I have for a long time puzzled over this and read a fair bit but a recent F.B. challenge caused me to compile this short article-may it profit you!
A friend states, “The Holy Spirit was not given to the average person in OT times. Only the prophet, priest and king were anointed by the Holy Spirit for their offices”
Not true! Because election before the foundation of the world and the salvation it brings is a full package (Rom.8:29,30) that applies to saints in all ages and furthermore “If anyone has not the Spirit of Christ he is not his!” (Rom.8:9). Can you deny these saints belonged to him? One covenant of God in all of time to save his people and be their God for ever.
I grant you there was an extra anointing for prophet, priest and king-for service just as with Christ at his baptism and Pentecost for the disciples.
Yes, I grant you friend that the day of Pentecost was a big change: the Holy Spirit was poured out on ALL flesh, that is, all believers BUT the major change was that all nations were included instead of just Jews and supernatural gifts were given proving apostolic authenticity and as a sign to unbelievers. My friend states that, “He began to indwell believers so that they became His temple. Even the twelve did not have the indwelling of the Spirit during Jesus’ earthly ministry.” Wrong! They did! (John 20:22) and without the Spirit they would have had no desire to leave all and follow him, no faith, no fruit, no revelation which they all exhibited to some degree. Christ also explicitly states the Spirit in them would inspire them when they appeared before tribunals (Luke 12:11,12).
My friend goes on, “Now, why could not the Holy Spirit indwell people prior to the cross and ascension of Jesus? Because they weren’t born again, regenerated, in OT times.” Wrong! Regeneration is fundamental to salvation! They were regenerate and their lives prove it as do the Scriptures e.g. 1 Peter 1:11 “searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” There is a long list of OT heroes of faith, all empowered by the Spirit.
God applies redemption prospectively and retrospectively from the Cross throughout all of redemptive time. Redemption includes regeneration, the gifts of repentance & faith, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Why do some think it a harder thing for God to apply redemption backwards through time from the Cross than forward? Jesus paid for the sins of believers who had not been born yet and had not actually committed those sins yet. God is not limited by time!
The indwelling Spirit causes the antithesis (conflict between Satan and Christ/God’s people) established in Genesis 3:15! Adam & Eve were elect and were regenerated mercifully by God at this time when the “proto-evangel” (first gospel message) was shared with them and God clothed them with the skin of a sacrificed animal. The Spirit was also promised to believers’ covenant children: Isaiah. 44:3, “I will pour my Spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your offspring. They could also call God Father proving their adoption! Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou,Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting” Isaiah 63:16
“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8
My friend states, “They technically, physically, still belonged to Satan because they were still under the law of Sin and Death prior to faith in Christ’s resurrection” RUBBISH! you are mixing up the Mosaic Law of the OT and the powerful law principle of sin and death that rules in all unregenerate people i.e. us prior to conversion! That is the law of sin and death Paul is talking about!
There is ONE CHURCH IN ALL OF TIME the true seed of Abraham comprising Jew and Gentile as per the teaching of Rom 4:11-16, Gal.3:7, Eph.1:4. Saint means called out and sanctified one, therefore saints OT and NT together comprise the EKKLESIA church and bride of Christ.
Faith is a fruit of the Spirit as is love, joy and peace-all these were evident in the OT saints. Note SAINTS because sanctified by the Spirit and part of his church! One church in all of time not divided by dispensations (there was the church in the wilderness see Acts 7:38! ” This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” Moses, Elijah, Abraham etc could not have been in glory and alive (two of whom appear with Christ on the mount) without the Spirit. The Spirit given by Christ as the Spirit of Christ as promised in John 16 with the outpouring of Acts 2 is richer in revelation but essentially the same Spirit as worked faith in the OT saints. The Spirit at any one time could only reveal truth in Christ according to what God had revealed in his word up till then (Spirit and Word* are bound together)-so we have them in the OT believing in the Christ of prophecy and sacrificial types whereas now we believe in the Christ who has come and completely revealed himself.
* Just as the Spirit’s whole raison d’etre is to glorify Christ, the incarnate WORD.