The Spirit of the Lord

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1)

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

To know the stem of Jesse we must first know who Jesse is. When King Saul fell from favor with God because of his disobedience and prideful spirit the Prophet Samuel was commissioned to go to Bethlehem and anoint a new king for Israel. Samuel was told to go the house of Jesse who had eight sons and the Lord would tell Samuel which of the sons was to be the next King of Israel. When the youngest son, David, was brought before Samuel he was the one the Lord chose to be the next King of Israel. So Samuel anointed David to be the King. (1 Samuel 16:1-13) A branch from his roots bears witness that this is a Messianic Prophecy. The Lord God had promised David that the Messiah would be a direct descendant of him. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13) As we go through the Scriptures we can see the list of the Spirits that will reside upon the Messiah. There are seven as we read in the verse from Revelation. Today we will look at the first, “The Spirit of the Lord.”

The Spirit of The Lord is the mighty Spirit of God who comes with authority and in the Old Testament indwelled people at certain periods of time. It is His Holy Spirit. We read in the Book of Judges that the Israelite nation rose and fell seven times. They would fall because of their disobedience to God and their worship of false gods. God would punish them by allowing their neighbor nations to conquer them which would prompt the nation to return unto the Lord. Each time God would raise up a Judge to lead them in conquering their enemies and try to keep the Israelites on the path of obedience towards the Lord.

When Israel was face with a battle the Spirit of the Lord would come. In Judges Chapter 3 we read of that Othniel, who was Caleb’s younger brother became the first Judge of Israel. Othniel got the nation back into line with God’s Word and led them in battle. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.” (Judges 3:10)

In the 6th Chapter of Judges we read that enemy nations pitched their tents on the borders of Israel and prepared to make war against them. Again the Spirit of the Lord intervened. “So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.” (Judges 6:34) It is important to note here that the victory was handed to the Israelite by the hand of God. Gideon had gathered 22,000 men for war and God told him that was too many. Gideon sent 12,000 home and the Lord said the 10,000 that remained we still too many. Gideon release all but three hundred men to fight a force of whose numbers were that of the sands on the seashore. Yet they were victorious because the Lord fought the battle for them.

Again in Judges Chapter 15 we read of Samson who had been bound by the Philistines. Here in this chapter we read, “When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands.” (Judges 15:14) In the power of the Spirit of the Lord Samson found the jaw-bone of a donkey and slew 10,000 of the Philistines.

In 2 Samuel Chapter 23 we read of this testimony of King David. “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God.” (2 Samuel 23:2-3) The Spirit of the Lord is the authority of the universe and when the Spirit indwells a mere man he speaks with the authority of the Lord Most High.

Jesus was tested for 40 days in the wilderness and overcame the temptations of the Devil. He fought the wiles of the Devil giving us the example of how we can cause him to flee from us. It is the power of God’s Word that the Devil must respect and that which we should have a full arsenal of. “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.” (Luke 4:14) It is important for us, as Billy Graham did before every message he delivered during his ministry, to be spiritually fit, that is prayed up and studied up in God’s Word. It was after the 40 days of trial that Jesus was fully prepared to begin His three year ministry.

Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and on the Sabbath He went into the synagogue to worship and to teach. He read from the Scripture written by the Prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19) Under the stare of all who were in the synagogue Jesus put the scroll down and returned to His seat and said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)

This Scripture from the Prophet Isaiah was a prophecy of the coming Messiah which Jesus is. Jesus is the Christ. The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him throughout His ministry. Jesus was set to enter into the greatest mission of all time to this very day. His purpose was that of the will of the Father to reconcile man unto God through Him. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus’ mission was to redeem all of humanity, that of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He set out to set men free for the bondage of sin. All of man is held captive to the sin in their life. All men are blind to the truth of God’s Word because of the sin in their life. But Jesus came to testify to the truth that men might see, Jesus is the light of God’s truth. “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12) By His own sacrifice on Calvary’s tree Jesus carried the sin burden of the world that men might live free and eternally with His Father in the Kingdom of God.

It was the Spirit of the Lord that empowered Him to accomplish the Father’s will to restore the fellowship of man unto Himself, should man chose. It is this same Spirit of the Lord that empowers and gives men the authority to act on God’s behalf. It is the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised His disciples. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

A follower of Christ receives the power of the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit when he accepts the Call of Jesus. When the Christian walks with the Lord in faith upon His Word he has the authority to preach the gospel it the power of God. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, April 26, 2015

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