Sunday, February 23, 2014
The Holy Spirit, Part 5
Moving ahead, we reach the book of 1st Samuel. Samuel is an old man, and his sons turned out to be wicked. Because of this, and due to their constant disobedience toward God, the people demanded a human king to be their leader, rejecting God. God chose Saul, son of Kish to be Israel’s first king, and we find the Holy Spirit’s activity in the lives of His saints at the onset of Saul’s career as king. “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you (Saul), and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man,” 1st Samuel 10:6. And that was exactly how it happened; Samuel’s prophetic word to Saul was quickly fulfilled.
“When [Saul] came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them,” 1st Samuel 10:10. Josephus, the famous first century Jewish historian, refers to these bouts as “divine furies” and the like. Though Josephus lived after Christ’s time and was at least a contemporary of Peter and Paul, he clearly did not comprehend that it was a Person who visited Saul; not a mood or thing. For further evidence that this is so let us briefly look at 1st Samuel 16:14. We read “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.” The distressing spirit (aka demonic possession) could not come upon Saul (see 1st Samuel 16:15-16) until the Holy Spirit departed. This was not a change of moods; it was a change of leadership and direction; God gave Saul a spirit more suited to the man’s intentions and desires. This is why demonic possession cannot occur for a Christian. The Holy Spirit does not merely come upon us to empower us, He indwells us and seals us as a promise of the future redemption of our spirit, soul, and body, 2nd Corinthians 1:22; 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14. More on this as we reach the New Testament.
When Saul was under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit he was indeed “another man.” The Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul when terrible news concerning his fellow Jews reached his ears and wrath was the result, 1st Samuel 11:6. “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder [Israel]; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye,” Zechariah 2:8. This verse, among others in the Bible clearly teaches that anger is not a sin. What we become angry about, and how we conduct ourselves while we are angry, determines whether or not it is sinful behavior. I write these words as a condemned man; for I know that sometimes I lose my temper and behave very carnally. But it is written, “Be angry, and do not sin,” Psalm 4:4; Ephesians 4:26. Here we have the Holy Spirit’s righteous anger for His people alive in Saul. Chapter 11 also depicts perhaps the only task God set Saul to that he accomplished with one hundred percent obedience, so that the enemy was wholly defeated and Saul’s title as king completely accepted among the Jews.
The next time we find the Holy Spirit at work is at the anointing of David as Israel’s second king. Saul was the king the people thought they wanted. David was the king after God’s own heart, 1st Samuel 16:7, 12. We read in 1st Samuel 16:13: “Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet who lived 400 plus years after David’s day wrote, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David,” Isaiah 55:3. Nathan the prophet adds “When your (David’s) days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom…My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you (implying David shall exist to see it, and partake even). Your throne shall be established forever,” 2nd Samuel 7:12, 15-16. Finally we read, “David…having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us (in the church age)that they should not be made perfect apart from us,” Hebrews 11:32, 39-40. I deviated for the simple sake of answering a horrendous exposition of Acts chapter 2 where one professing Christian taught that David was in Hell because the resurrection passage quoted from Psalm 16 was being applied to Christ, not David. He was teaching that David forfeit his salvation and therefore eternal security was a false teaching. Yet the passages above indicate anything but this fallacious, dangerous, and infantile teaching. Though the Holy Spirit now permanently dwells in His saints, David is every bit as saved as we are. As David himself was inspired and led to write by the Holy Spirit, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope,” Psalm 16:9. David’s physical death and the deterioration of his body have nothing to do with where his spirit went after death. Psalm 16:10 applies directly to Jesus in the context of Acts 2:25-31. But it also applies in general to every saint from Abel onward.