Monday, March 3, 2014
The Holy Spirit, Part 7
Moving on to 1st Kings, we find mention of the Spirit of the Lord yet again. Elijah has finally been commanded to reveal himself to Israel’s idolatrous king, Ahab. Obadiah, a God fearing servant of Ahab’s had found him and Elijah commanded Obadiah to fetch Ahab for him. Part of Obadiah’s response to the prophet was this: “And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me,” 1st Kings 18:12. The Holy Spirit often led men of God, either directly or indirectly, throughout Scripture. He moved upon Samson early in that judge’s career, Judges 13:25. The Holy Spirit literally moved Ezekiel the prophet about to reveal certain things to him, Ezekiel 3:12, 14, etc. The Holy Spirit “led up” (Matthew 4:1) or even “drove” (Mark 1:12) Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days.
What Obadiah feared would happen to Elijah DID in fact happen to Philip centuries later. “Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more…but Philip was found at Azotus,” Acts 8:39-40. Sometimes the Holy Spirit moved His saints by direct verbal command, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted (perhaps intimating that they were in prayer), the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” Acts 13:2. It may be that Obadiah had justification for his fears that the Holy Spirit would remove Elijah. Enoch, seventh from Adam, was a righteous man amidst a very perverse generation. It was testified by Jude that he sent a prophetic message of condemnation for hundreds of years to his peers, Jude 1:14-15; Genesis 5:22-24. Enoch did not die; he walked with God for at least three hundred years, which gave him ample time to spread the message of coming judgment that the Holy Spirit inspired him to preach, again Jude 1:14-15. Finally, he was taken from the earth so that he did not see death, because he pleased God, Hebrews 11:5. Elijah would eventually be blessed with a similar exodus, 2nd Kings 2:11.
Elsewhere in 1st Kings we find a contest between Micaiah, a prophet of God and contemporary of Elijah, and the false prophets serving King Ahab. We find Micaiah attesting to a biblical truth already well established in the Old Testament, one of divine inspiration. “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak,” 1st Kings 22:14. Micaiah delivers Ahab some bad news when he relates a vision he witnessed. “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left,” 1st Kings 22:19. This divine council was being conducted in order to determine how Ahab should be brought to ruin, 1st Kings 22:20. Finally a lying spirit (an evil spirit, or demon) told God that he would be a lying spirit in the mouths of all Ahab’s prophets to compel Ahab to ride off to his demise, 1st Kings 22:22-23. We know that Satan still has access to the throne of God, and is commanded to report his doings just like the angels of light, Job 1:6; 2:1; Revelation 12:10. It is firmly established that this “lying spirit” is a demonic entity who can communicate with God and influence men on earth. It becomes equally clear that Chenaanah, the lead prophet of Ahab’s, believed himself to be under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and was greatly insulted when Micaiah said otherwise, 1st Kings 22:24. See also 2nd Chronicles 18:18-27. Not only is the “Spirit of the Lord” made mention of in verse 24, but His personable, sentient nature is also strongly alluded to. Otherwise, contrasting the lying spirit (who was clearly a conscious demonic entity and not an energy source) with the Spirit of the Lord would be a pointless waste of time. The contrast arose because both are beings with wills and intellect that can and do influence mankind.