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Walking in the Spirit

Acts 16:5-11

Acts 16:5
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

After spending time listening to Paul and Silas teach God’s Word and receiving the decrees from Jerusalem the believers in Galatia were established, stereo. They were strengthened, made solid in the right way to believe, and increased in numbers daily. Also, the fellowships in Galatia were steadfast in the right way of believing and they were increasing.

When you read the Epistle to the Galatians it is easy to see that it was still not time for this epistle to be written. The believers in Galatia readily received Paul and Silas, as well as the words of encouragement and edification they had spoken.

In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul states the doctrinal issue, having received another gospel, beginning in chapter 1 verse 6. Then Paul must give his credentials starting in Galatians 1:11 and continuing until Galatians 2:10. In Paul’s second journey through Galatia Paul has no necessity to prove who he speaks for or how he received his doctrine.

The corruption in the doctrine that takes place in Galatia has not yet occurred. 

Acts 16:6
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

A question is not stated here but becomes obvious since an answer is given. 

What is our next destination? 
Where do we go after Galatia?

“Forbidden” is the Greek word kolyo and means to prevent, to deny, to restrain. Since this is in the passive voice, the Holy Spirit, God, is taking the action. What action is God taking so that Paul understands not to stop and preach in Asia? God has given Paul revelation. Paul was walking in the spirit, meaning he was listening to what the spirit within him was saying.

Acts 16:7-8
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 

Paul again hears from God, by way of revelation, not to go into northern Galatia.

Acts 16:9-11
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore, loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis.

Paul had a vision, horama, which means, that which is seen. The root word of horama is horao which means, to see with the eyes or to see with the mind, to perceive. God gave Paul a video, a mental vision, of where to go next to preach the Gospel of Grace.

How would you like to have a mental video of what to do next in your walk with God? I cannot promise a mental video, but I can promise revelation from God, if you are one of His children in the Administration of Grace.

The word translated “prayed” is parakaleo, which we have seen before, it means to call someone to your side for encouragement. This man from Macedonia encouraged Paul to come to his side to help. The Greek word for “help” is boetheo and means to succor, to bring aid.

Mark 9:24
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

This was the account in the Gospel of Mark of the father whose child had a dumb spirit. The disciples of Jesus could not cast out the spirit, so the father brought his child to Jesus and asked for help, boetheo. The word succor, used to define this word help, means, “to give assistance to in time of want, difficulty, or distress.”1  The father believed, which can be seen in that he brought his son to the disciples and then to Jesus. But he still had unbelief, he was in distress and needed help.

Paul saw a man from Macedonia encourage him to come to his side to give aid because they were in distress. What was their distress? They needed the words of life from God’s teacher of the Gospel of Grace.

How did Paul know not to stop in Asia, or go into northern Galatia, or finally, to travel to Macedonia to preach God’s Word?

The words “assuredly gathering” are one word in the Greek, sumbibazoSumbibazo is a compound word consisting of the Greek word sun, which is a preposition that means, in conjunction with, or a logical connection. Bibazo comes from the Greek word basis and means, to step or to walk. Paul, upon leaving southern Galatia, had a question, where do I go now to speak God’s Word? What is my next step? God’s answer with the vision Paul received concerning a man of Macedonian was the logical connection, the logical answer to Paul’s question. The revelation Paul received as he left southern Galatia, again as he approached northern Galatia, then again as he approached Macedonia gave Paul the godly information, he required to make the right spiritual decision.

Notice the full answer did not come immediately. The third time Paul heard from God gave him the answer he desired. Like a child asking to go outside to play, and his mother responds, pick up your toys. Then after the child obeys, the mother says, you can go outside and play. Obedience and patience gave Paul a full answer.

Paul was walking in the spirit. But what does that mean? 

First, we need a better understanding of God’s gift of holy spirit.

God, being Spirit, communicates with what He is, spirit. In the Patriarchal Administration, and the Law Administration, and the Christ Administration, God’s gift of holy spirit was upon certain individuals. The Revealing Administration was different than these other administrations so we will look at it separately. Then, the Administration of Grace was completely different from all other administrations, we will look at it last.

When God wanted to speak with a person without holy spirit He came into concretion. This means God dealt with the person on the level of the senses so the person could understand Him. Examples of this would be Cain with an audible voice speaking to him out of thin air. Or Moses speaking with a bush that was on fire but did not burn. 

Exodus 13:21
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

God coming into concretion is documented many times in the Old Testament, Gideon and the fleece, Mount Sinai with the clouds, thunder, and lighting, God speaking with the High priest from between the cherubim in the Holy of holies, Balaam, and his talking donkey.

Natural man, meaning a man without God’s gift of holy spirit, many times needed something in the senses world before he believed. Like Moses saying Israel would not believe him, so God gave him two signs, a rod that became a serpent and a leprous hand, to help both Moses and Israel believe. Or the twelve apostles on the day of Pentecost and cloven tongues like as of fire before they received God’s gift of holy spirit to begin the Revealing Administration. 

Now, what does it mean to have spirit upon?

It means you have God’s gift of holy spirit within you, but the designation “upon” means it is temporary, it is not eternal life spirit. Spirit upon was also conditional, meaning it was completely God’s prerogative. Spirit upon was also given by measure and it lacked spiritual understanding. This was the case from Genesis chapter 4 through the Gospels. However, there are changes to this in the Christ Administration and the Revealing Administration. 

What I mean by God’s prerogative, there was nothing man could do that would earn him God’s gift of holy spirit and there was nothing laid out in God’s Word for a man to petition God to receive or to keep holy spirit. God never set a criterion that had to be met before a person could receive His gift of holy spirit or keep His gift of holy spirit.

Are there scriptures for all these statements about holy spirit upon an individual?

That is an awesome question. We want our thoughts rooted in God’s Word, not in a man’s opinion. And there is only one location to become rooted in the Word of God, the Bible. We do not study teachings; we study God’s Word. Teachings can, and should, open God’s Word to you and give you a starting point from which to launch a study. No, you do not need to know Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. You do not need to become a grammarian. You already have the greatest tool to reading, studying, understanding the words of God, you have God’s gift of holy spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)

Now let’s look at some of these things about God’s gift of holy spirit which was upon people.

Numbers 11:24-25
And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

The spirit is said to be upon an individual, but it was within that person, we will see this later. The word upon is used to show its temporariness. 

The phrase, “did not cease” in Numbers 11 is a poor translation. The Hebrew word translated “cease” is yasap and should have been translated “again.” They prophesied this one time and never prophesied again. This shows us both spirit by measure, and its temporariness, and that it is conditional.

Exodus 31:2-5
See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

Here is another example of temporariness, and by measure, and conditional. God placed His spirit upon workers to produce the directions given to Moses for the Tabernacle. Then when the tasks were accomplished, the gift of God’s holy spirit would leave. By measure is seen in the areas whereby the spirit would aid these men in their work for God. You can also see giving and removing holy spirit as God’s prerogative.

1 Samuel 16:14
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Psalm 51:11
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

That a person received holy spirit or lost holy spirit was again, God’s prerogative. 

1 Samuel 16 once again gives us an example of the figure of speech idioma of the verb by permission. God did not give Saul an evil spirit, consider a tree is known by its fruit, but He gave permission for the evil spirit to come upon Saul.

When I say God’s gift of holy spirit in the Old Testament lacked understanding I am not speaking about an inferior spirit, but rather an inferior spiritual mind on the part of the person with holy spirit. Until Jesus Christ came there were spiritual realities man did not understand.  

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

The Greek word for “seen” is horao, we looked at this word earlier with Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia. It means to see with the eyes or the mind, to perceive. It seems like an awkward thing to say with men like Abraham, and Moses, and David, and Elijah having come before Jesus. However, none of these men ever had an unclouded vision or understanding of the heart of God. Before the ministry of Jesus, mankind, at best, had a blurred vision and lacked an understanding of God. 

The word “declared” is the compound Greek word exegeomai. It comes from ek, which means out from, and hegeomai which means to lead. Together they mean to lead out of. During his earthly ministry Jesus led Israel out of ignorance concerning God. They had received the words of God, they practiced the rituals, they had seen the miracles from God, but they did not understand the heart of God. 

Psalms 103:7
He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

After the death of Jesus, through witnesses and the written Word of God, Jesus continued to led Israel, and then the world, out of their ignorance concerning God. 

Isaiah 1:3
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider [understand].

Micah 4:12a
But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel…

Romans 1:21-23
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

These final verses from Romans are speaking of the Gentiles.

We get our English word exegesis from this Greek word exegeomai. Exegesis is, “In a theological sense, the definition of exegesis is an approach to interpreting Bible passages utilizing critical analysis. The word itself comes from a Greek word which means 'to lead out of.' It is the thorough investigation of Biblical text, within their various contexts, to discover the original intent of a word.” 2 

It was Jesus Christ who made known, exegeomai, God.

Matthew 11:27
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

No one knew the Father except the son. “Knoweth” is the Greek word epiginosko, which means an experiential knowledge that is accurate and complete. Jesus knew and understood his Father.

The word “reveal” is the Greek word apokalypto which lexicons define as, “to uncover, lay open what has been veiled or covered up. To make known, to manifest.” This is what Jesus Christ accomplished through his words and actions. Jesus made known God, he revealed God.

John 6:46
Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he, which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

Twice in this verse we have the word “seen.” Both times it is the Greek word horao, this is now the third time in this teaching. God, the Father of Jesus, revealed Himself to His son. Jesus saw and knew the heart of his Father.

John 8:38
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

Both times the word “seen” in this verse is again horao. One refers to God and one refers to the Devil. 

Can you imagine the mental videos God showed Jesus? He is God’s only begotten son. How much did God share with His son, with whom He was well pleased? 

Jesus received his gift of holy spirit at the age of thirty. After receiving holy spirit Jesus and God could have their first conversation, Spirit to spirit. I really cannot imagine the conversation they had with one another. Having a spiritual conversation Spirit to spirit, or with your Lord sounds odd, or even impossible? Consider Acts chapter 9 and a conversation between Ananias and his Lord, Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:10
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

Ananias was a disciple, not a prophet, not an apostle, but an ordinary believer. Again, the word vision in the Greek is horama, from horao. In this vision the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking with Ananias and Ananias is responding to his Lord.

Acts 9:13-14
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

A conversation! God and Jesus had their first Spirit to spirit conversation after Jesus was baptized by John. 

That is amazing. At the age of twelve Jesus was anxious to be about his Father’s business. Eighteen years later they have their first conversation.

Jesus Christ perceived God more clearly than any other man because of five things. First, the uniqueness of his birth. Next, his extensive knowledge of the written words of God. Third, his meek and humble mind set. Fourth, that he received God’s gift of holy spirit without measure. Finally, the abundance of revelation he received from God.

As believers in the Administration of Grace we should consider these five things about Jesus Christ. If we want to walk in the spirit more in our own lives, we need to consider these. Then we will give to the world a true perception of our Heavenly Father.

Jesus Christ was uniquely qualified to led Israel out of spiritual ignorance concerning God. Jesus led Israel into the marvelous glory of revelatory Truth concerning the heart and intentions of a benevolent and loving Heavenly Father.

There is an old joke about the nature of God. 

“What changed God from the angry God of the Old Testament to the loving God of the New Testament? 

He had a child.” 

Christians often tell this joke! Why? Because they also do not understand the nature and the heart of God. God was just as loving and benevolent in the Old Testament as the New Testament. 

Yet even Jesus had God’s gift of holy spirit upon him. The holy spirit Jesus received after John baptized him was not eternal life spirit.

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me…” this does not mean Jesus walked around with something hanging over his head. It speaks to the temporariness and the conditional nature of the spirit that God gave at that time. Eternal life spirit was still not available during the lifetime of Jesus. It was the accomplishments of Jesus and God’s faithfulness to His Word of grace that brought eternal life spirit to pass. 

Another difference concerning Jesus, God gave him His gift of holy spirit without measure.

John 3:34
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Isaiah 11:2-3
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

First, recognize that God issues a promise here in Isaiah, that the Messiah will have holy spirit. God had not issued a promise of holy spirit to any other man in the Old Testament. There is the promise of holy spirit in the prophecies pertaining to the New Covenant, but that is a different teaching. 

Jesus knew the Old Testament; he knew God had promised him God’s gift of holy spirit. Unlike the other people with holy spirit in the Old Testament and the Gospels, God’s prerogative is stated in a promise concerning the Messiah.

God did not give His son spirit by measure. 1 Corinthians shows us there are nine evidences of God’s gift of holy spirit to operate in the Administration of Grace. Jesus Christ manifested seven evidences because that is what was available during his administration. 

Jesus also ordained the twelve, giving them spiritual power.

Mark 6:7
 And he called unto him the twelve and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits.

Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Luke 9:1
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

The words holy spirit are not used in the context of sending out the twelve or the seventy, and both groups had success. You do not miraculously heal the sick, you do not cast out devil spirits unless you have God’s gift of holy spirit. Ask the sons of Sceva.

Luke 10:17
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

These men in the Gospels could not have power over devil spirits unless they had a greater spirit, greater spiritual power. Therefore, they received spirit upon for the duration of the journey they accepted from Jesus.

This shared spiritual authority would be like what the apostles did in the Revealing Administration when they needed help in Acts chapter 6.

Acts 6:3
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Notice they were looking for men “full” of the holy spirit. It was called spirit upon, but it was within them. Also recognize the measure, full of “wisdom.”

To recap, God is Holy, and God is Spirit, and He communicates with what He is, holy spirit. When God wants to communicate with a person who does not have holy spirit, God comes into concretion. God’s gift of holy spirit in the Old Testament was temporary, it was not eternal life spirit, and it was conditional, it was God’s prerogative to give holy spirit and to take it away. It was also given by measure and those with holy spirit upon them lacked spiritual understanding because Jesus Christ had not yet come and revealed the true nature and heart of God. 

But when Jesus Christ came, God gave him holy spirit without measure, and He gave him holy spirit because it was promised in the Old Testament (Isaiah 11). Jesus Christ then, by his words and his actions, led Israel out of their spiritual ignorance to the glorious Light of their Heavenly Father. 

Eternal life spirit was not available until God raised Jesus Christ out from among the dead and he ascended on high.

Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus was the first to go through the regeneration. What is the regeneration? It was his resurrection from the dead. That is when Jesus received his spiritual body, his eternal life spiritual body. Then, at the resurrection of the Just everyone whose name is written in the Book of Life, from all the administrations that preceded the Administration of Grace, will receive their spiritual body like unto his. The spirit from God they had in the Gospels or the Old Testament, or the Revealing Administration whether for an hour, a day, or years, was only temporary, it was not eternal life spirit. 

1 Corinthians 15:45
And so, it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Jesus Christ, with his resurrection from the dead, was made a quickening, a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:20
But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Jesus Christ was the first to go through what he called the regeneration.

1 Timothy 6:16
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see, to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 6 speaking of Jesus Christ, he only has immortality.

Now, when it comes to the Revealing Administration there are some changes. First, God gave a condition for receiving holy spirit and next, the spirit they received was to be with them throughout the individuals time in the administration. However, holy spirit was still going to be upon those who believed in the Revealing Administration.

Acts 1:8a
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…

Again, the phrase “upon” only refers to the temporariness of the holy spirit.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 

When God says in His Word that the spirit was “upon” a person it is only speaking of the temporariness of the spirit, the spirit is within the person, “they were all filled…” But Jesus issued a promise for God about receiving the holy spirit in the Revealing Administration.

John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

The word “ever” is the Greek word aion and means age. The spirit they were to receive was to be with them for the age, the entire administration. This is a major change from the Old Testament and the Gospels. 

Had the Revealing Administration followed the Christ Administration, which is how God’s Word has the sequence laid out in Old Testament prophecy, the entire Revealing Administration would have lasted less than one generation.

Matthew 24:34
Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Was Jesus Christ wrong?

Absolutely not!

According to the written Word of God, in Genesis through Malachi, Jesus was absolutely correct! However, God was holding a secret, not written in His Word, but kept within Himself, that delayed what was written in the Old Testament. This secret does not change what was written in the Old Testament, nor does it change the words spoken by Jesus, it simply delays their fulfillment. Therefore, we find Jesus Christ standing in judgment in Acts chapter 7. Jesus had not yet been told God’s secret concerning the Administration of Grace.

On the day of Pentecost, the opening of the Revealing Administration, we find Peter preparing Israel for the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the Revealing Administration would have started and ended within a generation. Peter understood what his Lord had said.

Acts 2:17
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Peter, quoting the prophet Joel, but speaking of the day of Pentecost, “in the last days.” Again, notice the gift of holy spirit will be poured out “upon” all flesh. Why all flesh? Because the commission given by Jesus, in Matthew, to the twelve was to take his words to all nations. 

Acts 3:19-21
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Sins blotted out, when…” Christ returns. Recall Paul teaching in Acts chapter 13 about the Administration of Grace and justification in the present tense. Justification is the removal of all sins.

That is why the General Epistles, Hebrews through the book of Revelation, continues to prepare Israel for the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Jude 1:14-15
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

James 5:7-8
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Now, since Israel, on the day of Pentecost, is still under the Old Covenant, the spirit they receive is only for the length of their lives or for their administration. It is still not eternal life spirit. That they will receive at the resurrection of the Just.

1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

When Jesus calls the Just forth from the grave all those in the Book of Life shall see him and become like him.

John 5:25-30
Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

These will be following Jesus in the regeneration. This will be eternal life spirit that is received by all who are raised in the resurrection of the Just, the resurrection of Life.

I have shown you that it was God’s prerogative to give or to take His gift of holy spirit before the Revealing Administration. However, God issues a promise, through the ministry of the Apostle Peter, that transfers the prerogative to receive His gift of holy spirit, in the Revealing Administration, to every individual person.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In the Revealing Administration each person decides whether they will receive God’s gift of holy spirit. Receiving holy spirit was, and will be when the Revealing Administration begins again, based on their believing. God is willing to provide His gift of holy spirit to all who believe.

So, in the Revealing Administration we have seen that they will receive God’s gift of holy spirit upon because eternal life spirit does not become available to Israel until the Mosaic Law is fully completed.

Hebrews 8:13
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

In the context of Hebrews chapter 8 God is speaking of the New Covenant that is almost ready to begin. “He hath made the first old…” is speaking of the covenant with Israel, the Mosaic Covenant. The word used for “old” is palaioo, used again later in this verse. Being used twice, with different tenses makes this the figure of speech polyptoton emphasizing the age of the covenant. In this first usage of palaioo the tense is perfect which means, it is a one time completed action in the past with continuing results. In other words, the Old Covenant has not yet ended, it continues.

The word “decayeth,” palaioo in the Greek, and simply means old as in old clothing. A good translation here could be worn out, as in old clothing. The word “waxeth” is the Greek word gerasko, from which we get our English word geriatrics. It also means old but carries the under tone of failing strength (see John 21:18).

Both palaioo and gerasko are in the present tense, meaning the Old Covenant was in force at the time the book of Hebrews was written, and it will remain in force until the end of the Revealing Administration. 

The word “ready” is engys in the Greek and means near. The words “vanish away” is the Greek word aphanismos and means to disappear, to snatch away, to make unseen. 

Hebrews 8:13
By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
New International Version

Hebrews 8:13
By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old, and aging is about to disappear.
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Because the Revealing Administration is still under the Old or Mosaic Covenant, the spirit they received was “upon” them, eternal life spirit will not be available to Israel until the resurrection of the Just. But the spirit they received during their administration will be with the individual for their lifetime. Also, God has graciously released His prerogative giving them the choice as to whether they will receive His gift of holy spirit.

Now, in the Administration of Grace, since we are not under the Old Covenant, God gave His gift of holy spirit by creating a new nature within those who believe. Each person decides for himself if he will receive God’s gift of holy spirit. 

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We have three figures of speech we need to understand in this verse. First, we have the figure of speech Interjection, which is a form of Parenthesis. This figure has us placing brackets around the last five words of section a.

2 Corinthians 5:17a
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, (he is a new creature) …

Next, we have the figure of speech Ellipsis. In this case the noun “creature” must be supplied with a verb. The translators endeavored to do that with the words “he is,” which are not in the text but supplied by the figure Ellipsis. Creature is the Greek word ktisis and is defined as, “the act of creating, creation.”3  However, the proper verb for creature, must correlate to the noun creation. The correct verb to accommodate the noun creation is created.

2 Corinthians 5:17a
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, (created a new creation] …

The word “new” is kainos, new in quality, a new kind, recently made. Merriam-Webster defines quality as, “peculiar and essential character: NATURE”4  Their emphasis not mine. 

Our first nature is after Adam, a living soul. Our new nature is spiritual and is of Christ, a quickening spirit.

Finally, we have the figure of speech metonymy of the subject. The subject is the new creature or creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, (created a new nature), old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

“Old things” is archaios and means original or ancient. The words “passed away” is parerchomai used metaphorically meaning to perish. Therefore, 2 Corinthians 5:17 would read as follows:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, (created a new nature), the originals are dying; behold they are becoming new.

Consider in light of Romans 6.

Romans 6:6-7
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed [justified] from sin.

Romans 6:11
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We inherit our human nature from Adam, who rebelled, and disobeyed, and placed the words of God alongside his own thoughts. The only saving grace to our human nature is the imprint of God’s likeness placed in Adam and Eve in the Garden. We still have that imprint. 

We inherit our spiritual nature from God through Christ Jesus, who was humble, and obedient, and meek to the words of God. Jesus valued God’s words above his own thoughts. This is the new created nature we have received in our new birth.

Those who have believed in the Administration of Grace have had a unique and amazing spiritual birth. It is now our nature to be like God (Ephesians 5:1).

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

The opening of this verse needs to be read by all who preach God’s Word, “not by works of righteousness.” In other words, we do not earn this regeneration! We cannot earn righteousness! We receive it by mercy and grace, see Ephesians chapter 2. In Titus 3:4 the word translated “kindness” is better translated goodness. It is first used in the epistle to the Romans in chapter 2 and verse 4.

In all honesty, we did not earn our first natural birth, nor do we earn our spiritual birth. With our first birth we imitated our parents. In our spiritual birth we are to imitate our Father and our older brother, who sits at our Fathers right hand.

We have already seen the regeneration of Jesus, it occurred at his resurrection when he received a new spiritual body. Jesus received a new spiritual nature that is eternal. Regeneration is the Greek word palingenesia. It is a compound Greek word from palin, which means renewal, again, or anew and genesis which means source, birth, or origin. Many simply translate palingenesia as new birth.

For Jesus Christ Romans chapter 1 sums it up nicely.

Romans 1:3-4
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

His first birth was according to the flesh, his new birth, his spiritual birth, was that of a quickening spirit as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:45.

Now, let’s consider some of the aspects of Titus 3:5.

The word “saved” is in the aorist tense, which is a one time completed action in the past. You are not waiting to be saved sometime in the future, you have salvation NOW! You have received a token of your eternal life spirit.

How? By God creating a new nature within each believer. A nature that is righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24). Those in the Revealing Administration are told to be holy (1 Peter 1:15) whereas in the Administration of Grace, God has already made us holy, as He is Holy.

The word “washing” is loutron and means to bathe but the idea is of cleansing. It is not the work of bathing, again, the beginning of the verse, “not by works of righteousness…” The word “by” is dia and means through. The concept is, “through the cleansing of the new birth, or through the cleansing of a new beginning.” Through the cleansing of the new birth even the renewing we have received with God’s gift of holy spirit, we are saved!

The word “and” is kai in the Greek and should be translated even in this context.

“Renewing” is anakainosis and means a complete change for the better, a renovation, a superior new. “Holy spirit” is speaking of God’s gift of holy spirit. This new nature God has created within us is superior to the old nature, the natural nature we inherited from Adam. 

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

So, what is Titus 3:5 telling us?

God is saying in Titus that we did not earn righteousness but that He, through His mercy, saved us by the cleansing of the new birth, even the receiving of His gift of holy spirit. Now it is our responsibility to put that spiritual nature on in our minds. We have the ability to imitate our Heavenly Father, for we have His nature.

We showed up in our natural birth without a vast reservoir of knowledge, or wisdom, or understanding. We receive our spiritual birth in the same manner. Just as a newborn baby has awesome potential ability, our spiritual birth comes with an even greater awesome potential ability. Now it is up to the individual to be clothed.

Ephesians 4:24
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The new man is our new spiritual nature we just read about in 2 Corinthians 5 and Titus 3. This new birth, this new nature, was created righteous and holy. The word “after” is kata in the Greek and in this context is setting the standard. The standard of our righteousness and holiness is God! God has made us what He is. You cannot be more Righteous and Holy than God!

The word “is,” is not in the text but is translated from the word created. Since created is in the aorist tense the correct verb to supply should be past tense, “was created”. The words “put on” is endyo in the Greek and it means, to clothe oneself. 

Ephesians 5:1
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.

The word “followers” is mimetes which means imitator, be imitators of God, as dear children. We get the English word mimic from this Greek word. The word “dear” is agapetos and means esteemed or beloved. 

How do you clothe yourself with this new man? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
How do you achieve your potential spiritual ability? (Romans 6 & 7)
How do you let this inside treasure shine? (2 Corinthians 4:7)

You do it by putting on the words of God, specifically those words that apply to this new nature and this nature’s righteousness. 

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The word “present” is paristemi and means to stand alongside of. The renewed mind of Romans 12 encourages the believer to stand alongside of God. Both words “conformed” and “transformed” are in the passive voice, meaning the individual believer is being acted upon. 

How can this take place? 

Because the Word of God is living and powerfully energizing (Hebrews 4:12). God’s Word is acting!

The word renewing is the same Greek word used in Titus 3:5, it is the only two times that Greek word is used in the New Testament. We have a new spiritual nature, we need new spiritual thoughts, and those we can only find in God’s Word.

Colossians 3:10
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

“Put on” is again endyo, to clothe yourself.
“Man” is not in the text but is supplied by the figure Ellipsis from the previous verse.
“Renewed” is the verb form of renewing from Titus and Romans.

We are to clothe our new man mentally with accurate, and complete, and full knowledge, epignosis, according to the image, holy spirit, of God, who created the new man. 

The Administration of Grace is the first time God has created holy spirit within a believer without a condition for it to remain. It is who you are, it is your nature! How do you count the measure of what we have received? We have the very nature of God Himself! We can literally imitate our spiritual Father, God! We can stand at His side!

Why are we standing while our big brother is siting? Because his work pertaining to our spiritual birth is completed, while our work in this spiritual birth is only beginning. 

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship [masterpiece is a better translation], created in Christ Jesus unto good [agathos – see Matthew 19:16-17] works [our good works have just begun], which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Therefore, even though “all” scripture is God breathed, and is profitable to us. The scripture God gave to the Apostle Paul is the scripture that will speak directly to this new created nature, something that God has not done since Genesis chapters 1 and 2. It is not the only scripture we are to learn (Romans 15:8), it is the first scripture we should learn.

The infant must learn about himself, first from his immediate family and then his extended family. It is years before the infant encounters the world outside of his family.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers [mimetes = imitators] of me, even as I also am [figure Ellipsis, an imitator] of Christ.

But the words of God will have no effect upon the individual unless that individual is both meek and humble. Meek is coachable, allowing the words of God to direct your thoughts, your attitudes, your emotions. Humble is recognizing that God’s words and God’s thoughts are greater than the thoughts of the world, even greater than your own thoughts. We can bring “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” because God said so in His Word.

Colossians 3:12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

Christ humbled himself under the words of God (Hebrews 5:8), he still is doing that, we can also.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Step by step, thought by thought, situation by situation we can capture our thoughts, our emotions, our words to obey the words of God and our big brother. I know, immediately the mind will say, that is impossible. But God, Christ Jesus, and our new nature all declare, YES YOU CAN!

The gift of God’s holy spirit in the Administration of Grace has given every believer power and authority not seen and exercised since Jesus walked the earth. We have received a new nature; we are spiritual men and women, it is who we are, confess it!

How great is the power that works in us?

Ephesians 1:19-20
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Adam was given dominion, Jesus exercised dominion, WE now have dominion through Christ. It has to be in your heart before you will see it manifested from your lips.

Ephesians 1:21-23
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Christ is the head, we are his Body, everything is under his feet, therefore, in Christ we are far above and over the Adversary’s kingdom of darkness in this world.

I said there were five things about Jesus that allowed him to see God more clearly; his unique birth, his extensive knowledge of the written words of God, his meek and humble mind set, his gift of holy spirit without measure, and the abundance of revelation he received from God.

We also have had a unique and amazing spiritual birth; we can have an extensive knowledge of God’s written Word; a meek and humble mind set is within our spiritual ability to develop; we have received holy spirit without measure in that holy spirit is our new nature; revelation from God is at our disposal. Like when Jesus was on the cross, confronted by the world and his strength was gone, God stood with him, My God, My God…The Truth.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12
But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

My new nature of holy spirit communicates with God, who is Spirit, (see also 1 Corinthians 14:2). This line of communication enables direction from God, (through Christ Jesus), who knows the end from the beginning.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Do not go to Asia, stay out of Bithynia, help those in Macedonia. 

We learn His Word, we communicate with our Father, we speak what we have seen and heard from our Father.

Now, the question that was posed over an hour ago, depending on how quickly you read, what does it mean when I say Paul was walking in the spirit?

It means Paul recognized the voice of his new nature; the voice of the spirit created within him by God. Paul was an imitator of Christ and His Heavenly Father. He could recognize that voice because his mind was holding God’s Word, he was brining every thought captive to the obedience [hupakoe see Hebrews 5:8] of Christ. He could recognize that voice because he expected to hear from his heavenly Father, as a child expects to hear from his earthly parents. He recognized the voice of God because he knew who he was in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God, I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Let us determine to walk in the spirit.


​1. The Free Dictionary, Succor - definition of succor by The Free Dictionary
2. Exegesis Definition | Bible Dictionary (
3. G2937 - ktisis - Strong's Greek Lexicon (kjv) (
4. Quality Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

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A Journey through the Book of Acts