And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 AMPLIFIED BIBLE
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The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is, perhaps, the most poignant account of the gift of the Holy Spirit because it contains a variety of Greek texts with adjectives, nouns, pronouns and prepositions used interchangeably. The vast majority of scripture verses’ dealing with the Holy Spirit omit a definite article, but there are narrations of the same episode that use the definite article. Each verse is inspired in the original language, and careful study of the Greek text helps to interpret the meaning of the phrases translated, “the Holy Spirit.”
As mentioned previously in other parts of this study, the use of definite articles in the Greek grammar differs greatly from the English language. In English a definite article is used to specify a particular noun (person, place or thing). For example, Pilate refers to Jesus as, “THIS man…” in John 18:29-30. The word “THIS” is a definite article specifying which man Pilate refers to.
Typical definite articles used in English grammar are, “The, this or that.” In Greek grammar the primary definite article used is ‘ho’ meaning, “the, this, that, this one, etc.” There are various forms of the Greek definite article; it is spelled in various ways, ‘ho, toú, toús, tón, toón, teé, hee, hoi, tá, há, etc.’
The AMG Complete WordStudy Bible and Reference CD (AMG) explains the use of the definite article in Greek grammar:
24. The Definite Article (art) in Greek is sometimes translated with the English definite article “the.” However, the function of the two is quite different. In English, the definite article serves merely to particularize, to refer to a particular object. In Greek, however, it serves to emphasize, in some way, the person or thing it modifies. Hence, in most cases, the definite article in Greek serves to identify: di’ hupomonems trechommen tón prokeímeomnon hémin agomna, “and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb.12: 1). The term “articular” refers to a word or group of words which appear with a definite article (ho, he, tó [3588, the). There is perhaps no other part of Greek grammar where the Greek idiom differs so greatly from the English. For instance, an English grammarian would never place the definite article before a proper noun (e.g., the “Thomas”), though in Greek it is very common. Recognizing the significance of the presence or absence of the definite article requires the most intimate knowledge of the Greek language. Contrast the use of articular constructions with anarthous constructions, which refers to quality. See also 5.
As noted the definite article in the Greek language serves to emphasize, in some way, the person or thing it modifies. Hence, in most cases, the definite article in Greek serves to identify. The example AMG gives shows a definite article preceding a proper noun, thus reading, “the Thomas,” in English. In Greek, this particular example identifies THIS particular Thomas and distinguishes him from any other Thomas.
AMG has also provided an explanation of the use of indefinite articles in the Greek language:
5. Anarthrous (an) refers to a word or group of words which appear without a definite article (ho, he, tó [3588, the). Greek has no indefinite article, “a” or “an” in English. Sometimes it is best to translate an anarthrous word by supplying “a” or “an” before it. In fact, due to reasons of English style or Greek idiom, the word “the” is even an appropriate translation in some cases. However, there are many times when supplying an article would be incorrect. Anarthrous constructions are most often intended to point out the quality of something: Toigaroún kaí hemeís, tosoúton échontes perikeímenon hemín néphos martúron, “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). See also 24.
The reason an explanation of anarthrous constructions is provided again is because most every scripture verse in the NT that is translated “the Holy Spirit” is anarthrous, and without any definite article. AMG says, “Sometimes it is best to translate an anarthrous word by supplying “a” or “an” before it.” Yet, for some strange and unexplainable reason, the majority of Bible translations have violated the Greek text.
Translator’ prejudice is the obvious reason for adding definite articles to anarthrous construction. At the very least, translators should have chosen the words, “a holy spirit,” instead of “the holy spirit.” Again, regarding the use of definite articles, AMG states clearly, “However, there are many times when supplying an article would be incorrect.”
The remainder of this study is devoted to understanding who or what is identified in the original Greek language. To accomplish this, parentheses have been inserted following each text using the phrase, “the Holy Spirit,” and indicating whether or not the definite article is omitted or supplied.
We have also learned from previous study that the word “holy” is a mistranslation of the Greek word “hágion.” Hágion means, “sacred, morally blameless, consecrated, undefiled, pure, chaste, sanctified.”
The Greek word “Pneuma” that has been translated, as “Spirit” can be properly defined as, “breath, a current of air, a spirit (referring to the human ‘life’), a mental disposition, etc.”
When we combine the proper definition of the Greek words for “holy” and “spirit” we might define them as, “undefiled life” or “morally blameless life.” Only the context in which the words appear will help to accurately interpret their meaning.
