Spirit of the Old Testament vs. The Spirit of Christianity • Holy Spirit Ep. 1

Foreign This is John from the Bible project Today's episode is the first in our Series on the Holy Spirit we've got a New video on the Holy Spirit coming out Soon and this conversation helped us Prepare for that None of those things in the Christian Faith where it's almost impossible for Us to come To talking about the spirit with the Blank slate the role of the holy spirit In Christianity Today differs from Tradition to tradition Tim and I focus on what the Ancients Believed about the spirit Reading the Bible is always a Cross-cultural experience we need to Check our worldview categories at the Door and understand what they meant and We discuss what our worldview might look Like if we think of the spirit the way They did it invites us to almost have a Kind of a re-enchanted view of creation Here we go [Music] Thank you [Music] Foreign Getting ready to begin a video Bible Project video about the spirit of God Holy Spirit the holy spirit this is one Of those things in the Christian faith Where it's almost impossible for us to

Come to talking about the spirit with a Blank slate yeah most people come with Pre-made categories Or experiences With Christians or church communities That have a lot to say about the spirit Yeah and so one of the most difficult Things to do is to come to back to the Scriptures and expect to hear something New because we kind of think we maybe Already know there's something about the Charismatics and Pentecostals and Baptism of the spirit that's a big thing But truly discovering what the Bible is Actually saying about the spirit for me Personally has been one of the most Surprising mind-opening life Transforming things In the last number of years wow Um I really really love this theme cool It's going to be hard for me to to still It all into one video Personally should we talk about what our Paradigms were growing up just to get That on the table or not helpful Should we pretend we have no paradigms Well actually I I think it might be Helpful because you're and uh but are Growing up experiences are interactions With church about the spirit are really Different you know and that probably Represents the Spectrum yeah the most Swath of most people of people who might Be listening to this yeah why don't you

Talk about well mine's pretty Straightforward my my church tradition Came from Baptist Roots it was a Non-denominational church but basically It's cessational is that what it is Sensational Cessationists yeah you're sensation Technical term meaning meaning the Holy Spirit doesn't really do anything Nowadays Yeah Right I don't I don't know that's Probably well that's not technically it They just uh that view sees the Holy Spirit as primarily working through the Scriptures and God's people Speaking truth and do each other's lives Based on the scriptures yeah and the Experiential presence of Jesus and Worship and so on sure but but more so But the but the miraculous stuff that Happens sure miraculous powers and even Just something you know experiences that Might seem a little more on the yes Prophecy and those kind of things They're not needed anymore so so those Will happen and yeah there there was This definite there's a belief that the Holy spirit is part of the Trinity is Super important I I think there was Always confusion for me what the Difference between Jesus living in you And the Holy Spirit living in you was But we would talk about both of those

Things the Holy Spirit helps you but Holy Spirit it was always very clear the Holy spirit will never tell you Something that's not in the Bible Already yeah sure right like sure Because there was this I think there was A bit of a fear that you could use the Holy Spirit to do things that were Unorthodox sure so you have to have the Seat belt or you yeah you confuse your Own imagination for the holy spirit for The Holy Spirit yeah so very downplayed Um didn't talk about the Holy Spirit a Lot that was my experience that was your Experience My experience growing up our family Attended church and uh it was uh mostly In the charismatic or Pentecostal Tradition Um so if Foursquare was the kind of Church our family attended for most of My growing up Yeah so from a young age my memories About what Sunday Gatherings are were Very Um energetic and action-packed yeah Um with people yelling out in the Worship Gatherings and unknown languages And sometimes then somebody would yell Out what they thought that that person Said I'm just a little kid taking all This in Um people coming up to the front for Prayer and then falling over and there

Was a whole crew of people who would Come for women who like fell over while They were praying and you know if they Were wearing dresses well yeah there'd Always be someone to catch them but if They were wearing dresses there was a Whole crew of people who would come with These cloths and lay these cloths over Their legs in case their dress had Fallen up oh my goodness anyway so that I don't know like just as a little kid Was I was like yeah that's just this is What Christianity is yeah Um so we had a church like that down the Street And uh Yeah and their youth group I knew the Kids at their youth group and they were A little bit more punk rock than us That youth group was yeah some cool kids Yeah and then I remember we started this Bible study in high school like in the In the cafeteria I don't remember it's Like we all got excused from class at Some point to do this Bible I don't Remember how this even worked But uh but one time they they let it and Did like a slang in the spirit thing and It was the first time I had experienced That firsthand and I was really Uncomfortable um yeah I just remember Being weird yes well so that's what That's what's interesting for me too Even though my earliest memories of

Church were that kind of thing when I Got older like Junior High I didn't like It I thought it was very weird and I Remember I didn't like the youth group I Thought it was stupid I never went um But one event I went to and there was Like a holy spirit time where they were Inviting people who hadn't been quote Baptized in the spirit and so they just Started praying and then somebody came Up and asked me if I'd received the Spirit Um what did that mean to you at that Point uh had I had one of those Experiences that the people did up front Yeah on Sundays Um and I was like no yeah and then they Asked if they could pray for me and I Was kind to standoffish and then they Started to do it anyway put their hands In my head applying pressure like trying To push me oh really over and I was Having none of it so you're like I'm a Skateboarder I have really good balance Yeah so all that to say and then after That I just hated going to church I Started sneaking out of my room I was Mysteriously disappeared in my friend's House on Saturday nights so that I Wouldn't have to go to church on Sundays And my parents finally picked their Battles and quit forcing me to go so Um when I became a Christian Um through the ministry of skate church

Later Um the church Community I became a part Of was more like what you grew up in John and so uh I've had to sort through My baggage because I realized I've had a Chip on my shoulder against that uh Upbringing and some of it is just Prideful you know and um and so I've had To like what part of you know is my Suspicion of that is there anything That's legitimate how much is it I'm Just reacting against my childhood and I Need to get over it and so that's why For me this rediscovery of the spirit Over the last maybe six years or so Starting really it just started with a Sermon series that I put together on the Spirit because I was like well I'm just Gonna go at this you know and as an Adult with new learning and categories And uh yeah so we kind of come from Different places your suspicions arise From the the slaying the spirit kind of Stuff and my suspicions arise from this Almost ignoring in the spirit And so my Rebellion would be like come On let's get mystical Like the spirit's got to be doing Something way more interesting than I Can imagine that's interesting yeah but Uh but I'm such I think the problem is Is I've learned however I've learned This I live in my head like I live life Thinking

Not feeling not experiencing what's Happening the moment I'm trying to Temperament you're saying my temperament Yeah and I've been trying to fix this Over the last couple years it's just What I've learned yeah and so it's Really hard when I'm worshiping singing Songs or anything To have something that feels Um like mystical it feels like yes the Spirit right I'm always just Everything's just like rational thought Well sure so I yeah I hope maybe by the Time we finish this conversation you Could have some different categories for That cool because that's been one of the Areas where the use of the word and the Concept of God's spirit in the Bible I Think has some surprising things to say It's about those categories So uh you know me good Bible trivia Um use it as a party at a party this Friday night where uh in the story The Bible does the spirit appear for the Very first time it's staged already Because I just saw you look at the notes I do I would have known this you would Have known this already yeah probably Most the spirit of God hovered over the Waters yeah not only page one but the Second sentence of the Bible uh the Spirit appears front and center hovering Over water yeah so let's uh and this is Such a great example we'll camp out on

This for a little bit because right here So much unlearning you have to do I Think to then relearn what's what's Happening here in the opening versus the Bible so here's the first three verses Of the Bible in the beginning God Created the disguise the skies and the Land now the land was wild in waste yeah I remember that from uh Ray yeah yeah uh Darkness was over the surface of the Deep abyss and the spirit of God was Hovering over the waters and God said Let there be light and there was light And on goes the sequence of God speaking And so on So whatever your view of Genesis 1 is it It begins uh with the summary statement God creates all that is what's up there And what's down here and then the focus Of the story is that things began with What's down here being wild and waste uh Darkness and then in the middle of that Darkness and wild waste is God's Spirit Hovering there So you were going to say something yeah Might be a tangent But the Earth's there so land is there Uh it's waste in some way formless and Void what's the Hebrew of Yeah which is cool yeah it's great a Little rhyme alliteration yeah Um or it's a rhyme I guess yeah so waste And wild is the way to capture that English like that so something's there

It's wasting Wild And the spirit of God is there hovering Over the waters what am I supposed to Have in my mind am I supposed to have Just like a desert landscape Uh and some some Seas yeah right well There's two things one Um and it depends on how you interpret The first sentence of the Bible whether It's a summary statement I'd like a Title almost for all that follows or if It's actually the first main action god Making everything Um I I think the first view is more Likely that it's a summary title okay so That the story actually begins in the First in the second sentence now the Land was tohu vava which means this that From the framework of the author of Genesis 1 creation doesn't begin with God making something out of nothing it Doesn't begin with nothing and now God's Going to make something it begins with Something the land it begins with the Land yeah and it but the land is in the Form of chaotic disorder and it's very Difficult for us to not impose our Modern view of the universe or Big Bang Theory I mean we don't really even have A cons we have a theoretical concept of Nothing no nothing like space maybe yeah Even spaceism but even spaces within the Framework of uh the space-time Continuum Yeah

Um so but the concept of something and Nothing we think of existence and Creation as something coming into Physical existence but before which There was nothing and that's not the Biblical author's framework at all they Didn't have a perspective of oh at one Point there was nothing correct the yeah That's a that's a concept as far back as You could go well it was here it was Just wasting wild it was yeah yeah so For uh the author of Genesis 1 and this Is consistent with the view of Creation In the Psalms and Proverbs and job is That creation begins with a state of Disorder and chaotic disorder and what Creation is is God bringing order Beauty Purpose meaning a garden out of the Chaos that's that's Genesis 1. and so Who is there Hovering in the midst of the dark Chaotic Wilderness oh sorry you asked What's the picture you're supposed to Have in your head so it's it's a paradox Of images I think on purpose Our his vocabulary used to describe to Empty desert Wasteland but Yeah okay yeah Um it's vocabulary used elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible to describe Wilderness yeah Empty uninhabitable Wilderness but then Right in the next line its Darkness was Over the surface of the deep abyss of The waters so it's a it's a desert water

It's right it's a watery desert which is A which is a contradiction on the Literal level okay but on the image on An image driven level it makes perfect Sense the Wilderness is uninhabitable Uncultivated not only is it Wilderness That you can't survive in because There's because it's Barren land it's Also the chaotic Seas right where you Will get destroyed by yeah sea monsters Yeah yeah that's right yeah there are Two kinds of spaces in the in the Imagination of the Hebrew Bible that are Dangerous chaotic untameable one's the Wilderness okay and for Israelites we're Talking about the huge stretch of desert Between Israel and the Persian Gulf uh Just by the compass as you as the crow Flies between Jerusalem and the Persian Gulf is a gigantic desert it's the Northern edge of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula okay it's just sandy desert Yeah and you're not gonna survive out There You're not ever going to try and I mean Las Vegas yeah you put casinos there Yeah now we can put casinos in the Middle of tohu Babu but back then that Was unimaginable so there's that and Then the other most untameable space is Of course the ocean which we still don't Really have a handle on I guess we can Build oil rigs out there but right but For them you go out on the ocean and

It's dangerous you can get killed by the Waters the storms and then you know Let's not get into this because it's not Really part of the spirit but like in The other creation That Psalms that we talk Psalm 74 Depicts that yeah that yeah as the Seven-headed sea dragon that God has to Tame that God has to slay or slay while He creates crush the head of the Sea Dragon yeah and that's tapping into yeah Um ancient near Eastern mythological Imagery yeah so not only can you get Beat up by the waves in the wind but There are sea dragons out there too So Genesis 1 within that world view that Cultural world view depicts the story of Creation beginning in empty untameable Disorder I love that there's a paradox There there's this like oh of the water And the desert yeah yeah there's this Desert Wasting wild But it's water a watery desert yes so it Raises the question Um okay so God's Gonna create sky and Land in order out of this desert Wasteland yeah ocean depth how Yeah and the first Um positive sign it's kind of like it's A little bit like a Mountaintop and then To ski jump so in the beginning God Created sky in the land yay we love it But it's

Darkness over the surface and you're Like oh no what's going to happen And then who's there to bring the Created order out of the chaos spirit of God hovering in the midst of the dark Untameable chaos So what's what's that about Um so two things one is the Greek and Hebrew vocabulary here Genesis one's in Hebrew Um and it's a word you have to kind of Clear your throat almost spit a little Bit when you say ruach We have these little covers in front of The microphone so we don't spit on them But it's kind of like those covers spit On it a little bit okay Um and then it's nice and moist and then In Greek the early Jewish the first Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible Into Greek called the Septuagint uh they Translated ruach with the Greek word Pneuma yeah Um which is the same root word from Which we get like pneumatic drills or That kind of thing so ruach Numa and They overlap in meaning Pneumothorax is when your lungs collapse Whoa I know that because it's happened It's happened to you that's right tell Me that story once pneuma Numa also if You misspell it turns into uh a Collection of videos by Rob Bell Numa no That's right

Um so an exercise I do Um when I'm teaching to help kind of get Our minds around what ruach means in Greek and Hebrew is to have people put Their hand in front of their mouth You ever been around when I've done this Before I don't know that people put Their hand in front of their mouth and Just say something like hello hello Hello hello if you're listening to the Podcast put your hand in front of your Mouth say hello And you feel you feel something on your Fingers yeah of course Um in English the word we have for that Is breath breath Um in Hebrew the word for that is ruach Ruach Um So ruach is its first and most basic Meaning throughout the Hebrew Bible is Breath Um there's loads of uses I've just kind Of picked out a handful in in the notes Here Um But uh so in Genesis 2 this is Significant but God breathes uh the Ruach into the humans does he Rock the Ruach into the humans no it's a Different uh I forget that what's that Verb engine it's it's cool actually it's A cool verb in Genesis too Foreign

Like if you have a snoring problem That's right yeah Um So or or job uh in chapter 27 he talks About the ruach of God in my nostrils Um now we'll talk about why he calls it God's ruach and his nostrils the degrees In and out but it's ruach it's what he Breathes in and out Uh is ruach what is the other one Or whatever the snoring one Oh that's a verb to uh to breathe out But it's a different different word Completely Yeah okay so uh that's that's the Difference between those well Is the act of breathing in and out ruach Is what it is you're breathing in and Out okay so we don't have two different Words for that but in Hebrew there's two Different ways oh we have you're right We have breathe and breath those are Related in English not in Hebrew breathe In breath Yep they're related two Different words technically technically But they're from the same root yeah yeah Not in Hebrew Um Yeah in Hebrew And the thing that you nafak Is your ruach yeah yeah there's no verb S of breath that's right actually Breathe air Well in English that's how we say it

Yeah and you ha and you have bro we say You have breath your breath smells bad Your breath I think I hear a lot from my Wife yeah it's a noun it's the thing the Thing the air coming out of your mouth Breath out of you we call breath coming In we call yes foreign Yeah I've never thought about that in English but that's it yep that's exactly Right Um okay so breath Um so here's something else interesting About ruach that's the first and most Basic meaning Um Another interesting thing we don't have Windows in our recording room but if you Were to look out the window on and you Were to see trees Um out in your front yard or something And they were moving But you can't see anything moving them They're just like they're dancing Um we our English word to describe what It is that's moving the trees wind is Wind Um in Hebrew you would call that the Ruach It's the ruach moving the trees So ruach the common denominator between The ruach coming in and out of you and The ruach moving the trees because it Animates things is it yes it animates Things and it's invisible you cannot see

