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2, Study 5, Holy
‘Holy Ghost’ in KJV New Testament
(Please be following along in your Bible so as to connect with the context and the circumstance of each verse.)
This long study began with the idea of showing the reader how the translators of the King James Bible distinguished between ‘Holy Spirit’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ in the New Testament and why they did it and how it was to be used by Bible readers. Therefore, the reader must first read this file (the ‘Holy Ghost’) because all of my comments in each of these files have to do with what the KJV translators did regarding ‘Holy Ghost’ and ‘Holy Spirit’. This file is ‘Holy Ghost’. ‘Holy Spirit’ is another file, etc.
However, then I decided to include ‘spirit’ and also ‘Spirit’ as well, which you can find in files ‘spirit’ and ‘Spirit’. The reader can print out this file and print out any of the other files for comparison when reading any of the books of the New Testament. When printed, these can be compared side by side. The entire study is altogether interesting, but rather long.
The reader can read my comments for what they are worth (or not); even so, the overall study provides lists of all such New Testament verses with the word ‘spirit’ in some form. The same has been done for the word ‘spirit’ in the Old Testament.
I repeat, this study and its lists can make for good references in your future studies. Indeed, if you copy these lists then you can insert into them (as I have done) your own comments for your future use.
Included in many of the verses are brackets [ ] which contain the meaning of a Greek word(s). The Greek definitions are according to Strong, as I am using the e-Sword software of the King James Version with Strong’s Numbers.
To see the verses having either ‘Holy Ghost’ or ‘Holy Spirit’ or ‘Spirit’ or ‘spirit’ in a book of the Bible simply select the file for the word or phrase and then search for the book title.
~ Matthew ~
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of [origin] the Holy Ghost.
The KJV makes a distinction between Spirit (i.e. a current of air) and Ghost (i.e. also a current of air…same Greek word). It translates both ‘the Spirit’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ even as it translates differently ‘Holy Ghost’. It uses the word ‘Spirit’ as pointing to the Spirit when not connected to a human. It uses the word ‘Ghost’ when the Spirit is connected to a human. Therefore, with ‘Holy Ghost’ the KJV points out to the reader when the Spirit has become applied in some manner to a person (i.e. in, upon, influencing, etc).
We shall see this as we proceed and, in so doing, we shall study the KJV’s distinctions to understand in a verse what the translators of the KJV want us to notice. Moreover, we shall consider pertinent words in each verse that may broaden additional meaning of such ‘Holy Ghost’ applications unto, or in, or upon humans.
I will not be explaining much, rather simply presenting a verse and some of the Greek meanings. The rest is up to you.
1:20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived [procreated, fathered] in her is of [the Source] the Holy Ghost.
When not in connection with a human (i.e. the abstract), the term used is ‘Holy Spirit’. Yet, when a verse indicates a Holy Spirit to human connection (i.e. an application) then the KJV reads ‘Holy Ghost’. It is similar to a distinction about my father. I can refer to him by his given name or as “Dad”. He is the same person, but I would be intending that the reader catch a different meaning depending on which word used.
3:11) I indeed baptize [‘make thoroughly wet’, as in ‘wash with water’] you with [positioned in] water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize [‘make thoroughly wet’, as in ‘wash with water’] you with [positioned in] the Holy Ghost, and with fire [as lightning]:
The concept of ‘baptize’ is to wash in the ceremonial sense. Jews would wash their hands before eating, but also they would ceremonially wash (i.e. baptize) their arms as well. (I am not saying that they were supposed to do it by the Mosaic Law, rather that they had made it a doctrinal practice.) The manner was to lay the arm of the robe over the shoulder out of the way and then put the hand in a basin of clean (i.e. ceremonial) water provided for the purpose and then, with the other hand, they would dip up water and bring it over the bare arm so as to thoroughly wet the whole arm. They would repeat the process on the other arm. The Greek word for baptize means to make thoroughly wet.
I am not going to get into the “correct” mode of baptism in modern churches, but the Greek word in scripture has to do with ceremony and thorough wetting or washing.
Moreover, it is not just ‘baptized with the Holy Ghost’, but it is ‘baptized positioned in the Holy Ghost’. Even as John the Baptist baptized people positioned in water, so [referring to Christ Jesus] ‘he shall baptize you positioned in the Holy Ghost’.
The English word ‘with’ in this and some of the following verses is a translation of different Greeks words. In this verse, then, ‘with’ means positioned in or fixed in. But in some other passages ‘with’ has different meanings, which will be explained as we go.
Remember that this is ceremonial, which points to or infers something much more than the ceremony itself. So then, the ceremonial positioning of a person in the Holy Ghost is not a fixed condition even as a person does not stay fixed in the baptismal water. Instead this ceremony, which is of heaven (i.e. originates in heaven), infers that a person has become connected to All that is in Christ Jesus.
Moreover, it has been accomplished by means of ‘the Spirit of Promise’ which was acquired from God the Father by Jesus the Son for us.
I am mentioning some things as we pass through the verses and I am pointing out some of the Greek words. But I am not getting into modern church doctrines as they differ in different churches. We will simply look at the verses and I will leave it at that.
12:31,32) Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come [the Greek means ‘expected’, ‘about to be’].
I would consider this a warning in every sense (Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, etc); yet, the translators of the KJV want us to be particularly concerned with the Spirit’s personal connection to a child of God. That is, whatever the application that the Holy Ghost has made to a Christian, this warning applies emphatically.
The Greek word for ‘blasphemy’ in its simplest meaning is to proclaim something that is good to be “worthless or of no useful purpose”. This can be done in a mean, wicked, or abusive manner; OR it can be done in a simple statement inferring that personal human ability is as good as (or is above the ability or work of) the Holy Ghost.
Here, then, is the danger to Christians as we work for God. Should something good be accomplished by God in using a person or a group, all too often the person or group somehow receives the credit.
But also, if the power of God is not doing the work, yet the work of a person or group seems good, and thus is pronounced to be the work of the Holy Ghost, this also is proclaiming the work of men as equal to the work of God.
We really need to be careful in making claims. The true work of God is able to gain glory unto itself without our help. I believe that God is tired of our many claims.
28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing [thoroughly wetting] them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The Greek word ‘teach’ is more correctly to school individuals as scholars. Therefore, the word infers a higher form, and in this verse it is ‘recruit unto discipleship’.
~ Mark ~
Mark 1:8) I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
See Matthew 3:11 for comments.
3:29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
The word ‘eternal’ in the Greek actually means beyond the point that the eye can see, beyond what the mind can perceive, beyond…ongoing…perpetual. Thus, see Matthew 12:32 for more perspective.
12:36) For David
himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD [God] said to my Lord
[Christ], Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies
13:11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Though the words emerge from the mouths of men, they originate of the Holy Ghost.
~ Luke ~
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 Greek word for ‘filled’ means filled with, supplied by, influenced by. OR it means imbue as in to dye or to permeate something, or to cause something to drink in. Thus, we see that John the Baptist ‘shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be caused to drink in the Holy Ghost. This is not something baby John could do of himself, rather something the Holy Ghost would cause to happen to John.
The word also has the connotation of filled, like a room which has been properly furnished for the room’s special purpose. Thus, John shall be caused to drink in the Holy Ghost so as to be properly furnished for his chosen purpose, and this was worked in baby John even inside his mother’s womb. Such things of the Holy Ghost are God’s doings.
1:35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and [also] the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The words ‘come upon’ are two words that together mean arrive to superimpose. Thus, the Holy Ghost shall arrive so as to hover over and superimpose Itself.
Here the word ‘power’ is actually force; so that not only does the Holy Ghost arrive to superimpose, but also a force of God shall overshadow Mary such that (also) the ‘holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’.
As with John the Baptist, this is something that God will do…by means of the Holy Ghost and a heavenly force.
Please note that always when the English word ‘power’ is used in connection to a human that the Greek word is ‘force’. And when the English word is used in connection to God Himself that the Greek word is ‘power’. For the Power is in God and He exercises many kinds of force toward His children, the world, and the earth.
1:41) And it came to
pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe
leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with [was made to
soak in or drank in] the Holy Ghost:
1:67) And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
These verses, 41 and 67, show the present condition of what was promised as in verses 15 and 35. That is, the Holy Ghost created (41 and 67) a condition of individuals having been ‘filled’…as in furnished for the job that is to be done. Again, it is something that the Holy Ghost did (and accepted by each).
2:25) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Simeon was in a state or condition of the Holy Ghost being ‘upon’ him. As in 1:35 when the Holy Ghost would arrive superimposed upon Mary, here also the Holy Ghost is superimposed upon Simeon.
2:26) And it was
revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death,
before he had seen the Lord's Christ [God’s Anointed One].
3:16) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize [fully wet] you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize [fully wet] you with the Holy Ghost and with [this with is not in the original text] fire:
In this verse, the word ‘with’ in the Greek has to do with position, (i.e. fixed or at rest). Jesus shall ‘fully wet’ the person to be ‘fixed or at rest in the Holy Ghost’. The word ‘with’ itself does not include the concept of permanence; even so, when the verse does mean permanence then the whole of the verse will so state it.
In this verse, it is Jesus who will do something and not the Holy Ghost; and what will Jesus do? He will (i.e. by his death and resurrection) acquire from the Father the Promise of the Holy Ghost such that a person will become ‘positioned’ (i.e. fixed or at rest) in the Holy Ghost. All along, in the history of God’s people, even as we saw above in the stories leading up to and regarding Jesus’ birth, the Holy Ghost had applied heavenly communications to men and women (and to baby John).
However, a long-time Promise of the Holy Ghost had existed to Israel (and to the nations) for a much broader work among the people. Below we shall see the awaited arrival of the Holy Ghost within the fullness of this Promise.
To know what the Promise of the Holy Ghost means, a person must search out and study this Promise in the Old Testament, and then also find all the references of it in the New Testament.
3:22) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily [physical] shape [form] like [as if] a dove upon [‘superimposed on’] him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Here it is the Holy Ghost that is doing something. It descended in a physical form of some kind that could actually be seen and lighted superimposed (as a pigeon or a dove might have done) on Jesus. We are not given a description of this form, instead a description of its arrival superimposed on Jesus. In other passages we are told of such arrivals of the Holy Ghost, but not told that it was in a ‘physical form’.
4:1) And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
In 2:25 and 3:22, the Holy Ghost was superimposed on Simeon and on Jesus. Here Jesus is presently in a state or condition of ‘full’; however, this particular Greek word means ‘covered over’ and it is not the same Greek word that means ‘having fully taken in’ or ‘been well furnished’.
((Here I must repeat that this study is an exercise of looking at verses containing Holy Ghost (in the KJV) and considering some of the Greek words in the verses. I am not (and I trust that you are not) comparing varying church doctrines on the Holy Spirit. We are in a simple exercise. Therefore, simply allow God’s words to soak into and reside in you. For only the Lord knows what He might do with His words.))
12:10) And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
Compare with Matthew 12:31,32, but know that the word translated ‘against’ in the Greek more fundamentally means ‘to’ (meaning ‘to touch’ a point of contact). If I speak bad words ‘against’ you then it is like bad gossip. But if I speak bad words directly to you, which ‘touch or affect’ you, then I am (if you will) “in your face”. Jesus had numerous occasions when a religious person was “in his face” and he handled those occasions and persons with ease. This verse says that Jesus did not hold it against those persons, and in fact when upon the cross he asked the Father to forgive all who were killing him.
Yet note that the context of this verse has to do with a warning about personal relations with the Holy Ghost itself, and we are told elsewhere not to offend the Holy Ghost. Remember that these verses containing Holy ‘Ghost’ instead of with Holy ‘Spirit’ have to do with the Spirit in personal applications to and/or with and/or upon humans.
12:12) For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
In Matthew 28:19 is a broader and higher concept of ‘teach’ which has to do with recruiting and mentoring disciples. Here, however, the word ‘teach’ is the simple straightforward meaning of ‘teach’…and it will occur ‘in the same hour’ when needed.
~ John ~
John 1:33) And I [John the Baptist] knew him not: but he that sent [obviously God by means of the Holy Ghost] 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.
Ah, here is an interesting verse that contains ‘Spirit’ and ‘Holy Ghost’. The original text has ‘Spirit’ for the thing descending from heaven, and the original text says that this thing remained on Jesus. Yet, when the 'thing' (i.e. ‘Spirit) is spoken of in its application to humans it is ‘the Holy Ghost’ in the KJV. I suspect that this verse and others similar, when considered together, are the reason that the KJV translators made the distinctions we are now studying. This verse, then, demonstrates the KJV distinction.
7:39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive [future tense]: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given [within the Promise]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
In 3:16 we see the mention of the Promise. Here we see that the Promise had not yet been acquired by our Lord Jesus Christ, because the acquiring of it was not yet completed until his part was accomplished (which would result in Jesus’ glorification). Further in the study we shall see that often the Spirit was with Jesus’ disciples, but not yet in the fullness of the Promise.
14:26) But the Comforter [Intercessor, Consoler], which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send [‘dispatch’] in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance [‘quietly remind’, ‘suggest’], whatsoever I have said unto you.
Isn’t it wonderful for those of us who love God’s words (see 14:23) that God has promised to remind and to suggest proper things to us who obey His words?
20:22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them [‘heavily as a puff’], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
The Greek word for ‘receive’ actually means take hold of. The Arrival of the Holy Ghost (in the context of the Father’s Promise, which Jesus would fully acquire upon the completion of his mission), would not arrive until Jesus was glorified at the right hand of the Father (that is, not quite yet at that time). Therefore, it seems to me that Jesus was breathing strongly on them the Holy Spirit that was ‘fully’ inside and upon him; perhaps it was a foretaste to them of what they would experience at Pentecost when God would cause them to take hold of the Holy Ghost.
So, it seems to me that ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’ was a pronouncement upon the disciples, and they were to wait in Jerusalem until the Arrival to them at the time of Pentecost.
Now when we think in terms of ‘to receive Holy Ghost’, we often think in terms of something that a person does to ‘receive’ it. In other words, that God offers it and a person can accept it. Yet, this also means that a person can refuse to accept it. Thus, we typically think that acceptance or refusal is up to the person.
Ah, but that is not what is in this text. The disciples (by now they were apostles) were not doing something. God was doing something. Indeed, from the beginning of their being chosen by God, they were being manipulated and worked as clay. Therefore, it seems to me in this verse that Jesus was not offering them something. Instead he was strongly breathing on them (from himself) the Holy Ghost to keep them until they would take hold of the Fullness of the Promise of the Arrival of the Holy Ghost at the time of Pentecost.
But please understand: They would not take hold of the Holy Ghost itself, rather it would be the other way around as the Holy Ghost would ‘come upon them’. Instead, they would be taking hold of all that would transpire to them within the Promised Arrival (so it seems to me). (Even so, whatever is the truth of Scripture…which I may or may not have presented correctly here…it is Marvelous.)
Moreover, if a person studies carefully the Arrival in Acts he will see that the apostles were doing little as compared to what the Holy Ghost was doing. Even the apostles’ words when anointed were the work of the Holy Ghost. Moreover, the responses toward God of the people hearing those words also was the personal internal work of the Holy Ghost.
~ Acts ~
Acts 1:2) Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through [a channel] the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Here we see ‘Until the day in which he [Jesus] was taken up’. But just above in this study in John 20:22 we see Jesus breathing heavily upon the apostles, and this was beforewas taken up’.
Therefore, it was ‘after that’ that Jesus would be giving ‘commandments unto the apostles’ by means of and ‘through the channel’ that was the Holy Ghost.
1:5) For John truly [in fact] baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
The words ‘with water’ is ‘water’ in the original text. But the word ‘with’ before ‘the Holy Ghost’ is in the original. As stated above, ‘with’ means positional in or fixed in.
1:7) And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
The phrase ‘It is not for you’ is better translated ‘It is not of you’, which means “you are not the source of knowing”. In other words, “it is not in you to know”. Moreover, in this verse the word ‘power’ in the Greek means ‘ability’ or ‘capability’…and God is the One who has it.
So let me translate the verse: ‘And he said unto them, It is not within you to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed in His own ability.’ (This means: God can, and therefore He does, and you cannot.)
1:8) But [nevertheless] ye shall receive [get hold of] power [force], after [following] that the Holy Ghost is come upon [arrive superimposed on] you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
As it was with Mary and with Simeon in Luke 1:35 and 2:25, here is the same meaning of the Holy Ghost to arrive superimposed on the apostles. Note in 1:7 above that God has ‘power’ (ability) and here the apostles shall get hold of force…the Greek words are different and they have different meanings, even though the meanings are linked.
It should be obvious that in God is real ‘power’ (ability) and such ‘power’ is not in any person. Yet, the apostles shall get hold of ‘force’. Moreover, note in Luke that it was not Mary and Simeon who were doing things; instead it was God who was doing things in and through them. Thus, they experienced the real force which God was applying within His power.
The translators here chose the word ‘receive’ (a rather passive word which infers that God has given or placed something and they have received it). Yet, the Greek word means toget hold of the thing given or placed. Mary did not just receive something; she took hold of it, fully embracing the Promise from the angel which she knew to be God’s Promise to her.
At this point I have deviated from just giving the scripture and the Greek meanings of some of the words, which I realize amounts to “some preaching”. Yet, surely you realize that if God does not trust man with knowing some things in the future then surely He does not trust man with the very ‘power’ (ability) of God.
Too many Christians think if they can take hold of such passages, for the passages “to work” for them, that then they shall have the ability within themselves to decide how and when to use the power. But I digress; let us get on with the study of Holy Ghost verses.
1:16) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Note here that God worked by means of the Holy Ghost with men and women through the ages of the Old Testament.
2:4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance [meaning ‘declarations’].
Here the word ‘filled’ is the Greek for having soaked in to the full; and also it has to do with completing a room with furnishings needed for the purpose. Regarding the Promise of the Father of the Arrival of the Holy Ghost, the Promise has been fulfilled and now the apostles are fully furnished for their purpose.
But as we know, the Promise was not just to these apostles, rather it is for the entire work of God in men and women within that purpose…which purpose is far more of God’s Purpose in such men and women than it is of their own purpose. Dear reader, this Marvelous Purpose is exclusively God’s Purpose…and men and women are only included as and when God chooses. Ah, but I am preaching again.
The utterances that the Holy Ghost ‘gave them’ were not just words in other tongues, but in those tongues the words were declarations about God…and they were words by means of God through the Holy Ghost. These declarations about God were not for the edification of the speakers, but were for a glorious testimony of Christ Jesus that he had come from God the Father. See Revelation 19:10.
2:33) Therefore [Christ Jesus] being by the right hand of God exalted [see John 1:33], and having received of [got hold from] the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he [Christ Jesus] hath shed [poured] forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Christ Jesus has acquired of the Father the Promise and, from Jesus’ exalted position beside the Father, he has ‘poured forth this which we now see and hear’.
2:38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive [get hold of] the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter makes it clear that the Promise of the Arrival of the Holy Spirit individually (‘Holy Ghost’) to God’s people is a thing given from God as acquired by Christ Jesus. It was Promised to (and came to) those among God’s people of Israel who ‘Repent’ (i.e. turn from their own ways) and ‘be baptized’ (i.e. be made thoroughly wet in what God was doing in Christ Jesus). And we know by Paul that it is expanded to all who accept and do likewise.
4:8) Then Peter,
filled with [in the sense of furnished for the purpose] the
Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of
4:31) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled [furnished for the purpose] with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
The Greek word for ‘boldness’ means with assurance, frankly, bluntly (i.e. without fear of who might hear).
5:3) But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled [crammed full] thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
In 4:8 and 31 the meaning of the Greek word is filled, furnished for a purpose, which purpose may require anything from completely full to sparsely furnished…the emphasis being upon sufficient for the purpose.
However, here the word ‘filled’ means full nigh to overflowing. And in this context Satan’s purpose overflows into the assembly. Thus, God stops it with death of the person, for Jesus said in John 15: ‘Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.’
5:32) And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Paul makes it clear that, though the Promise of the Arrival the of Holy Spirit is to all God’s people, we see that the ‘Holy Ghost’ was personally ‘given to them that obey Him’. In every single passage above we see that when a person experienced a personal application of (or from) the Holy Spirit that the person was in the very midst of personal obedience to God. Personal Obedience to God…as presented in these particular passages containing ‘Holy Ghost’…is not “doing something for God that we think He wants from us”. This kind of Obedience is an inward response to specific momentary commandments and leadings and such from God through the means of the Holy Ghost.
It may be Obeying a particular passage of scripture to the best of your ability because you have received a personal instant conviction or command pressed upon you from God. Or it may be a command by God to do a specific thing or a conviction not do a specific thing. In other words, it is not the person deciding on his or her own to do something for God. Rather it is God who is prodding the person, and the stick He is prodding with is the Holy Ghost.
6:3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Here the word ‘full’ does not mean ‘furnished’ or ‘nigh overflowing’. It means ‘covered over’ as in Luke 4:1. A person can be full in the sense of furnished or accomplished or even ‘crammed full’; sometimes such a purpose or intent by God in a person may be observed by others, Or it may be hidden privately between God and the person.
Yet, in this verse the idea is ‘covered over’ so that the person, in some manner, was seen or observed as affected by the Holy Ghost. Though it can be for differing purposes, nevertheless the Holy Ghost was seen to have been affecting the person.
In Luke 4:1 Jesus was covered over by the Holy Ghost such that it could be observed. Similarly in this verse, the persons chosen for ‘this business’ were to be men that could be observed by other Christians as typically covered over, affected by the Holy Ghost.
Therefore, it was not for men (those God wanted for the job) to step forward. It was the duty of the people of the assembly to observe all of the men, pray, and then vote.
Therefore, it was God’s Duty (perhaps I should say God’s Function) to make sure that the men whom He wanted for the job be covered over with the Holy Ghost such that the assembly could observe the ones chosen of God.
So we see that men to have even mundane duties of provision and settling of squabbles already had to have been covered over by the Holy Ghost. Work for God can be what we would call super spiritual, high leadership…or simple buying of food for the assembly.
God wants us to choose according to Him marking out a person, not according to what we think is best. The obvious marking out in this passage had to do with the Holy Ghost covering over a person(s).
So, why did the men who would work at mundane chores in the assembly have to be covered over by the Holy Ghost? The answer is “because God said so”. But surely you realize the implication regarding such men and women in mundane service in the Early Church. But now? Do we mistake capability and popularity as being covered over?
6:5) And the saying
pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full
[covered over] of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and
Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a
proselyte of Antioch:
7:51) Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Here is a clear inference (which modern Christians usually miss): The Holy Ghost was personally and individually active in Olden times among the Israelites, yet the majority of them ‘resisted’ so that the nation was often carried away from God and from His ways.
7:55) But he, being full [covered over] of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
The Holy Ghost covering over Stephen could be observed by all. Likely Saul (Paul) saw it, and the manner of such covering affected him such that he was ready for his physical and spiritual humbling, which would soon occur to him on the road to Damascus.
8:15) Who, when they
were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive [get
hold of] the Holy Ghost:
8:17) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received [got hold of] the Holy Ghost.
8:18) And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
In this instance, as the Holy Ghost was ‘given’, each person ‘got hold of’ it in such a physical manner that Simon observed it. It should be noted that an application of the Holy Ghost of the kind studied in these several passages was observable, perhaps for a short time or for a long time. Moreover, it might be observable to people nearby or invisible to them (i.e. not everyone had ‘eyes to see’); yet, it would be very observable to the person in whom or upon whom the application was made.
8:19) Saying, Give me
also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive [get
hold of] the Holy Ghost.
9:17) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight [more correctly ‘look up’], and be filled with [fully furnished with] the Holy Ghost.
9:31) Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort [exhortation and encouragement] of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
10:38) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power [force, as later also were the apostles]: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with [accompanied] him.
The word ‘anoint’ in scripture infers to consecrate one to an office or a work.
10:44) While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell [embraced] on [superimposed on] all them which heard the word.
The Holy Ghost superimposed on them, but did so as embracing them.
10:45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out [poured out] the gift of the Holy Ghost.
That which happened to the Gentiles in verse 44 was observed by Peter and by those who had come with him, and they would witness of it later in Jerusalem to the apostles.
10:47) Can any man
forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received
[gotten hold of] the Holy Ghost as well as we?
11:15) And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell [embraced] on [superimposed on] them, as on us at the beginning.
Here Peter was giving witness in Jerusalem of what had been observed (10:44,45).
11:16) Then remembered
I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with
water; but ye shall be baptized with [positioned in] the Holy
11:24) For he was a good man, and full [covered over] of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
13:2) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
The word ‘said’ typically infers spoken by voice or by writing, but also the word infers that it was a response to something said or done previously. The verse could have been translated, “The Holy Ghost responded (or answered) unto their ministering to the Lord and fasting.”
13:4) So they, being
sent forth [dispatched] by the Holy Ghost, departed unto
Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
13:9) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost [furnished for this occasion], set his eyes on him,
13:52) And the disciples were filled [crammed or stuffed full and nigh to overflowing] with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
15:8) And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them [so they could take hold] the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Though the word ‘full’ (covered over) was not used here, it is obvious that the Jews observed the Holy Ghost on them, or observed the Holy Ghost affecting them.
15:28) For it seemed
good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden
than these necessary things;
16:6) Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden [prevented] of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
The word ‘forbidden’ is more correctly prevented. and the word ‘of’ here means under or beneath. The apostles were prevented beneath the Holy Ghost.
19:2) He said unto
them, Have ye received [gotten hold of] the Holy Ghost since
ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard
whether there be any Holy Ghost.
19:6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on [superimposed on] them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
20:23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth [attests, earnestly protests] in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide [stay on] me.
The word here ‘witnesseth’ actually means earnestly protests and attests. This has to do with testimony as in a trial. In every city that Paul passed through, testimony by the brethren through means of the Holy Ghost was coming to Paul (which he well knew was of the Holy Ghost) that ‘bonds and afflictions’ would come to Paul and ‘stay’ on him.
In other words, the Holy Ghost was personally giving messages through men to Paul. All was of the Holy Ghost and nothing could be clearer to everyone in the group.
20:28) Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the
Holy Ghost hath made you [‘placed’ you as] overseers, to
feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
21:11) And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith [explained] the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
Here the word ‘saith’ actually means ‘to lay it all out’ as in a fully explained plan or as in a sequence of intended events. I.e. it could not be any clearer to Paul.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that
Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias
[Isaiah] the prophet unto our fathers,
~ Romans ~
Romans 5:5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love [affection] of God is shed abroad [poured forth] in [positioned in] our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given [to be taken hold of] unto us.
9:1) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in [positioned in] the Holy Ghost,
14:17) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in [positioned in] the Holy Ghost.
15:13) Now the God of hope fill [cram full] you with all joy and peace in believing [having faith, faithing], that ye may abound in hope, through the power [force] of the Holy Ghost.
This would really be Something: that is, being crammed full of joy and peace actively in faith to abound in hope…and all of it accomplished by Holy Ghost force! This of course is a benediction, and all that a person could do in participation of it would be to accept it. For if in fact it came to a person, then it would be the Holy Ghost doing all of it.
15:16) That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Here ‘sanctified’ means consecrated, made holy. As in 13, no person is doing it or working at it, not Paul nor the Gentiles. God is doing it by means of the Holy Ghost.
~ 1Corinthians ~
1Corinthians 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
6:19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple [or shrine] of the Holy Ghost which is in [positioned in] you, which ye have [in possession] of [‘far off from’] God, and ye are not your own?
We know that the true temple or shrine of God is in heaven. Therefore, the person who is affected by the Holy Ghost (as in all these passages), it is his or her body that is a shrine which the person possesses on earth, far off from the heavenly temple where God abides.
12:3) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by [positioned in] the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but [if not] by [positioned in] the Holy Ghost.
The word ‘accursed’ actually means excommunicated; which means that Jesus is cast out from God or that Jesus is no longer the Son of God or that Jesus has fallen from grace. There were local gods with their own teachings, which through the ages seemed to help people, and so attempts were made to merge some of them (in crazy and weird doctrines) into the teachings of the apostles. It was happening within the rather large circuit wherein Paul was ministering. It continues throughout the world.
Also consider: ‘saying that Jesus is Lord’ is not a true or real testimony unless at the time of the saying the person is positioned or fixed in the Holy Ghost (see Revelation 19:10). Moreover, a person’s words cannot be the words of a saving God unless the words are more of the Holy Ghost than of the lowly human speaker. For it is the Holy Ghost that must do something with those words within the hearer of those words..
(This may be preaching on my part, but it seems clear enough in the Greek meaning.)
~ 2Corinthians ~
2Corinthians 6:6) By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
‘By’ in every case here means positioned in.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the
communion [personal participation in partnership] of the Holy
Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
~ 1Thessalonians ~
1Thessalonians 1:5) For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power [fixed in force], and in [fixed in] the Holy Ghost, and in [fixed in] much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
1:6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in [positioned in] much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
Here the word ‘received’ means received (i.e. not taken hold of as elsewhere).
Here the word ‘with’ means accompanied by.
They received the word while they were ‘positioned in’ much affliction, yet the word came to them ‘accompanied by’ the joy of the Holy Ghost.
~ 2Timothy ~
2Timothy 1:14) That good thing which was committed unto thee keep [isolated] by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in [positioned in] us [with us].
I.e. “By means of the Holy Ghost dwelling in and with us, keep isolated the good which has been placed beside you.”
~ Titus ~
Titus 3:5) Not by [out of] works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing [bath] of regeneration [rebirth], and [the] renewing [renovation] of the Holy Ghost;
In verse 3 Paul describes the condition of the unsaved person (please read it). Thus, he says that it was not out of any goodness or righteousness on man’s part that God mercifully bathed the person in rebirth (even as a new born baby). And also renovated him or her by the application of the Holy Ghost so as to be a new person and no longer in the condition described in verse 3.
~ Hebrews ~
Hebrews 2:4) [How shall we escape (verse 3)] God also bearing them witness [joined with them adding more evidence], both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts [distributions] of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will [by his determinations]?
3:7) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
6:4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
9:8) The Holy Ghost this signifying [making plain], that the way into the holiest of all [i.e. the sanctuary that contained the arc of the covenant] was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle [i.e. the tent structure in front of the sanctuary] was yet standing:
10:15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before [predicted or foretold],
~ 1Peter ~
1Peter 1:12) Unto whom [the prophets (verse 10)] it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with [positioned in] the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
~ 2Peter ~
2Peter 1:21) For the prophecy came [borne or carried] not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved [borne or carried] by [under] the Holy Ghost.
This is interesting. Read verses 16-21. Peter is describing God’s very word that came down from heaven upon Jesus. We normally think of ‘the Spirit lighting upon Jesus’, but here Peter is speaking of the actual sound itself (word) that people heard. He is comparing that sound (the word of God upon Jesus) to the prophecies of holy men in olden times about Christ.
Moreover, Peter is saying that such words were carried…and continue to be carried… under the Holy Ghost unto individuals today. In other words, the Holy Ghost is as a bird in the wind that carries in its talons such words from God unto individuals for whom such words are meant.
Barbara and I live on the banks of a small river. Through the summer we often see an osprey (a fish hawk) carrying a caught fish in its talons to its nest where its young wait. (More than a few osprey spend the summers up and down this river.) This is the word picture that Peter has painted. That is, prophetic words from God are forever alive (as the caught fish is yet alive), and the Holy Ghost (the osprey) carries such alive words to the child of God to feed upon, even as young osprey feed upon live fish.
Therefore, it is essential to realize that reading, studying, and “understanding” prophesy by human intellect is all well and good. We should work at it on a regular basis. Yet, it is only when God in heaven instructs the Holy Ghost to deliver such words (in their alive form) to the inward parts of the child of God that the Father’s young are truly fed.
~ 1John ~
1John 5:7) For there are three that bear record [testify] in [positioned in] heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
I find it interesting that the very next occurrence of Holy Ghost is in this verse. In verse 6, ‘it is the Spirit that beareth witness’. The Father, the Word (i.e. the Son), and the Holy Ghost compose a threefold witness which is positioned in heaven. Yet, it is the Spirit that beareth witness personally from heaven. This, I suspect, is why the translators of the King James Version chose to distinguish within such verses between Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost. To my knowledge the King James is the only translation of the Bible that does this; and so in this regard I believe we owe the translators a significant debt.
Much prophecy within scripture and in the Old Testament arrived to earth from God about differing topics (i.e. different messages). Yet, Revelation 19:10 declares that it is the Testimony of Jesus that is the very ‘spirit’ (or ‘Spirit’) of (all) prophesy.
~ Jude ~
Jude 1:20) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in [positioned in] the Holy Ghost,
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