The Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

The Old Testament foretold that the Holy Spirit would rest on Jesus

Isaiah 11 v 1-5

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord - 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.

He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The New Testament fulfilment of Isaiah 11 - The Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 3 v 13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit

Upper Room

Another comforter

John 14 v 15-27

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you.

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


This beautiful passage forms part of what we call – the upper room ministry of Christ – John chapters 13 to 17. It is his final farewell and private time of teaching with the disciples before his crucifixion and death.

It proves to be a pivotal point in time regarding the Holy Spirit and how He would now feature in representing God to mankind. Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. It was now time for a change in how God would operate through this bunch of chosen men.

Jesus went on to explain this new manifestation of God in the person of the Holy Spirit - the third person of the blessed Trinity.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

John 16 v 1-15

1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.

4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’

6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truthHe will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

In this upper room ministry, Jesus clearly explains that he has to return to the Father in heaven; his time on earth is over, for now.

When Jesus was with the disciples on earth, he lived as a man; he did not exercise the attribute of God’s omnipresence.

Paraclete = Comforter


But now he points to a new companion, a new comforter, in the form of the Holy Spirit. He would be ‘poured out’ on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost – we read about this in Acts chapter 2.

Matthew 3 v 11

I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The significant difference in the operation of the Holy Spirit would be signified in the ‘tongues of fire’ which were manifested on each individual on the day of Pentecost. 

Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit, who lived with them, would dwell in them. (John 14 v 17)

He reiterated this truth by saying that God (plural), “we will come to them and make our home with them” (14 v 23), or in them. This is reminiscent of Genesis 1 v 26 “Let us make man.”

Jesus was actually making a startling statement that would inaugurate a new era for this church and for the greater good of mankind; God would be present in every single believer all across the world through the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

If only the disciples could grasp the full import of what was about to happen; they would effectively become human temples for God to dwell in them through his Holy Spirit. 

The consequences would be far reaching. In fact, the world was about to change as a result of this dynamic move on God’s part.

When Christ was on earth, God was operating through him in the precise location where Christ was ministering at any given place and time. But when the Holy Spirit came, God would operate everywhere where his people were present; all over the earth, all the time.

This is the dynamic and magnitude of the work of the Holy Spirit as He works through the church!

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