Jesus IS

 

the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit

 

Part 4

 

 

 

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38  AMPLIFIED BIBLE

 

 

 

Section Titles:

 

Santification, consecration & the holy spirit

A Morally Blameless Spirit

The Holy Spirit verses a morally blameless spirit

Receive the Holy Spirit, or take hold of a morally blameless life by becoming willing to forgive?

Other verses with the use of “a morally blameless life (spirit)”

 

 

 

Santification, consecration & the holy spirit

 

Because Jesus consecrated himself to God, he is able to consecrate those who believe in him.  The same Greek word for “holy” in the phrase “the holy spirit” is used in various forms referring to sanctification and consecration.  The Greek word for “holy” is derived from a word “hagios” having a variety of applications; AMG WordStudy Reference Bible & CD defines it as follows:

 

40 hágios; femimine hagía, neuter hágion (39), adjective from hágos, any matter of religious awe, expiation, sacrifice.  Holy, set apart, sanctified, consecrated, saint.  It has a common root, hág–, with hagnós (53), chaste, pure. Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.

 (I) Pure, clean, ceremonially or morally clean, including the idea of deserved respect, reverence.

 (A) It particularly means perfect, without blemish (Rom. 12:1).

 (B) Metaphorically it means morally pure, upright, blameless in heart and life, virtuous, holy. (1) Generally (Mark 6:20; Rom. 7:12; 1 Cor. 7:34; Eph. 1:4; 5:27; 1 Pet. 1:16; Sept.: Lev. 11:44). (2) Spoken of those who are purified and sanctified by the influences of the Spirit. This is assumed of all who profess the Christian name, hence hágios, saint, hágioi, saints, Christians (Acts 9:13, 14, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; 1 Thess. 3:13). Spoken of those who are to be in any way included in the Christian community (1 Cor. 7:14). Holy kiss means the sacred Christian kiss, the pledge of Christian affection (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12).

 (II) Consecrated, devoted, sacred, holy, meaning set apart from a common to a sacred use; spoken of places, temples, cities, the priesthood, men (Matt. 4:5; 7:6; 24:15; 27:53; Acts 6:13; 7:33; Rom. 11:16, of firstfruit); of a male opening the womb (Luke 2:23); of apostles (Eph. 3:5); of prophets (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; 2 Pet. 1:21); of angels (Matt. 25:31).

 

It is vital to comprehend the meaning of words like “sanctify, sanctification, consecrate, consecration, set apart” and other expressions that signify purity of devotion and service to God.  Our English words “holy” and “holiness” are an inadequate substitution for what was intended in the original language of scripture.  AMG says of hagios, “Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.”

 

The early disciples of Jesus needed his life-giving spirit to help them be consecrated in their service to God.  Though Jesus was no longer with them in the flesh, he was with them in spirit, and in a way the could sense and feel; they knew him as, “perfect and without blemish.”  They had lived with Jesus for 3 ½ years, and no doubt had become quite familiar with his presence, and with the presence of his Father God that abided with him.

 

While the disciples were convinced of who Jesus was, most Jews did not realize their glorious Messiah would be the lowly carpenter from Nazareth.  How could THIS man be the Christ?  Would Messiah dare to defy the authority of the Jewish Sanhedrin?  Would he audaciously expose the hypocisy of the self-righteous Pharisees?

 

What would have been even more befuddling to the Jewish mind is the way Jesus’ life ended.  IN the minds of Jews it was inconceivable that the Romans could kill their Messiah, let alone crucify him on the tree as though he were a common criminal.  Even Jesus’ own disciples deserted him at his hour of death, and their faith wained until after the resurrection when he presented himself alive to them.

 

Jesus had promised the disciples that he would send them a different “Comforter” (or Helper) after he went away.  This promise was made before Jesus’ horrific and torturous death on the cross, and at the time he made this promise, it is doubtful the disciples grasped the significance of what he was saying.

 

·        John 14:16-18 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; {that is} the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, {but} you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  (NAS)

 

Jesus’ followers were troubled when he spoke these words.  Israel had always believed in just one God; they had no concept of a Trinity, and knew of no “Holy Spirit”doctrine.  The Jews believed the Messiah would be a man sent by Yahweh, and that he would be a deliverer much like Moses or Elijah had been.  They believed the governments of the world would rest on his shoulders, and that he would restore Israel to its former glory and greatness as a nation.

 

The disciples had come to believe Jesus was the Messiah, and Peter even called him “the Christ, the son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-17).  After 3 ½  years together Jesus tells them he must go away, but that he will send them a different Helper, the “spirit of truth.” 

 

“Who could this be?” they pondered, “He says we know him, because he abides with us, and then he says this ‘Helper’ will be IN us.  What can this mean?”  It is certain the disciples pondered such questions, and frequently debated the meaning of the Lord’s words.

 

Jesus does not leave his friends clueless; he tells them the identity of the Helper by saying, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  When Jesus came to them after his ascension, they could no longer behold him in the flesh, but they could feel and experience his presence, and the power of his Father’s presence.  When he promised them, “I will come to you,” it was as the Helper.

 

 

I John 2:20-29

 

20. But you have an anointing from the Holy One {i.e. – Jesus, the life-giving spirit}, and all of you know the truth.

21. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.

22. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-- he denies the Father and the Son.

23. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.

25. And this is what he promised us-- even eternal life.

26. I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

27. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-- just as it has taught you, remain in him.

28. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 

29. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.  (NIV)

 

The word “Christ” means “anointed.”  When Jesus came to the disciples after he was glorified, he came to them in spirit as ‘the anointed one.’  Whenever the New Testament writers refer to the “anointing” they define the role and function of the glorified life-giving spirit of Jesus.  When Jesus comes to his church, he provides believers with a special blend of divine strength and power from his Father God, along with his own guidance and instruction (as Teacher and Lord).

 

The anointing Jesus gives is for those who believe he is the Christ (meaning those who believe he is the Messiah, or the anointed one from God).  This portion of scripture is of particular importance to the Jews, because most Jews believed the Messiah would come as a triumphant monarch and rule the world in the flesh for one thousand years.

 

After Jesus was glorified, the apostle John writes his inspired letter affirming that Jesus is the “Holy One” of God, and that the “anointing” he gives is from God.  Those Jews who rejected this teaching John calls “antichrist.”  The word “antichrist” was intended to apply to a person that denied both the Father and the son of God. 

John’s letter affirms that to accept or reject either the Father or His son was to reject them both.  The word “antichrist” is derived from the Greek word “antichristos” (an-tee'-khris-tos); it means ‘an opponent of the Messiah’ or more literally, ‘opposite the anointed.’

 

Jesus was called “Teacher” by his disciples when he walked the earth, and he continued to teach them, even after his ascension into heaven.  The method Jesus uses to teach his disciples now is through the “anointing.”  This is what is meant by John’s words, “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-- just as it has taught you, remain in him.”

 

John must reassure the new followers of Jesus that what they have experienced is real.  This “anointing” is real; it is not “counterfeit”; what comfort and confidence these words brought to those following this new teaching called, “the Way.”

 

When we hear from God, it is truth being delivered to us via the life-giving and consecrated spirit of the Lord and Teacher Jesus Christ.  This is the anointing and it is what gives us the confidence we need to continue steadfast in him until his coming.

1 Peter 3:15-17

 

15. But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. [Isa 8:12,13.]

16. [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].

17.  For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God's will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong. AMP

 

This passage of scripture enlightens us to the purpose of our tutelage by Jesus.  Jesus suffered as a just and innocent man on behalf of unjust, defiled and unrighteous men.  His suffering was according to the will of God; it was the central theme of the Father’s redemptive plan.

 

A fundamental aspect of the believers walk is to ‘set apart’ Christ as holy; this means acknowledging him as the master of one’s behavior and conduct.  Our suffering for what is just and right finds favor with God, and is integral to the development of our Christ-like character.  In these times, our faith and reliance upon Jesus for help and guidance is crucial.  Suffering for the will of God oftentimes puts us in a position where our human weakness demands we draw upon him for strength to do his will.

 

The Greek words in 1 Peter 3:15 have been mistranslated in the Amplified Bible and other English translations.  The words, “But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy,” seem to be saying, “In your hearts, isolate Christ and distinguish him as the one who is holy.”  The problem with this translation is that it loses its’ application to the individual believer.  A more appropriate rendering of this verse reads as follows:

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        1 Peter 3:15 When the Master, the one who anoints {you}, {when he} separates {you from evil} in your hearts {by} consecrating {and} making {you} morally unblemished, {make certain you} are always prepared to plea with or apologize to all that ask you for a reason, regarding the confidence that is in you; yet {do this} accompanied with gentleness, humility and respect.  TAT

 

When Jesus anoints our hearts, he is preparing us for service to others.  He gives us confidence and assures us that we are morally blameless by corroborating the evidence of his atoning blood and bearing witness with our spirit that we are walking in the light (the word of our testimony).

 

·        Revelation 12:11 And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing].  AMP

Hebrews 12:5-11

 

5.      And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

6.      For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives."

7.      It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom {his} father does not discipline?

8.      But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

9.      Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

10. For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He {disciplines us} for {our} good, that we may share His holiness.

11. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  (NAS)

 

The letter to the Hebrew church is an admonition.  It gives us the commandment of God from the view of an apprentice.  It is meant to be a very personal acknowledgement; God the Father incorporates suffering as a tool of loving discipline.  This is not a familiar or popular concept in the Christian churches of America, but it is vital to being made into His image and likeness.

 

Furthermore, God’s chastening is evidence of His love for us, and assurance that he considers us His children.   This Father/son relationship is a spiritual one; God is called the “Father of spirits” (Hebrews 12:9) who disciplines us so we can share His holiness.  Jesus acts as mediator between God and man and helps us understand the Fathers works in us.

 

Why is God called the “Father of spirits?”  The answer to this question is found in the aspect of man that God gives birth to… our human spirit.  We are born, not of flesh, but by the spirit.

 

·        John 1:12-14 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (NAS)

 

Being born by God refers to the working of His spirit in us.  Jesus was the firstborn of God’s spirit; the spirit of God conceived him in the womb of Mary.  God had to create a man (Jesus) who would represent Him in the flesh.  He had to be a man who would accurately represent His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature (Romans 1:20).

 

The father/son relationship that Jesus experienced with his Father in heaven was one of obedience and dependence.  Jesus was dependent upon God to reveal His will, and he was responsible to be obedient to his Father.  His communion with the spirit of God was not interrupted or confused by sin (disobedience), and thus he continually learned obedience through what he suffered.

 

Unlike Jesus, we are born as children in the likeness of our earthly parents.  Though many parents try to teach their children obedience to God, our tendency is to follow after the will of man (the flesh).  Through Jesus we have a mediator and advocate who brings our human spirit into contact with God’s spirit.  Jesus then builds on this spirit-to-spirit relationship by fulfilling the role of teacher (mentor), instructing us regarding God’s will and plans for our lives.  Just as Jesus set himself apart as morally blameless to do God’s bidding, he teaches us to do the same.

 

The role Jesus fulfills as the, “holy (sanctified; consecrated) spirit,” is to help us walk in the truth of God’s word (the scriptures).  Jesus spent his life on earth completing the mission and purpose for which he was sent.  He sanctified himself in the truth, and then prayed that the Father would use him to sanctify (set apart) his followers in the truth.

John 17:17-26

 

17.  Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

18.  Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

19.  And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.

20.  Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

21.  That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

22.  I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:

23.  I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.

24.  Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me] may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25.  O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.