In Part 3 of this series, the Holy Spirit is identified as being the Helper (Parakletos). In this same study, Jesus Christ is said to be the Parakletos, and we can therefore conclude, in a general way, most all references to “the Holy Spirit” are references to Jesus Christ. In this case, according to rules of Greek grammar, the definite article emphasizes and identifies Jesus as THE undefiled spirit.
When the anarthrous construction is used, and no definite article is supplied, Jesus and his qualities are being emphasized. That is, Jesus is who furnishes the believer with an undefiled, chaste, pure, consecrated and morally blameless life (spirit).
It is important to recognize that an undefiled or consecrated spirit is the “gift” of Jesus and his Father God. This gift is GIVEN to all who call upon the name of the Lord. It is not forced upon the individual believer, but it must be taken hold of by those who desire it.
The following is a definition of the particular word used in relation to the Holy Spirit:
· “Gift” = NT:1431; dorea (do-reh-ah'); from NT:1435; a gratuity: from 1435 doron (do'-ron); a present; specially, a sacrifice. (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Dorea and its’ counterpart doron are both defined as a present or gift, with an emphasis on their gratuitous nature. The root word doron adds one more element of sacrifice, showing the giver gave the gift sacrificially.
This sacrificial gift brings to mind two distinct individuals. First, God the Father GAVE His only begotten son Jesus as a sacrifice for sin. Second, Jesus GAVE his own life as a sacrifice in obedience to the will of his Father God. Therefore, the “gift” of the undefiled (holy) spirit is the sacrificial present offered to us by God the Father and by His son Jesus Christ.
What exactly IS this gift? Why do we need it? In the teachings of the Lord Jesus, the Greek word doron was tied directly to his instruction on forgiveness. The following are a few of the many NT examples:
· Matthew 5:23-24 23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift (doórón) there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (doórón). (From New International Version)
We must forgive others before we give to God. The nature of the gift of an undefiled spirit is one that says, “I must be the one to initiate reconciliation with my brother, EVEN if he or she is at fault!” In order for one to take hold 0f (i.e. – receive) the gift of the undefiled (holy) spirit there must be a willingness to allow God to sanctify in this manner.
· Matthew 23:18-22 18 You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift (doóroo) on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift (doórón), or the altar that makes the gift (doórón) sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it. (From New International Version)
In this passage, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for being religious hypocrites. They thought their own gifts offered in the temple were greater than the One who makes the gift sacred. Remember, one of the definitions of the Greek word Hágion means “sacred”; therefore Jesus is teaching that God’s throne, and the one who sits upon God’s throne is that which makes a person holy and sacred (or consecrated for service).
In Part 3 of this study Jesus’ discourse with the woman at the well of Samaria was discussed. Jesus told her of the “living water” of the spirit that would be given in the future to all the true worshippers. In John’s gospel, Jesus identifies himself as being the “gift” of God who provides living water. This is a very strong text for identifying Jesus as being one and the same as the “holy spirit.”
· John 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift (dooreán) of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (From New International Version)
Some churches and church denominations teach the “gift” of the Holy Spirit is speaking in other (unknown) tongues. It is understandable they would come to this conclusion, because the Greek word dorea is connected to two scripture verses where tongues are involved (Acts 10:45; 11:17).
On the Day of Pentecost Peter told the Jews to "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift (dooreán) of the Holy Spirit.” While there is no evidence these converted Jews spoke in tongues, the disciples in the upper room most assuredly DID speak in tongues. In fact, it was the speaking in tongues that prompted the curiosity of the Jews in Jerusalem, thus giving Peter opportunity to preach the gospel.
It is impossible to affirm from the Greek NT that speaking in tongues is the sum total of the “gift of the Holy Spirit.” To exclude it however would be a denial of its importance in taking hold of the undefiled and morally blameless spirit offered to us by Jesus through the authority of his Father God.
In Acts 8:20 Simon obviously observed some type of manifestation that prompted him to offer money for the “gift” (dorea) of God. It is most likely he saw them speaking in other tongues, even though the text does not mention tongues (see Acts 10:44-46; 19:6).
The reason we can be certain that speaking in other tongues is linked to our overall experience with the gift of the Holy Spirit is because the only way we can truly take hold of God’s gift to us is by accepting His help in prayer. The spirit of Christ is he who intercedes for us, and who helps us in our moral weakness. Jesus is the parakletos who comes alongside us, and if we allow him, uses our human spirit and our human tongue to articulate a prayer that would otherwise be inaudible (Refer to Part 1 of this series).
Paul mentions how much he esteems and appreciates the gift of the Holy Spirit, and in the following context of scripture, he is writing to the church about prayer.
· 2 Corinthians 9:14-15 And they yearn for you while they pray for you, because of the surpassing measure of God's grace (His favor and mercy and spiritual blessing which is shown forth) in you. Now thanks be to God for His gift (dooreá), [precious] beyond telling [His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift]! AMP
The Greek word dooreá (gift) should never be confused with another Greek word charis (sometimes translated as gift). Charis is defined and translated as follows:
· NT: 5485; charis (khar'-ece); from NT: 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): KJV - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy) (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Charis emphasizes God’s favor and divine influence; it originates from a root word meaning, “to be "cheerful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off.” While considered a gift from God, His favor or influence is frequently translated as “grace” or “thanks.” On the other hand, dorea is a word defined as “gift” with an EMPHASIS on its gratuitous nature.
In Romans 5:15 we see how Bible translators erroneously translated charis as “gift” instead of using its proper definition of “divine influence.” Coincidentally this verse also uses the Greek word dorea and correctly translates it as “gift” making Romans 5:15 an excellent passage for contrasting the two words (dorea vs. charis).
· Romans 5:15 But the free gift (charisma; divine influence) is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace (cháris; divine influence) of God and the gift (dooreá; gratuity) by the grace (cháris; divine influence) of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. NAS
In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, he isolates the gift of an undefiled and sanctified spirit as a separate experience. In this passage he is addressing those who have fallen away from the Lord Jesus, having been partakers of the spiritual benefits of knowing God through him.
· Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift (dooreás; gratuity) and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, and have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance--[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace. AMP
Note that tasting “the heavenly “gift” (dooreás)” is tied directly to becoming sharers of the Holy Spirit. Once again the translators have done disservice to the text by mistranslating the Greek words ‘Pneúmatos Hagíou’ as “the Holy Spirit.” These words are anarthrous and the context does not demand the use of a definite article. Therefore the first part of Hebrews 6:4 should read as follows:
The Appropriate Translation
· Hebrews 6:4-6 “… who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift (dooreás; gratuity) and have become sharers of an undefiled life (spirit)…” TAT
Jesus Christ is the one who gives us the gift, which makes our human spirit and our life with God undefiled. It is through his sacrifice and atonement that we have access to one God, even the Father. Jesus never works alone, but comes to us via the power and authority given to him by God the Father.
· Acts 10: 38-48 38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmati Hagíoo; no definite article) and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. 39 "And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 "God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift (dooreá) of the Holy Spirit (tó Pneúma tó Hágion) had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos) just as we did, can he?" 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. NAS
God anointed, or consecrated Jesus for service; He did so by sending Jesus out to share the gospel with an undefiled and morally blameless spirit and life. He also provided Jesus with authority and power to do the works God enabled him to do.
In Acts 10:45 Peter and all the Jews were amazed because the gratuity (i.e. – the “gift”) of Jesus (the undefiled spirit) had been poured out upon the Gentiles. Then in Acts 10:47 we find the Gentiles had received (had taken hold of) the gift of the undefiled and consecrated life (spirit) that had previously been offered to them at Pentecost.
To understand what happened to the Gentiles, one must look at the cultural setting. The Jews marveled that Jesus, the parakletos, would be called alongside these pagan races of people. Jews felt the Messiah was to be revealed to Israel alone, yet here they observed Gentiles speaking in other tongues and glorifying God JUST as they had done in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost! (Acts 2:1-4)
· Acts 11:15-18 15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit (tó Pneúma tó Hágion) fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmati Hagíoo; no definite article).' 17 "If God therefore gave to them the same gift (dooreán; gratuity) as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" 18 And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life." NAS
Peter recounts the story of the Gentiles using the exact same definite articles as were penned in the account of Acts 10:38-48. Peter affirms the Gentiles received the same gift as they had received, and uses the same form of the word “dooreán” as was used in Acts 2:38.
This means the Gentiles had taken hold of the undefiled spirit of Christ as the believing Jews had done, and had spoken in other tongues in the same manner as they. In Acts 15:5-12 Peter declares to the sect of Pharisees there is no distinction between Jew or Gentile. In 15:9 he reveals the true purpose of the gift of the undefiled spirit, which is for “cleansing their hearts by faith.”
· Acts 15:5-12 5 But certain ones of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses." 6 And the apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 "And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit (tó Pneúma tó Hágion), just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 "But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are." 12 And all the multitude kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. NAS
The disciples of John the Baptist leaving in Ephesus were most likely Jews. These men would most certainly be familiar with OT scriptures, and had never heard of a holy spirit.
· Acts 19:1-7 1 And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2 and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúma Hágion; no definite article) when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúma Hágion; no definite article)." 3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit (tó Pneúma tó Hágion) came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 And there were in all about twelve men. NAS
In verse two, the construction is anarthrous, and should therefore read as follows:
· Acts 19:2 "Did you receive a Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúma Hágion; no definite article) when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúma Hágion; no definite article)."
Why does God inspire the scripture in the anarthrous if there is such a thing as, “THE Holy Spirit?” Only the doctrinal prejudice of Bible translators can be the cause of such glaringly obvious errors. The apostle Paul wanted to know if John’s disciples were familiar with the spiritual experience that would affect them in such a way as to make their lives and human spirits undefiled.
A more appropriate translation for Acts 19:2 would read as follows, “Did you receive an undefiled (sanctified) life when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a sanctified life.”
John’s disciples were devout men of God, and they submitted to the water baptism in the name of Jesus. Afterwards, Paul laid his hands on them, and THE spirit of Jesus, the undefiled one, fell upon them, and they began speaking in other tongues and prophesying. Once again we see a link between receiving the undefiled spirit of Christ who comes in the power of his Father God and speaking in other tongues. Part 9 of this series will address Acts 19:1-7 in more detail.
This section will list several passages of scripture from the Book of Acts that have mistranslated the text as “the Holy Spirit.” In nearly every passage, the anarthrous construction has been noted in parentheses, showing there is no definite article in the original Greek text.
The importance of listing these particular texts is to show the taking hold of, or being filled with an undefiled life (spirit) is something a believer should continue to experience as they share the gospel and do God’s will.
In Acts 4:8-15, Peter is filled with an undefiled and consecrated spirit, and this gives him the confidence to speak with boldness before all the rulers of Israel. His experience with an undefiled spirit is synonymous with having Jesus the parakletos come alongside him. Jesus said he would quietly remind the disciples’ regarding all the things he had taught them. These scripture passages in Acts prove that Jesus is fulfilling his promise.
· Acts 4:8-15 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article), said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.11 This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. NKJV
After Peter and John were released from prison, they returned to the place where the church was praying for them. They reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them, and the people in unison quoted a passage of OT messianic prophecy from two different Psalms:
· Acts 4:23-31 23 And when they had been released, they went to their own companions, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is Thou who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article), through the mouth of our father David Thy servant, didst say, 'Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? 26'The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord, and against His Christ.' 27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur. 29 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, 30 while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus. " 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos), and began to speak the word of God with boldness. NAS
It is quite miraculous that an entire group of brethren would speak in one accord, and do so from two separate and distinct portions of the Psalms, particularly because they all spoke as one voice. To do such a feat without divine intervention is impossible. The first psalm they quote from is found in 146:5-7:
· Psalms 146:5-7 Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is he who has the God of [special revelation to] Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, [Gen 32:30.] Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, Who keeps truth and is faithful forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners. AMP
It is obvious the church did not quote the entire psalm, but only the portion that says, “O Lord, it is Thou who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” Since these disciples were familiar with the OT scriptures, they would instinctively understand the unspoken portion of Psalms 146:7 as being fulfilled when Peter and John were set free from their bonds, “Who executes justice for the oppressed… The Lord sets free the prisoners.”
The next portion of scripture spoken by the church is found in Psalms 2:1-12 (below). In particular, the specific parts of this verse are 2:1-2:
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!"
He who sits in the heavens laughs; The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'you are My Son, Today I have begotten you. 8'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as your possession. 9’you shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.'"
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way; For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
For the sake of comparison, note the difference between the actual Psalm itself, and what the church said as they spoke in one accord:
· Acts 4:25-26 “25 who by the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article), through the mouth of our father David Thy servant, didst say, 'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things? 26’the kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.'”
· Psalms 2:1-2 “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!"
Psalms Chapter Two is clearly a Messianic prophecy of Jesus the Christ (anointed one), yet the people use this verse in an application dealing with the persecution of Peter and John. In other words, though Psalms Two applies to Jesus, it also applies to those who are in Christ and who suffer for his name’ sake.
Another addendum to the psalmist is what the people said regarding David himself, “who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Thy servant, didst say…” The words “by the Holy Spirit” are not in the Psalm, and have been mistranslated by Bible scholars.
In the original Greek, the construction of Acts 4:25 is anarthrous; it reads simply, ‘diá Pneúmatos Hagíou.’(No definite article) This would appropriately translate to read as follows:
The Appropriate Translation
· Acts 4:25 Who by the mouth of our father David, said through an undefiled and consecrated spirit…” TAT
David had a heart that he kept in a state of consecration, set apart and ready for the Lord’s use. When in this state, his spirit was untainted and pure, and he could thus be anointed and used by God to speak and pen the inspired text of scripture.
Finally, in the last part of Acts 4:29-30 the church prays. In their prayer they confirm that it was through the name of Jesus that God extended His hand to deliver them from their enemies.
Acts 4:29-30 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus. " And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos), and began to speak the word of God with boldness
This time they were experiencing another filling of the consecrated spirit of Jesus. Remember, when they experienced Jesus, they also experience his Father’s spirit. And just as they did at Pentecost, once again they spoke the word with boldness.
· Acts 13:49-52 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews aroused the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article). NAS
The disciples of Jesus learned through experience how to maintain an undefiled and morally innocent spirit. Even when they were forcefully driven from cities and districts, they maintained an attitude of forgiveness. This attitude gave them the capacity to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and to be renewed and refreshed with the living water only he can give.
· Acts 9:17-22 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article)."18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. 20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. 21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. NKJV
In Acts 9:17 Saul is filled, for the first time, with an untainted and morally blameless spirit. This is the epitome of his initial encounter with the glorified Son of God. At first Saul persecuted the church, and did so with a clear conscience, believing it was the will of God to eradicate this new sect known as the Way. However, after his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was left blind and staggering to find his way.
· Acts 9:3-9 Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do. " 7 And the men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one. 8 And Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. NAS
For three days Saul went without sight, just as Jesus was in the grave for three days. On the third day he was brought into the light in the presence of many witnesses. It was needful that brethren from the church witness his contact with the spirit of Christ, lest they continue to fear him.
Saul’s experience with the spirit of Jesus is what changed his life forever. Once he was a Jew among Jews, and one who held steadfast to the ordinances of the Law. But when the influence of God the Father through His only begotten Son Jesus came, Paul counted his old religious ways but rubbish. From then on it would be the blood of the unblemished and spotless Lamb of God that would cleanse Paul of his sin.
While the scriptures are silent regarding Paul and speaking in tongues when initially filled with a morally blameless spirit, it is certain he practiced using his new language, as he wrote to the Corinthian church instructing them extensively on tongues.
· Acts 11:22-26 22 And the news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article) and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. NAS
In Acts 11:24a the text reads much differently in the original Greek; the appropriate translation explains what Barnabas was like:
The Appropriate Translation
· Acts 11:24 Because he was a good man and complete, having an undefiled life (spirit) and moral conviction…TAT
Barnabas had the moral character and kind of chaste life required for the ministry as an apostle. The Bible translators truly ruined this text because of their doctrinal bias. As indicated the construction is anarthrous, and the context does not demand a definite article be inserted.
· Acts 13:1-12 1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit (tó Pneúma tó Hágion) said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos), they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper. 6 And when they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for thus his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit (anarthrous; Pneúmatos Hagíou; no definite article), fixed his gaze upon him, 10 and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 "And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. NAS
The teachers and prophets in the church at Antioch were seeking the Lord when the sacred (consecrated) spirit (of Jesus) spoke to them, giving them instructions regarding Paul and Barnabas, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” They laid hands on them, and thus began Paul and Barnabas’ apostolic ministry.
Once again it is important to remember that whenever the apostles had contact with the spirit of Jesus, they also had contact with the Father God. Jesus only goes where the Father commands him to do; he only says what the Father gives him to say. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he affirms that it was both God the Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ that sent him out as an apostle.
· Galatians 1:1 PAUL, AN apostle--[special messenger appointed and commissioned and sent out] not from [any body of] men nor by or through any man, but by and through Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and God the Father, Who raised Him from among the dead-- AMP
It is interesting to note the different Greek words used to identify essentially the same experience from two different angles. First, the spirit of the sacred (consecrated) one (Jesus) speaks directly to the teachers and prophets; hence more emphatic nouns (tó Pneúma tó Hágion) are used to IDENTIFY. Once hands have been laid upon Paul and Barnabas, different nouns are used to show HOW the spirit of Christ operates (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos) in his church through men; ‘matos’ is often equivalent to the English, ‘matic’ (e.g. – automatic).
Paul, formerly Saul, continued being filled with an undefiled and morally innocent spirit. Jesus was frequently called by Paul to help him and give him the boldness needed to speak and preach the words of God. In Acts 13:9-12 it is Paul’s contact with the spirit of the spotless Lamb of God that fills him with a truly righteous indignation towards Elymas the sorcerer and magician.
In Parts 8 & 9 verse from the Book of Acts, other epistles of the NT, along with some gospels will be translated with the appropriate and correct translation.
SELAH…Pause and reflect
Links to the Entire "Jesus is the Gift of the Holy Spirit” Series: