The Superhuman Source of Holy Spirit
1. Why was holy spirit in operation in the Garden of Eden when man and woman first met?
WHEN man and woman first met, they felt a force—the force of attraction. They fell in love with each other immediately. Although naked, unclothed, this first man and first woman were holy. That is to say, they were bright, clean, pure, perfect in body, mind and heart. For that reason they felt no embarrassment and could have uninhibited relationship with their Creator, God. They enjoyed their childlike relationship with Him in a clean and holy place. It was a place of pure pleasure, rightly called the Garden of Eden or Paradise of Pleasure. All the things that were around them to affect them were healthful and good. Holy spirit, God’s holy active force, was fully in operation there.
2. Why did the Source of holy spirit prove to be superhuman?
2 The man and the woman, our first earthly parents, were human, that is to say, of the earth, of things that are found here at the earth. But what about their divine Creator? This One had to be superhuman. He was infinitely higher than man in the level of His heavenly existence. He was higher, too, in the kind of intelligent Person that he was. He was, to say it simply, of finer stuff than man was. This is why he was invisible to man, whose powers of vision are limited in range. Naturally, then, the first man and woman never saw their Creator, their Life-Giver, their heavenly Father. Because of his superhuman, heavenly, invisible existence, he was what we call today “spirit.” Because he is an individual Person, just as much as his creature man is, the Creator can be called “a Spirit.” Outstandingly he is The Spirit. He is the unseen Source of holy spirit, for He himself is holy.
3. To whose activity does Genesis 1:1 point?
3 Before our earth and the heavens about it existed, this spirit Person existed and was active. The holy Book that gives us the historical account all the way back to before man’s beginning opens up with these pointed words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”—Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1.
4, 5. Why is God not to be worshiped in any man-made building at any particular place on earth?
4 Such a creative God is higher even than the heavens that he created and therefore so much higher than earthling man. So he is spirit in essence or in what he is. Thousands of years after the creation of man, the Founder of true Christianity called attention to that very fact. Alongside a well at the foot of Mount Gerizim in ancient Samaria he said to a Samaritan woman: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” (John’s Gospel, Joh chapter 4, verse 24) The true God does not need to be worshiped in any man-made religious building in any particular place on earth, not even at Jerusalem in the Middle East. Less than twenty years after the foregoing statement, an apostle of Christianity stood before the Supreme Court of the city of Athens, where many temples were to be found, devoted to the gods and goddesses of their religion. He said:
5 “The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things. And he made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth.”—Acts 17:24-27.
6. How did the builder of the first temple at Jerusalem show that he knew that fact about God’s worship?
6 More than a thousand years earlier that fact about the true God, who is a superhuman, super-earthly Spirit, was known to the builder of the first known temple at Jerusalem in the Middle East. When dedicating this temple that he had built for God’s name, the then king of Jerusalem said to Him in prayer: “But will God truly dwell upon the earth? Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, themselves cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house that I have built!”—1 Kings 8:27.
GOD THE SOURCE OF ALL ENERGY
7. In what way cannot even the “heaven of the heavens” contain God?
7 The speaker of the above words, Solomon the son of King David, was the wisest scientist of times before our Common Era. When he said that even the heaven of the heavens could not contain the God to whom he had built a temple, he spoke the scientific truth. Our earth is a tiny part of a universe the limits of which the scientists are unable to reach or bring to view even with today’s most powerful telescopes. Still, this as yet unmeasured universe cannot contain the true God. It cannot restrict or confine him. What already exists of the present universe, seen and unseen, the true God can surpass. He can go beyond it and create yet other things for the enlargement of the universe, out beyond its existing borders, out into endless space. What does this mean?
8. How enduring is the Creator’s Godship, and why is nothing impossible for Him?
8 It means that God is bounded by neither time nor space. His life in times past is boundless. His lifetime in the future is unbounded. To this unbounded One the foremost lawgiver of pre-Christian times, Moses said: “Even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God.” (Psalm 90:2) This God lives to endless time, to keep on producing and creating beyond the present universe, expanding it. This signifies that he is the bottomless reservoir of all energy. All the things of the universe are bundles of particles of energy from him. These have been brought together into masses large and small. The twentieth-century scientist Albert Einstein worked out this formula for it: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared (or, E=mc2). Little wonder, then, that this Source of all energy finds nothing impossible for himself.
9, 10. How is it that God brings forth the army of the stars “by number” and not one of them proves to be “missing”?
9 For example, note the almost unbelievable claim that He makes for himself, as he tells us to raise our eyes to the skies by night and admire the stars. He says: “Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.”—Isaiah 40:26.
10 Astronomers of today, with their most penetrating telescopes, can merely estimate the number of stars that they can bring within vision. Not so with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. “He is counting the number of the stars; all of them he calls by their names.” (Psalm 147:4) He likens all the stars of heaven to an army of vast size. He knows how many are in this army of his. He knows each member of this army by name. By memory he can go through the roll call of them. When he calls the roll, not one member of this starry army fails to answer. Each one answers to its name and gives an accounting of its performance. Each one He finds fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. None is missing.
11. Why is it that the Creator is not played out and will not let the universe wear out or run down?
11 The “abundance of dynamic energy” that God has is immeasurable. It is inexhaustible. When we think just of the energy tied up in the sun of our solar system, which is a furnace of nuclear explosions like the explosion of hydrogen bombs, we are utterly amazed. And then when we think of the unnumbered billions of stars many of which are larger than our sun, we get some idea of the outflow of dynamic energy from God that the present starry heavens represent. And yet God is not played out, not exhausted. So, in full harmony with the facts it is said: “He is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound.” (Isaiah 40:29) He will never let our expanding universe wear out or run down. Forever it will remain to carry out the purpose for which it was created. Poetically an ancient observer of the stars said: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling. One day after another day causes speech to bubble forth, and one night after another night shows forth knowledge.”—Psalm 19:1, 2.
12. Why are men inexcusable for ignoring God and responsibility they have toward Him?
12 Happily for us, God is invisible to mankind. Yet, in spite of this, he gives us so much evidence of his existence that the world of mankind is without excuse for denying or ignoring his existence and their responsibility to him. “For,” as one Biblical writer wrote, “his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God.” (Romans 1:20, 21) In the face of all the evidence, they cannot successfully argue that God does not exist any more than argue that “God is dead.” He still lives and has all the dynamic energy and the perfect memory to carry out his stated purposes, which have been declared and published now for six thousand years. How glad we can be for this!
13. Of what else, besides dynamic energy, is God the Source, and why?
13 We do not join the modern-day scientists in their denying that God is the Source of all energy now in operation. We know that he is also the Source of something else that scientists deny, not knowing anything about it. What is that? It is “spirit.” And why should he not be the Source of spirit? “God is a Spirit,” or, “God is spirit,” as Jesus Christ pointed out nineteen centuries ago.—John 4:24, and marginal reading.
14. What is “holy spirit,” and who gives it?
14 From God there goes forth an invisible active force by means of which he gets his will done. It is not a mere influence such as a man might exercise over others by his powerful personality. It is a force that is operative, and it issues forth from God who is holy, that is to say, absolutely clean and righteous. He sends it forth to accomplish what is holy. So it is correctly called “holy spirit.” It is so spoken of in God’s written Word. Jesus Christ himself recognized God as the Source of holy spirit. In evidence of this, he said to human fathers of his day: “If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”—Luke 11:13.
15. What spirit would we, like King David, like to have operate toward us?
15 A royal ancestor of Christ also recognized God as the Source of holy spirit. This recognition became manifest when he confessed his wrongdoing before God, begged forgiveness and said: “Do not throw me away from before your face; and your holy spirit O do not take away from me.” (Psalm 51:11) For King David to be deprived of holy spirit would mean for him to be cut off from its Source. The results of this could be only very serious, disastrous. If we today have faith that God exists and is the Source of holy spirit, then, if we ask him for it, he will make it possible for us to get it. It is the force that we would like to have operative toward us, is it not? If this is what we would like, God will be able to accomplish much good through us and to preserve us holy in a very unholy world.
A FORCE, NOT A PERSON
16. How is it shown that the Hebrew word for “spirit” is quite descriptive?
16 In God’s written Word, the Sacred Scriptures, the word chosen to name this invisible active force from God is appropriate, it being quite descriptive. In the opening book of those Scriptures it is called ruʹahh. The earliest Greek translation of the first Bible book called it pneuʹma. Because the Hebrew word ruʹahh contains the idea of action and movement, English translators have rendered it as “blast, breath, breeze, tempest, wind, active force,” as well as “spirit.” For this reason the setting in which the Hebrew word finds itself helps to determine whether the word should be translated as “spirit” or otherwise.
17. What does An American Translation say instead of “the Spirit of God” in Genesis 1:2, thereby indicating what about ruʹahh?
17 For instance, in the second verse of the Sacred Scriptures Ge 1:2 the word ruʹahh occurs for the first time. How should it be rendered into another language? Well, the popular English version of the Bible, the King James Authorized Version, renders Genesis 1:1, 2 in this way: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” However, An American Translation, copyrighted by the University of Chicago in 1939, reads: “When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was a desolate waste, with darkness covering the abyss and a tempestuous wind raging over the surface of the waters.” Here, instead of the word “Spirit,” the word “wind” is used, and the expression “the Spirit of God” is rendered as “a tempestuous wind.” Thus An American Translation indicates that the word ruʹahh means something invisible and in motion or in action.
18. How does the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures show that no person called “the Spirit” moved over the waters?
18 Holding in view that ruʹahh means an invisible force in action, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures puts Genesis 1:1, 2 into English in this way: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.” Thus this translation as well as An American Translation makes it clear that no person called “the Spirit” was moving invisibly over the waters that covered the entire globe. Rather, it was the impersonal active force of God that was moving to and fro over the unlighted surface of the waters.
19. What shall we say as to whether God’s spirit or active force was moving over the waters for nothing?
19 Whatever manifestation of itself the invisible active force of God made, we do not know; it is not detailed in the original record. Certain it is, though, that God’s active force was not moving to and fro for nothing, without positive effects. Possibly it served to remove any cosmic dust cloud in which earth may have found itself and which prevented the light from our sun from reaching the surface of the watery deep all about the earthly globe.a
20. How did God move forward with his purpose for our earthly parents to see by the light of Day?
20 At any rate, after such movement of God’s active force back and forth over the surface of the watery deep, for an unstated length of time, the divine command followed: “And God proceeded to say: ‘Let light come to be.’ Then there came to be light. After that God saw that the light was good, and God brought about a division between the light and the darkness. And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a first day.” (Genesis 1:3-5) Thus, in harmony with God’s holiness, his active force or spirit operated in a good way, for a good purpose. It proved to be “holy spirit.” By means of it God went ahead with his purpose for our first parents on earth to see by the light of Day.
21. In view of how God has operated his holy spirit, why are we moved to feel like the writer of Psalm 143:10?
21 From the very first mention of God’s active force, he has used it for man’s benefit. In appreciation of that fact we are drawn to the heavenly Source of holy spirit. The Biblical record of its operation over many thousands of years reveals that God has always employed it in a holy way. It has served God’s righteous purpose. Never should we want to be in opposition to that invisible active force of God Almighty. We should feel like the Bible writer who said to him: “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness.”—Psalm 143:10.
a See Genesis 8:1, where the Hebrew word ruʹahh is translated, not “spirit,” but “wind.”
[Full-page picture on page 4]