26.  I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.  AMP

 

As the glorified life-giving son of God, Jesus is IN us.  In John 17:23 Jesus makes known his primary purpose for dwelling within our human spirits, I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united.”  The goal of God the Father and His son Jesus is to see the church completely united in love and truth.  Only those few who choose this narrow path will become one with God and Christ.  Then and only then will the world know we are truly children of God.

 

A Morally Blameless Spirit

 

The Bible is unlike any other book ever written.  In the original Hebrew and Greek languages, men of old penned the scriptures as the Spirit of God carried them along.  To be “carried along” means to be buoyant in the flow of God’s mind and heart, as an autumn leaf drifts effortlessly with the current of the river’s ebb.   

 

·        2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  (NIV)

 

As we read our Bibles, there are certain words, word groupings, and phrases we often take for granted.  For example, in the passage above, a familiar word group, “the Holy Spirit,” concludes 2 Peter 1:21.  While we feel safe assuming this translation is accurate, it is not always so in other verses of scripture.

In the New Testament the term “Holy Spirit” occurs with such frequency that little consideration is ever given to determine its true meaning.  The words “Holy Spirit” are assumed to be a reference to God’s Spirit, and their intended application in the original Greek text of scripture is often lost in the commonplace translation of our English or American Bible versions.

 

Most believers never consult with Hebrew or Greek concordances, dictionaries, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, interlinear Bibles and other study tools available.  They don’t challenge the validity of a particular Bible translation’s use of words.  A widespread mistake is to assume one’s favorite version of the Bible is inerrant (i.e. – flawlessly translated).  This is simply not the case, as any language loses some of its meaning in translation.

 

Even those who are well studied in either Greek or Hebrew frequently take for granted the translation of basic words and phrases.  One such error is to make the assumption the phrase, “the Holy Spirit,” is always an accurate translation of the Greek “tóu hágios pneúmatos.”  There are only three basic Greek words we will scrutinize in this study.  Formed together these three Greek words “tóu hágios pneúmatos” are translated into English as: “the Holy Spirit.”

 

1.      The” = Greek definite article is “ho” and its neuter “tóu” (Strong’s reference number is 3588).   It is properly translated as “the, this or that.”

 

2.      Holy” = The Greek word is “hágios” (Strong’s reference number 40).   This Greek word hágios is an adjective, and is used in its feminine form “hagía” and its neuter form “hágion” (Strong’s reference number 39).  An adjective is a word that modifies a noun by describing certain properties or qualities of that noun. This Greek adjective hágios originates from hágos, and it carries with it a variety of meanings and applications as follows:

 

·        Morally blameless, upright, pure in heart and life, and virtuous.

 

·        Holy, set apart, sanctified, and consecrated.  Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.

 

·        Pure, clean, ceremonially or morally clean, including the idea of deserved respect, reverence; it particularly means perfect, without blemish (Romans 12:1).

 

·        Any matter of religious awe, expiation, and sacrifice.

 

3.      Spirit” = pneúma (Strong’s reference number 4151) is a noun, but also is used as a verbal noun.  It is used frequently in its genitive “pneúmatos.”  The origin of the Greek noun pneúma is the word pnéo (4154) meaning “to breathe.”  Hence, pneúma means “breath” but can also be found in a variety of applications, including:

 

·        Breath of air, air in motion, a breeze, blast, the wind (John 3:8).

 

·        The human spirit; that is, the essence of life residing in man. The breath breathed by God into man and again returning to God, the spiritual entity in man (Genesis 2:7; Psalms 104:29; Ecclesiastes 12:7). The spirit is that part that can live independently of the body (Genesis 45:27; Judges 15:19, Psalms 31:5, Matthew 27:50, Luke 8:55; 23:46, John 19:30, Acts 7:59, James 2:26, Revelation 13:15).

