I. THE DIVINE TITLES OF THE SPIRIT
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The first title of the Spirit in the Old Testament is the Spirit of God. This title is in Genesis 1:2. Genesis 1:1 says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then verse 2 says that the Spirit of God brooded over the death waters.
The second divine title of the Spirit in the Old Testament is the Spirit of Jehovah (Judg. 3:10a). In Genesis 1 we have the title God, but in Genesis 2 we have another title, Jehovah, because in this chapter God begins to have contact with the man created by Him. Therefore, Jehovah is a title used for God’s contact with man. It denotes God’s relationship with man. Whenever God came to contact people in the Old Testament, He was the Spirit of Jehovah.
Psalm 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11 refer to the Spirit of holiness, but this is not a divine title of the Spirit. The King James Version translates the Spirit of holiness into the Holy Spirit. This, however, is a wrong translation. "Thy Holy Spirit" in Psalm 51:11 should be "Your Spirit of holiness" according to the Hebrew, and "his Holy Spirit" in Isaiah 63:10-11 should be "His Spirit of holiness." The Spirit of holiness in Psalm 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11 is a description, not a title. It does not denote the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit of holiness refers to the nature and the essence of God. Andrew Murray pointed this out strongly. The Spirit of holiness is a description of what God is.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONCERNS
THE INITIATION OF GOD’S NEW TESTAMENT ECONOMY
RELATED TO THE CONCEPTIONS OF
JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE LORD JESUS
The title the Holy Spirit is not used in the Old Testament. It was used particularly at the time when the New Testament economy started—first at the coming of John the Baptist and then at the coming of the Lord Jesus. These two comings actually were one initiation of the New Testament economy. The New Testament economy was initiated by the conception of John the Baptist and the conception of the Lord Jesus. With these two conceptions, the Bible started to use a new divine title, that is, the Holy Spirit.
Actually, according to the Greek, the title the Holy Spirit can be translated literally as the Spirit the Holy. The Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jehovah, is the Spirit the Holy. The Holy refers to the separated One, the sanctified One. In the New Testament economy, everything must be separated unto God, sanctified unto God, made holy to God. The Spirit of God now is the Spirit the Holy, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit concerns the initiation of God’s New Testament economy related to the conceptions of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus (Luke 1:15, 31-35; Matt. 1:18, 20). When the New Testament age began, the Bible used a particular name to denote the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the Spirit the Holy, the Holy Spirit.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)