be under the obligations of the Old Covenant, because they were "under the New Covenant".
On the contrary, regarding the "New Covenant" in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 tell us that God's Holy Spirit, is given to assist the keeping of God's Torah-law, the statutes and judgements.
Not surprisingly then, the ongoing validity of the Torah-law is reiterated in Malachi 4:4 and Matthew 5:17-19 - which shouldn't really surprise us should it ? After all God's Torah-law isn't a curse, it's a blessing.
Even in Ancient Israel God's Holy Spirit Had a Profound Impact on Those Who Received It
That’s not to say that before Acts 2, God’s Spirit didn’t bring about equally major changes in the behaviours of those to whom it had been given. For example:
1 Samuel 10:
6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.
8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do.
9 ¶ And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart [cf. Jer 31:31 & Heb 8:] and all those signs came to pass that day.
10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
The seventy elders were equally affected…
24 ¶ And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
Again, despite some amazing changes wrought in the lives of these individuals, by God’s Spirit, none claimed that as a consequence of this change of heart, that even a small part of the written Torah no longer applied to them, because they were under a “New Covenant”.
Go back to the start of Judianity - A "Third Way" Between Judaism or Christianity ?
Christian theologians believe that Paul kept Nazirite vows at the temple & offered sacrifices even after the crucifixion. One predictable adjustment to a written Torah law about circumcising gentile proselytes in Acts, caused massive turmoil in the church. If most of the other "Old Testament" laws were abolished, why wasn't a similar level of controversy recorded then? Does Galatians mean the Torah law is really "abolished" ?
Let's now take a look at the subject of rabbinic tradition; what does the Bible say ?
© www.judianity.info May 2009.