 

·        The rational spirit, mind, element of life.  Pneuma can also be translated as mental disposition, intellect, counsel, etc, depending upon the context.   The soul and spirit are closely related because both are invisible apart from the human body of flesh.  The scriptures also differentiate between the aspects of man’s soul and spirit. This differentiation is evident from their mention together in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Also read Luke 1:47; Hebrews 4:12). 

 

·        The spirit is man’s immaterial nature that enables him to commune with God, who is also spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 states, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”   The words translated as, “natural man,” in the Greek language is psuchikós, meaning the “soul of man.” The soul is the aspect of man’s nature that makes him aware of his body and his natural, physical environment. The difference between soul and spirit is not one of substance but of function. The following are scripture references that mention either the “spirit” of man, or the “soul” of man, or both together. (Genesis 35:18; 41:8; 1 Kings 17:21; Psalms 42:6; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Matthew 10:28; 20:28, Mark 8:36, 37; 12:30, Luke 1:46, John 4:23-24; 12:27, 1 Corinthians 15:44, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12; 6:18, 19, James 1:21, 3 John 1:2, Rev. 6:9; 20:4).

 

·        The Spirit of God.  In the NT, referred to as “the Spirit of God, the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, etc.” (John 4:24; Romans 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:17-18)

 

·        The spirit of the man Jesus (Acts 16:7; Philippians 1:19; Galatians 4:6)

 

·        The anointed human spirit (1 Peter 1:11); anthropomorphized, one example of the anointed human spirit is called “the spirit of Elijah” (Luke 1:17)

 

·        A messenger of God; that is, an angelic spirit.

 

·        An evil spirit, also known as a demon (Matthew 12:43; Acts 19:15-16).

 

To accurately translate and distinguish the meaning of Greek words like pneuma and hágion it is necessary to lay aside one’s paradigm when reading scripture.  Many times the phrase “the Holy Spirit” in the literal Greek New Testament reads, “a morally blameless spirit” or “a consecrated life (spirit.” 

 

When the Greek omits the definite article (‘the’) this is known in Greek grammar as the anarthrous construction.  Most English translators improperly insert a definite article when the anarthrous construction warrants the use of an indefinite article.  For example, if the Greek reads, “Pneumatos Hagíou” the Greek definite article “toú” has been omitted.  To properly translate to English this word group reads, “a holy (pure) spirit.” 

 

The written Greek language does not have an indefinite article.  When translating to English the same is often implied in the absence of a definite article (the indefinite article ‘a’ being implied in the absence of a definite article ‘the’). 

 

Since the Greek word “hagios” normally translated “holy” also means, “consecrated, morally blameless, perfect, undefiled, clean, pure, etc,” the careful student must check each verse with a Greek interlinear Bible to verify which verses include or omit the definite article “ toú” (the) preceding the words “Pneuma Hágion” (holy spirit).

 

The verses that omit the Greek word “toú” as a definite article “the” often have no connection to God’s Holy Spirit at all.  For example, in John 20:22, Jesus said, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” There is no definite article “toú” (English = ‘the’) in the original Greek text, and the context of John 20:22-23 warrants an alternate translation.  That is, John 20:22 is not dealing with the disciples receiving the “Holy Spirit” but rather taking hold of “a morally blameless spirit.”  Therefore, John 20:22 should read as follows:  “Receive (take hold of) a morally blameless spirit.” 

 

The Holy Spirit verses a morally blameless spirit

Contrasting the differences in the New Testament

 

Having laid the groundwork for study, the next section is a comparison of scripture verses, in their appropriate context, which should be translated as “a morally blameless spirit” or “an undefiled life” or “an unblemished spirit.”  The King James Version (KJV) will be listed first, and then below the KJV will be the same verse labeled The Appropriate Translation.

 

Bear in mind there are over twenty different ways ‘Pneuma Hagíou’ or ‘Pneumatos Hágion’ (anarthrous construction) could be translated.  In Parts 8 and 9 much more detail will be given to alternate translations, and a comprehensive list of possible translations will be provided for anarthrous constructions (without a definite article) and texts that include the definite article (s).

As you read each of the verses examined below, seeking to understand the context and proper interpretation, allow God to work deep within your heart.  The purpose is not to merely obtain right doctrine, but to apply the truth to your life, and be found upright, with a morally blameless spirit in Christ Jesus our Lord.

King James Version

 

·        Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of or in the mind, purpose and judgment of the Lord.  He is never to take wine or other fermented liquor, and he will be supplied with a morally blameless spirit originating out of or from the inmost being of his mother.  TAT

 

John the Baptist was not filled with ‘the Holy Spirit’ of God inside of his mother’s womb.  The Appropriate Translation of Luke 1:15 shows John was to be wholly permeated, affected, and influenced with and by a morally blameless life.  His parents (Elizabeth & Zacharias) would be chosen by God and commanded by Him to wholly imbue John in a life that was undefiled with the world’s influences.  They provided John an example to follow through their godly character and integrity.

 

Zacharias was unable to speak a word from the time the angel Gabriel appeared to him as he ministered at the altar in the temple until the time John was born.  In the text below is the background of this circumstance. 

 

Luke 1:57-66

57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she brought forth a son.

58 And her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.

59 And it came about that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father.

60 And his mother answered and said, "No indeed; but he shall be called John."

61 And they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name."

62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called.

63 And he asked for a tablet, and wrote as follows, "His name is John." And they were all astonished.

64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.

65 And fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea.

66 And all who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.  NAS

 

Zacharias had been unable to speak for months, and now he could speak!  God had sent an angel to him to give the name “John” to his son, even though this was not a name in his lineage.  John means beloved, and his name would reflect how God felt towards this special messenger who was sent to prepare the way for Messiah.

 

Luke 1:67-80

67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant--

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--

71 Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us;

72 To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,

74 To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;

77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins,

78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,

79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace. " 

80 And the child continued to grow, and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

NAS

 

Zacharias was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (a mistranslation of Luke 1:67) so that he could prophesy of John’s role to Israel.  The Appropriate Translation reveals the true meaning of this verse:

 

The following is John the Baptists’ discourse with the Pharisees and the leaders of the Jews who spoke with John the Baptist.

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was imbued with a sacred (consecrated) breath and spoke under divine inspiration, saying…

 

God furnished Zacharias with divine assistance to utter the prophetic words to Israel about John the Baptist as the Lord’s messenger.

 

King James Version

 

·        John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  (KJV)

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        John 1:33 "Even I myself did not see and recognize him, but contrary (to my own natural perception), the one that dispatched me to immerse in water, the same one said to me, 'Upon whosoever you see, (and know from the past), the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, the same person he is that overwhelms and influences {you} with a morally blameless life.'"   TAT

 

John the Baptist was told by God that upon whomever he saw the consecrated spirit descend in the form of a dove, this same one would be the Messiah who would imbue others with his undefiled life.

 

This means Jesus, the Son of God, would influence them, and direct Israel to his Father God.  Jesus bore witness to the Father through his works and his words (READ John 10:25-39).

 

Receive the Holy Spirit, or take hold of a morally blameless life by becoming willing to forgive?

 

The whole embodiment of Jesus’ teaching embraced the concept of moral purity.  He lived and taught others to SEEK a relationship with God that reflected good moral character.  The theme of forgiveness is what he taught as central to becoming “morally blameless.”

 

One of the most quoted scripture passages is the teaching Jesus provided on prayer.  The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ includes forgiveness; if we for God’s mercy, we must forgive others to receive it.  When his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray,” this is how he replied:

 

·        Luke 11:2-4 He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation.’”  (From New International Version)

 

The phrase, “Give us each day our daily bread,” is tied HOW we treat others, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”  Our spiritual “bread” is feeding on God’s mercy AND showing it to others.  Of course it is much easier to ask God for mercy than to forgive someone that has hurt you.

Because Jesus understood the difficulty mankind had showing mercy to his neighbor, the motivation for daily prayer must be expressed by asking our Father in heaven to provide what we feed upon.  In other words, “Give us our daily bread” is more than mere food; rather, it is feeding on the attitude of heart and mind necessary to forgive. 

 

The concept of personal responsibility to forgive others as often as they repent was difficult for these Jewish disciples of Jesus to digest.  They once asked Jesus how often one must forgive his neighbor, and when Jesus told them “Seventy times seven in a day” they despairingly replied, “Lord increase our faith!” (Luke 17:3-5 with Matthew 18:21-22)

 

On the heels of the Lord’s instruction on prayer, he told a parable about the man of importunity.  Below is The Amplified Bible’s version of Luke 11:5-8 & 9-13; this version is used because it best illustrates the persistence of the man who asked for three loaves of bread from his friend during the night.

 

·        Luke 11:5-8 And He said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and will say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread], for a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come, and I have nothing to put before him.’  And he from within will answer, ‘Do not disturb me; the door is now closed, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and supply you [with anything]?’  I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  AMP

 

Jesus is teaching his disciples that part of asking their Father in heaven for daily bread is to do so with “shameless persistence and insistence.”  Because the “three loaves of bread” are symbolic of how Jews viewed a typical day in three parts (i.e. – morning, evening & nighttime), the Lord is saying they must be willing to forgive at ALL three times of the day AND they must be persistent and unashamed to ask God for His divine sustenance. 

 

Without the Father’s help no one can conquer the age-old struggle between the flesh and the spirit (Romans chapter seven).  It is needful therefore to keep asking throughout our lives, and our Father in heaven, who gives us what is best, will lovingly provide us with the strength and help needed to forgive others.

 

·        Luke 11:9-12 “So I say to you, ‘Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.’  What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  AMP

·         

If we ask our Father in heaven for His help in order that we might have the means to forgive others, there is no doubt He will give us what we need.  Our motives cannot be selfish and self-centered when we’re asking for the ability to show mercy to others and treat them the same way we expect our Father to treat us. 

 

All of this background helps us with our next “Holy Spirit” scripture verse.  Below is the King James Version of Luke 11:13 and below it is The Appropriate Translation.  The original Greek text is in the anarthrous construction, which means there is no definite article ‘toú’ (translated as ‘the’) preceding the words ‘Pneúma Hágion’ (translated as ‘Holy Spirit’).

King James Version

 

·        Luke 11:13 “13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Luke 11:13 “If you therefore, so pressed by your daily toil for subsistence, have come to exist as being in a state of anguish, {yet still} know how to give good presents to your children, how much greater in degree will the Father, out of the eternal and consummately perfect realm give a morally blameless life to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”  AMP

 

One can see just how much the meaning of a scripture verse is altered when translators are not careful.  The erroneous use of “the Holy Spirit” changes the translation of other Greek words in the text, and alters the grammatical construction in English in order to make it conform to the doctrinal prejudice.

 

Luke 11:13 is intended to be a summary of Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness, prayer and seeking the Father for help.  The Greek words translated as “being evil” denote daily toil for basic essentials, which, in those days, could cause a person much hurt and anguish of soul and body.  Even so, though a man is pressed to the hilt, he will find some way of providing “good presents” for his own children.  How much greater then the provision of a loving and caring Father (God) whose supply originates from a realm that is, “eternal and consummately perfect”?

King James Version

 

·        John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        John 20:22 And this thing he said, emphasizing it, and laying it forth to them in a speech, "Get hold of a morally blameless life."  TAT

 

After God raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus presented himself alive to his disciples.  The narrative in John 20:22 is a commission by Jesus to the disciples.  Just as the Father had commissioned and sent him forth with authority, Jesus sent his own apostles forth and gave them the same authority.

 

The context of John 20:22 is parallel to the account in Matthew 28:16-20.  In Matthew’s gospel account, Jesus is says he is sending the disciples out to teach the gospel to all of the pagan ethnic peoples, whereas in John 20:22 Jesus doesn’t emphasize WHO they will disciple, but what kind of spiritual condition and attitude they must maintain to be effective (i.e. – a morally blameless life).

 

The Lord Jesus knew that if the disciples were sent out to the Gentile nations, they would need to have a forgiving spirit.  Thus he implores them to “take hold of” a “morally blameless spirit” and retain it by forgiving others for their sins.  Jesus knows an unwillingness to forgive will destroy relationships in the church, rendering the gospel and its ministers ineffective.  Consider the next verse following John 20:22:

 

·        John 20:23 “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  (From New International Version)

 

Jesus’ teaching on the subject of forgiveness was simply the repetition of what he had taught his disciples the entire 3 ½ years they were with him.  Forgiving others was the central theme of all Jesus said and did, and it would be the ONLY way this bunch of Jewish sinners could spread the gospel of grace!

 

 

Other verses with the use of “a morally blameless life (spirit)”

 

There are many other verses of scripture where the Bible translators have made the mistake of inserting “the Holy Spirit” instead of “a morally blameless spirit.”  While the list of scripture texts below will not address the topic exhaustively, it will give the student of scripture a ‘heads-up’ and a start into the exploration of many hidden jewels of truth.  You must have access to a Greek Interlinear Bible of the Greek New Testament, and use the interlinear text with a good Bible dictionary and/or Greek Lexicon to look up word meanings and definitions in the Greek text. 

 

In Greek grammar a group of words containing an adjective and noun without the definite article is known as Anarthrous Construction.  Sometimes The Appropriate Translation is provided because a literal rendering was necessary once the definite article is omitted in the English translation.

King James Version

 

·        Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.  KJV

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Romans 9:1 Truth (reality) I lay forth {to you} as {I} remain in a fixed position of rest in Christ (the anointed one); I do not attempt to deceive {you} by means of falsehood, {on the contrary} my conscience is backed up (established) with concurrent evidence, which is an undefiled life. TAT

 

It is obvious why The Appropriate Translation (TAT) was needed for the passage above.  Paul is bearing witness to the Roman church by affirming his teaching as being true, and corroborating it a lifestyle that is unblemished (untarnished, blameless).  Actions speak louder than words, and our actions lend credibility to what we say.

King James Version

 

·        1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

 

·        1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our good message did not come into you in merely a topical discourse, but also in strength by virtue of and in an undefiled life and in much confidence, in as much as you see what sort of men we have become among you for your sake.  TAT

 

·        1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became imitators of us, and of the Master (Lord), having received the teaching in the midst of pressure with a great deal of joy, in a sanctified life.  TAT

King James Version

 

·        Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Jude 20 But you beloved, building yourselves upon (as a foundation) the more pure moral persuasion, moving toward superiority or preference for a morally blameless life. TAT

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Romans 14:17 Indeed the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking; on the contrary, {it is} equity of character and (joint) peace and {the kind of} calm delight {which is} derived from being in a relation of rest together stemming from a morally blameless life.  TAT

 

Later in this series of studies it will be demonstrated that “a morally blameless life” is not the only option for verses of scripture that omit a definite article before Holy Spirit.  In fact, the possibilities are varied, and this author does not claim to have exclusive rights on revelation.

 

The main idea is that Christians begin to use their minds and hearts to search the scriptures in a prayerful mode.  Seeking to be more like Jesus implies we must know him more clearly, and commune with him more frequently.  Most Christians spend more time watching television or playing with computer games than studying the word of God.

 

Perhaps one of the greatest evils in our society is neglecting the scriptures while we have the freedom.

 

 

 

SELAH…Pause and reflect

 

 

Continued in Part Five

 


Links to the Entire "Jesus is the Gift of the Holy Spirit” Series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Addendum (Quick Reference Guide)

 


 

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