Malankara World

Pentecost - The Birthday of Church

Promises of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament

God saw our need to have His Holy Spirit, otherwise we would be doomed. For this reason He made a promise in the Old Testament which was fulfilled with the coming of Christ, He spoke through different prophets as follows:

Ezequiel 36:23-28: The Holy Spirit will rest upon the Son of David

Ezequiel 36:23-28

23 And I will sanctify my great name , which was profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them: that the Gentiles may know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord of hosts, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.
26 And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Let us examine this passage:

I will sanctify my great name

Jesus came to reveal in Himself the splendor of the Father, the image of the invisible God and the power of His Holy Name [Philippians 2:10-11]. So that we should bend our knee at the mention of the holy name of Jesus, because it is only through the power of His name that we can be saved. [Acts 4:12] Jesus also taught us to pray to our Father in Heaven saying "Holy be your name" [Matthew 6:9]

I will take you from among the Gentiles

The gentiles were considered pagans or people without God, whereas the Israelites were the chosen people of God. Salvation is offered to every one who accepts Christ as their Saviour and Lord, the Holy Spirit is for all. [Romans 16:25-27].

I will pour upon you clean water

John the Baptist came baptizing with water but Christ baptizes with Living Water and with the Fire of the Holy Spirit [Matthew 3:11]. In the waters of baptism we come to meet Christ, we are immersed in the cleansing living water of the Holy Spirit, water that gushed forth from the heart of Christ. We receive the fire of the Holy Spirit, which is a spark of the divinity, the sanctifying grace that will lead us to Salvation [John 3:5].

I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you

Jesus died for our sins by giving his life in exchange for ours, He extended this gift making it a perpetual sacrifice "Take this and eat it, this is my body, take this and drink this is my blood" [Matthew 26:26-28], in a way God has given us the heart of Jesus as food for our souls in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The pierced heart of Jesus is also his personal gift to everyone, as we let our hearts be pierced with remorse for our sins we receive a new heart, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we will have a heart that is not longer ours but the heart of God. This of course is incomprehensible doctrine for the learned and the wise, this is only meant for the little children since those are the ones who can possess the Kingdom of Heaven [Matthew 11:25-26].

What is the good of a heart if it doesn't give life? But with the heart of Jesus comes also His Precious Blood that gives us life for eternity. He has also given us His Holy Spirit which He sent from Heaven the day of Pentecost. The Spirit of God the Father and the Son is the new Spirit for us, which replaces the old human spirit of sinfulness and self love.

I will put my spirit in the midst of you

After the Resurrection of Our Lord, He appeared to his disciples bringing with Him the Peace of our reconciliation with God the Father. He then breathed on the apostles in order to give them new life and He said : "Receive the Holy Spirit" [John 20:22]. So He put His Holy Spirit in them, even though they only experienced the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, days after the Lord had ascended into Heaven.

The Holy Spirit descended in the shape of tongues of fire which were seen over the heads of the apostles. This was a baptism of fire with the Holy Spirit, we should also feel a similar experience when we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In baptism we receive the Holy Spirit and we are cleansed with the waters of Salvation, the spark of Divine Love within us keeps burning with desire for the Holy Spirit of God to completely possess us but it is up to us to fan that flame of Love within, to stir up the Grace of God for our own spiritual growth [ 2 Timothy 1:6].

It is the Lord who personally puts His Holy Spirit within us, since we are His temples, we must live our lives in humility before His Presence [1 Corinthians 3:16-17].

Through our devotions we supply fuel for the fire of our Faith and the Holy Spirit responds to us by filling us with yearning for God.

You shall be my people, and I will be your God.

We are the people of God, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) ; we belong to Christ and we must proclaim that He has saved us.

In the past we were not God's people, but now, "we are the people of God". In the past we did not receive His Mercy , but now we have received God's Mercy through Jesus Christ Our Lord. In the mystical body of Christ He is the head and we are the body [1 Peter 2:9-10].

God has called us his people, furthermore in Christ we have become his adoptive sons and daughters, therefore we have become the children of God [Ephesians 1:5].

The Holy Spirit shall rest upon Jesus Son of David.

David son of Jesse . Jesse Son of Abraham [Genealogy of Christ; Matthew 1:1-17].

In the book of the prophet Isaiah we learn that Christ will be a descendant of Jesse, the son of David and that the Holy Spirit will rest upon Him [Isaiah 11:1-2] with his seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

He will be the Saviour, He will give us living water to drink and with joy we will draw that water from the well of Salvation [Isaiah 12:3] . That will be the sanctifying water of baptism to deliver us from original sin, and it will be also the Living water of the Holy Spirit which will be given to us after the death of Our Lord [John 16:7].

The Lord tells us through the prophet Joel [Joel 2:28] :

And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

See Also:

Introduction to Holy Spirit
God is only One, but He has revealed Himself very distinctly as three persons, so that we mere creatures can come to a better understanding of Him, however we are unworthy to know God completely and He remains the greatest mystery of our faith.

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a fire of Divine Love that comes to touch us and refine us in an ardent desire to possess God. It gives us a passion for God, it destroys all the earthly affections because it opens our spiritual eyes to see how precious God is.

Promises of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament
God saw our need to have His Holy Spirit, otherwise we would be doomed. For this reason He made a promise in the Old Testament which was fulfilled with the coming of Christ, He spoke through different prophets.

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament
We are temples of the Holy Spirit and to be filled with the Spirit of God we must cleanse our temples with the waters of repentance through baptism. However we are supposed to stop sinning in order to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit. So this promise of God is conditional to our repentance.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

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