Have you ever had this experience? You’re attending your usual weekly worship service. Your Rabbi or Pastor begins his drash (sermon). Within a matter of minutes or immediately, you know he is talking directly at you; even though he might not be looking in your direction. Immediately, you start to wonder if he has been reading your social media posts, emails, tapping your phone conversations, spying on you, etc., etc. How does he know that is what is going on in my life right now? Well, that has happened to me frequently. It happened to me just a couple of weeks ago. Most of the time, I just chalk it up to what I call a God-incident rather than coincident.
My Pastor recently started a series on the Book of Ephesians. On July 19-20, 2014, he was teaching from Ephesians 1:13-14 (NLT). “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” I said to myself, “This is so strange. I’m planning on doing a blog series on ‘Discovering Your Ministry in the Kehilah’ with an emphasis on the work and gifts of the Ruach. It must be true, great minds thing alike.”
Well, I soon came to my senses. I’m no great mind. The Ruach had laid it on my heart to do this series and He had also laid it on Pastor’s heart to teach what he shared with us. I have to give a shout-out to Pastor Rick Countryman for inspiring me with the outline for this part of the series.
Why Did God Send the Ruach HaKodesh in the Brit Hadashah?
Pastor Rick gave us four key points in response to his question on why God gives us the Holy Spirit:
- To help us navigate life.
- To help us understand Biblical truth.
- As a deposit for our inheritance.
- To empower us to do His will.
While I will be using many of the same scriptures he used, I intend to dig a little deeper into this topic. My prayer is that you will find this enlightening and an encouragement to go even deeper with God than you have gone before.
We first encounter the Ruach in the story of the Annunciation of the birth of Yeshua to His mother Miryam (Mary). “The Ruach HaKodesh will come over you, the power of Ha‘Elyon will cover you. Therefore the holy child born to you will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) Shortly thereafter, Miryam goes to visit her relative, Elisheva (Elizabeth) the mother of Yochanan the Immerser. “When Elisheva heard Miryam’s greeting, the baby in her womb stirred. Elisheva was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh.” (Luke 1:45) We also learn that after Yochanan was born, “His father Z’kharyah (Zechariah) was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh.” (Luke 1:67) When Yosef and Miryam went up to the Temple to present Yeshua “there was in Yerushalayim a man named Shim‘on (Simeon). This man was a tzaddik (righteous person), he was devout, he waited eagerly for God to comfort Isra’el, and the Ruach HaKodesh was upon him.” (Luke 2:25)
We next see the Ruach at the baptism of Yeshua. “While all the people were being immersed, Yeshua too was immersed.  As he was praying, heaven was opened; the Ruach HaKodesh came down on him in physical form like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with you.’” (Luke 3:21-22) Following His baptism, “Yeshua, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, returned from the Yarden (Jordan) and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days of testing by the Adversary.” (Luke 4:1-2)
The role of the Ruach here in Luke 4 is significant for at least two reasons:
- The Ruach’s role in driving Yeshua to the wilderness shows Yeshua’s face-off with the Devil was ordained by God; and,
- The Ruach’s involvement in Yeshua’s life highlights His genuine humanity.
Scripture affirms that when Yeshua entered our world He set aside the power and the privileges of being God. He consciously limited Himself to live here as a man. Even the miracles He would later perform would be attributed by Him to the power of the Ruach (see Mark 3:22-30). The filling (Ephesians 5:18) and leading of the Spirit (Galatians 5:18) are key aspects of empowerment for the Messianic life ~ a topic I will return to in future posts.
What Is the Ministry of the Ruach HaKodesh?
We find the majority of the answers to this question in the Besorah of Yochanan, chapters 14 thru 16 and 22.
“If you love Me, you will keep my commands; and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another comforting Counselor like Me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees nor knows Him. You know Him, because He is staying with you and will be united with you.” (Yochanan 14:15-17)
“But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything; that is, He will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Yochanan 14:26)
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send you from the Father — the Spirit of Truth, who keeps going out from the Father — He will testify on my behalf.” (Yochanan 15:26)
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send Him to you. When he comes, He will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment — about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in Me; about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment, in that the ruler of this world has been judged.” (Yochanan 16:7-11)
“However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative but will say only what He hears. He will also announce to you the events of the future. He will glorify Me, because He will receive from what is mine and announce it to you.” (Yochanan 16:13-14)
Summarizing these passages, we learn that the Ruach’s primary ministry is to:
- Lead us into all truth by staying with us and being united with us. Who is the ‘us’ in this first passage. It is all of us who have accepted Yeshua as our personal Lord and Savior; those who love the Him and obey Him. Scripture clearly teaches that the Ruach is given only to believers.
- Teach us all things by reminding us of everything Yeshua has said.
- Testify on Yeshua’s behalf that He is the Son of God. “Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being is from God.” (1 Yochanan 4:2)
- Convict us our sins when we don’t put our trust (faith) in Yeshua.
- Show us that Yeshua alone provides the standard of God’s righteousness. He must make unbelievers recognize God’s perfect standard before they will admit their own deficiency.
- Show us that, through Yeshua’s death and resurrection, the Adversary has already been judged, condemned and defeated!! Though he still actively attempts to harden, intimidate, and delude us in this world, we are to treat him like a condemned criminal, for God has determined the time of his execution (see Revelation 20:2, 7-10).
- Lead us into all truth by opening up our eyes, our hearts and our intellect to understand the Word of God. As Rabbi Sha’ul teaches us: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 emphasis added.)
As we continue to discover our ministry within the Kehilah, we will learn other aspects of the Ruach’s ministry to us.
If you have forgotten the meaning of some of the Hebrew words, go to my Hebrew Glossary page.
In my next posting, we will learn how we are or can be filled with the Rauch of God.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you, this day and always!
 With due deference to political correctness and sexual equality (which I firmly support), it is just so much easier to speak and right in the masculine gender unless I am specifically referencing a female.
 As an aside, I was sprinkled as a child, I believe that scripture clearly teaches the Jewish tradition of full-body immersion for baptism.
 Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible