A big textual difference between the OT and the NT is the Holy Spirit. It seems missing in the old and makes a big splash at Pentecost. Why the difference? Looks like NT editors needed another god. This also looks like we need to rethink what we know. Read on for more.
Holy Spirit Theology
I remember long ago running into a seminary student who was quite proud of the book for his 'Doctrine of the Holy Spirit' class. The book was well over 1 inch thick. A complete study of the Holy Spirit is so convoluted it takes more than a single college level course to explore all the special cases.
Stated briefly, the Holy Spirit is traditionally regarded as the 3rd autonomous person of the Trinity. Usually considered an independent person with a whole bunch of unique character traits. It becomes most apparent in the NT.
There are serious disputes about the Holy Spirit in the OT. Was the Holy Spirit there at all? If so, where? How strong? In what ways? There are also serious disputes about how the Holy Spirit relates to the other parts of the Trinity. This is a thicket of problems that belie the valid and serious problems with Trinity theology itself.
The Holy Spirit is also ascribed with the agency for great revivals over the past 20 centuries. Especially starting around 1904 with a worldwide revival that lasted around 10 years. In the USA it was called the Azusa Street Revival. Other countries had different names for the same general worldwide event.
In Rees Howells' biography, based mostly in the UK, it was called the Welsh Revival. Rees was also involved when it went to South Africa some years later. I may have more to say about Rees in a future blog post.
Korea is thought to be the country with the longest run of that 1904 era revival. Some argue that it never completely died out in South Korea. This is perhaps why South Korea was never completely overrun by the communists. This is also perhaps why one of the largest churches in the world is still located in South Korea.
If you have done much driving around and studied churches and their corner stones (I have) you most likely noticed a church building flurry that peaked around 1910. Virtually every area developed by 1910 has them. That generation's construction of new church buildings was a result of the same 1904 revival. New works rarely take root inside old structures, as evidenced on the ground.
Is the Holy Spirit Real?
This is perhaps a very crazy question. I have been in revival meetings and seen the theatrics that are commonly ascribed to the Holy Spirit. To anyone who has been up close, you know something is going on.
I have also seen preachers attempt to defend events in those meetings against the pages of the New Testament. Some manifestations are easy to defend. Some very hard.
Different denominations constrain modern revivals in various ways. As always, preachers are constrained by their employment contracts or the contracts of their hosting pastor. Denominations and traditions post Azusa are much more welcoming to supposed Holy Spirit manifestations than denominations founded before 1904.
But, many of these same modern denominations simply adopt liturgy that reflect styles first seen during Azusa. They can often be quite rote.
As we have taken time to study textual additions under the rules of Acts 15, the Holy Spirit as a topic seems to have escaped our scrutiny. It is not, for example, strictly ruled out by the Jerusalem council.
On the other hand the NT, which contains the great bulk of the Holy Spirit references was reworked after that council. So if it is an addition, then it was foisted on the world by Ananias. Also, if the Holy Spirit is an addition, we need to explain some level of the manifestations seen in revival meetings even today.
I want to start this discussion with a citation from Daniel 4:8-9. Previously, Daniel has interpreted an earlier dream. So Nebuchadezzar knows Daniel can do this. In this passage king Nebuchadnezzar states that the 'Spirit of the Holy Gods' is in Daniel as the reason for Daniel's ability. Nebuchadnezzar then proceeds to tell Daniel a dream, expecting Daniel to give another interpretation.
Here we see the convergence of 3 key terms. 'Holy' and 'Spirit' and 'Gods.' So this is a good place to start a debate about this possible family of edits.
On the one had, we can take Nebuchadnezzar's witness as asserting that the 'Holy Spirit' is in Daniel, and so Daniel can interpret dreams. This is most likely how that big textbook I referenced above would cut this.
BUT, there is a problem. Nebuchadnezzar is one of the text's biggest villains. He creates the Hebrew language tradition and the start of the Bible as we know it now. The Bible is itself named after his kingdom and his era in history. He is an important editor called out by the riddles of Acts chapter 15.
So Nebuchadnezzar is some sort of negative witness. Villains don't get to establish theology for us. Most of what they say should be taken very carefully and then usually in the negative.
If it helps, the writer of the Book of Daniel, did NOT say in any trustworthy absolute sense that the 'Holy Spirit' is in Daniel. The inspired writer of Daniel only used his writer's authority to tell us what Nebuchadnezzar himself said about Daniel. These are not remotely close to the same ideas.
In this view of that passage we are being told that the pagan world of Nebuchadnezzar thinks certain people interpret dreams because a spirit is in them. And, that world ascribes such a spirit as being in Daniel.
Nebuchadnezzar is relatively late in history. The general observation that 'Holy Spirit' references are mostly in the New Testament would be easily explained by the timing of Daniel. So instead of something being different with Joshua, we would say this is a feature of the timing of edits.
The 'Holy Spirit' is not even a concept until the text intersects with Babylon. By Mordecai's era the OT text gets finished, without much need for the idea.
The 'Holy Spirit' becomes more important to the priests working with Ananias. They are working on edits to the New Testament to cover various problems they faced.
The biggest problem is Joshua was doing many supernatural things. They don't want him as the agent, and the 'Holy Spirit' works as an alternative. The Apostles appear to do amazing exploits too, and their edited text needs to explain this as well.
By the way, the convoluted theology of the 'Holy Spirit' that requires massive texts to explore is thus explained because it was an ad-hoc family of edits covering up other problems. Let me show you some examples.
Hiding Off Planet Locations
As I've explained here before, the Genesis 1 edits bring creation to earth and make Adam and Eve unique in the universe. None of this is correct. The parable of the Lost Sheep explains there are 99 other systems with humans on them. Only humans in this system are lost.
So look carefully at Revelation 4:1-2 John is called up to the skies and is then 'in the spirit' where he sees various thrones.
There is a very subtle contradiction in this story. John is either called up to a physical place, or shown a place in a vision. Which is it?
A physical journey off planet to a place of thrones makes sense in the Testimony. John was called to that place, after all. There is a throne where Joshua sits from which he rules earth. Joshua's throne has other thrones near by because Joshua uses help from other off-planet kings. John was sent there to see this so he could write the rest of us about how this works.
This is threatening to the editors because they think they rule earth. It is also a contradiction against Genesis 1. So the easy fix for the editors was to make this a vision, via the Holy Spirit, simply by adding the word 'spirit.' Visions are easier to explain away than visits to real places.
A similar trick seems to have been employed in the account of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4.
Here we see a bunch of people starting to speak and to hear something in a language that they recognize.
For some time we have believed this passage shows an event where inspired Paleo is starting to be spoken again. Joshua was giving the spoken form back after the textual artifacts had been recovered near Sychar.
Historically that inspired language followed the tribes as they spread out after the Assyrian invasion. Spoken languages usually change slowly. So even modern derivatives contain words and phrases of Paleo. We still see many of these, even in modern English.
So when Paleo appears at Pentecost anyone listening will hear some of it in their own language. Especially 2000 years ago when real Paleo was spoken only 800 years earlier. The language drift was far less than would be expected now, some 2800 years after deportation.
To an editor that knows what is going on, Pentecost is serious trouble. The event was exposing the language frauds surrounding the Hebrew texts used in that day. It was very clearly fulfilling events foretold in Ezekiel's valley of dry bones. There we see a recovery from the dirt and then recovery of the wind or voice, and finally a great number, as happened in Acts.
Since the word 'wind' like the wind of a voice is also 'spirit,' the editors needed 2 things. First, to make it 'holy' pointing at the Holy Spirit. Second they needed to push it to some other prophecy instead of the obvious Ezekiel passage. The obvious inspired interpretive map implied the actual language recovery that had happened. It also implied great fraud in organized religion.
The editors chose a story from Joel and they added the flame of fire and they added a forced Joel interpretation. Even though if you go read Joel it is about city destruction, not a bunch of random people sitting down gabbing. In some sense it was accurate for events 40 years future, but not that day.
There is another feature of the 'Holy Spirit' fraud I need to explain.
Almost all 'Holy Spirit' manifestations in stock Bible's are tied to the anointing of the person involved. The anointing is an analog quantity, it changes in amount over time, in places, is based on favor and so on.
The word 'anoint' is first seen with the process of pouring on oil as was done to kings and priests in the OT. Remember, these are the 2 classes of editors. At coronation or ordination for either of these offices, oil is put on the head.
That term 'anoint' in its various forms is also translated in stock Greek based Bible's as 'Christ.' It is also the term that describes when the 'Holy Spirit' comes on someone. A very strange match suggesting it only comes on the anointed, ie those in high priestly or kingly offices.
So, nearly by definition someone anointed is either a king or a priest. The 2 structural hierarchies behind the manuscript fraud.
So, imagine as the text of stock Bibles strongly suggest, you must be anointed to have the 'Holy Spirit.' But also imagine this is a fraud perpetrated by kings and priests who created the fraud. What purpose does it serve them to write this in?
They can claim for themselves the anointing to their offices while everyone else sits around without. They are almost always liars and they never occupy offices that Joshua would endorse. But, they can claim divine authority over everything they do. They are anointed, after all.
They knew there was no Holy Spirit, but explain special people in the text as operating by this special power of the Holy Gods being in them. All the actual amazing things the Apostles did are thus used to endorse those in special kingly and priestly offices.
This is a reversal from what really happened. Joshua himself just did things around his Apostles in order to show they had his favor. Favor is a general concept that springs at least since Noah's day.
The communities of kings and priests can easily claim they have the 'Holy Spirit.' Claims like this are not a problem for a family of liars. Anyone who searches for the real 'Holy Spirit' can never actually receive it, because, of course, it is a fiction. It is a textual fabrication.
This actually agrees with most of what we see in modern 'Holy Ghost' meetings. Most people in most audiences, even when well intended, go away no different than when they arrived.
Of course there are exceptions. Things sometimes really do happen in 'Holy Ghost' meetings such as the great revivals of 1904 and following. So we need to look at the major manifestations and try and understand them.
Manifestations -- Healing
First point is that there are times when Joshua uses church meetings to heal people. He is merciful and he is powerful and he heals. He can heal any time or any place he wants.
But, Joshua has the same packaging problem that we have been exploring in recent posts on this blog. If someone expects to be healed, but thinks it will only happen in a church, or in a healing service, or when a certain person prays or when there is a certain ceremony... then where can Joshua heal?
Because healing needs someone's belief too, then Joshua may well be limited to healing in certain places or limited to certain times, or both. Why? Because of the limited belief of people who expect him to meet them in those places.
On the other hand, anyone running such a place will not normally be working in Joshua's favor. They are in some sense usurping Joshua's authority. In full blown revival meetings, the leaders are falsely claiming the Holy Spirit who is a fiction taking credit away from Joshua himself.
This explains very well the pattern of 'flare outs' that we commonly see involving leaders of these sorts of meetings.
If you have not studied this, let me just state revival preachers commonly have marital problems, leadership disputes, financial problems or painful agonizing deaths. Why? Because these meetings do not operate with Joshua's general favor. Leaders are thus out of favor most of the time. So of course they blow up in various ways.
Manifestation -- Deliverance
Another common area of manifestation involves what is called 'deliverance.' This is a technical term that means to deliver someone from something that 'possesses' them. Using stock Bibles this is usually explained from the Book of Mark as deliverance of demons. Those are defined in ancient but off-Bible texts as lost human souls of the pre-flood giants.
It is reasonable to see possession as an event where the soul of someone who has died is now occupying the body of another. The University of Virginia research group that studies reincarnation generally, has seen this scenario in their huge collection of case files. Anyone who has witnessed a deliverance has seen it too.
So when someone is 'delivered' of something 'possessing' them, most likely this is a case of a ghost that is being ejected from someone's body. It does not need a church service or priest to pull it out. It just needs Joshua to order it gone.
Manifestation -- Prophetic
Depending on the church circles you may be familiar with, a common event in 'Holy Spirit' meetings is people seeking prophetic words. Some preachers are particularly gifted in these, sort of like modern oracles.
Joshua appears limited by the same belief/packaging problems that we see with everything else. If you think that a person must be used to give you a prophetic word... And Joshua wants to give you one... Then the only way this can happen is via a prophet.
Grow some faith and you will not need a prophet nor a prophetic venue. He can speak to you directly if you will only let him.
We are still crawling through all the references to Holy Spirit still found in the Testimony. Most 'Holy Spirit' stories were in passages that already fell by the rules of additions. Stories remaining usually have some good reason to remain, so they must be checked for riddles. Riddles usually involve deciding what the editor's motive would have been, and what were they covering up.
We are progressing at this, but it will be awhile before they are all worked out. Watch for changes along these lines in today's update, with more to come.