The Holy Spirit in the New Testament before Pentecost

There is a human tendency to make an assumed error regarding spiritual things (like for example one that we discussed in previous lessons on the Trinity: the notion that singularity and plurality are mutually exclusive). Another one is the notion of uniformity, commonly referred to as uniformitarianism. It says that everything throughout history has always progressed in the same way and at the same rate, based on conditions we are able to observe today during our lifetime. But God is sovereign and can step into history any time he chooses to do so. Here are a few of the events where the Holy Spirit filled individuals in the New Testament, before Pentecost. Although God Himself is unchanging, his administration of man is not uniform. He may choose to deal with man in a certain way for a period of time (called a dispensation), but sometimes changes the rules. It's something like modern-day sports. The rules change from time to time. So the Holy Spirit was God's "TDY Person" on temporary duty assignments for special times and special events. In the Old Testament, it was selective indwelling. The whole tribe of the Jews didn't get the Holy Spirit. Nor did a class of people. Just individuals, and temporarily. Then the Holy Spirit was removed from them.

The "end of the Old Testament" is defined in Luke 16:16 where Jesus says, "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John [the Baptist]. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached..." And with approximately a three-year overlap, this change is fulfilled and confirmed at the Resurrection.

So what are the new rules?

Next week: - How do the events of Pentecost tie to the Church Dispensation? How does the Holy Spirit behave after Pentecost?

See you then.