What it is you can't see your breath Unless it's really cold unless it's Really cold Um and you can't see the wind but and It's connected with energy and power and Animation Um so we're talking about an invisible Energy that animates things that makes Them move and so think about in in English We have totally disassociated the thing That animates the trees with the thing That animates me right but in Hebrew It's the same thing Um and so that then is grounded in A deeper level a deeper idea that that's Underneath both of those namely where Did I get my ruach what moves the trees What also makes the you know the rabbits And the birds what animates them because They are around the trees too and then What is it that animates me because Sometimes I go around the trees and so There's something invisible that Animates the trees and the birds and me And in the Old Testament world view Um the thing that is doing all of that Is also ruach Um but but it's God's ruach God's ruak Is doing all that God's ruach is Animating everything So this is interesting Um there are many many places in the Old Testament and they don't mean sorry yeah

Or that they don't mean God's breath They just mean this this energy in Invisible Presence and power that is Divine Okay God yeah so we'll spell this we'll Spell it more if you if I'm an ancient Thinker and you're talking about that am I picturing Some being like blowing and then that Breath coming into me and the rabbit and Wrestling the wind or am I just thinking More abstractly and thinking there must Be this kind of power well so think About again trying three thousand years Ago Put yourself what in your imagination Could wind be Um so from The Exodus Story chapter 14. The main actor how does God act depart The Great Red Seas He sends a strong East Wind and turns The sea into dry land is that rock there Mm-hmm He he sends a strong East ruach Eastern Ruach Um there are many many uh solemns and Proverbs that talk about the God Bringing out the ruach to send the rain And to water the farm field and so on so God's connected to what we call wind but In Hebrew thought it's it's God's ruach That orchestrates the ruach that Commands the weather essentially Um

It's a way it's a it's a way of of them Seeing that God providentially sustains And is involved in all of animated life Yeah including the invisible wind so but This is so difficult because I don't Think that way I know what wind is it's Like you know pressure changes yeah yeah Yeah in in the air yeah Um I know what breath is I know that I'm Breathing in Um oxygen and all sorts of other things But I'm using the oxygen and breathing Out what is it yeah carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide yeah I know that that's part of keeping me Alive because I need the oxygen I don't Know why I need the oxygen actually my Blood needs it or something yes blood Yeah it's blood yeah or blood cells Blood cells need it for oxygenating our Muscles or some something like that kind Of embarrassed I don't understand that More I bet a lot of people don't know But we know that you hold your breath Long enough and you're not yeah you're Done for it yeah uh but I know that's Not the only thing animating me yeah I Know that I need um calories And um proteins and yeah So I guess I'm I'm trying to say I have A more sophisticated view of the world Yeah when I say sophisticated a more More advanced more yeah well it's Informed by a whole body of information

That we have accessible to us that the Biblical and I don't even really Understand it yeah Yeah totally Um but so I guess here's my point in Order for us to even begin this Conversation I have to try to unlearn That and then begin to think how humans Would have thought before they knew that I have to start to imagine that the wind Is ruach and what's in and out my mouth Is ruak and it's just I have to get into A different mind space it takes a lot of Imagination yes it takes a lot of yeah Focus yeah and clearing my brain all for Us to even be able to begin to talk About what on Earth the Bible means by God's spirit correct that Um that is what I'm telling you [Laughter] And it's a lot it is a lot Um two things so one is I think to have A sympathetic reading of what the Biblical authors are trying to say when They use this word yeah we need to check Our worldview categories at the door and Understand what they meant but what we Then have to do at some point is come Back and relate it to our view of the Universe yeah and I I mean I we could do It later we could do it now I would Argue that ultimately we end up in the Same place sure you have a different Understanding of the physical mechanisms

That and processes by which the universe Works but ultimately this is a way of Talking about God as the originator and Author of existence And that all of existence in the created Order Originates And is sustained by the Creator God and Ruach is a way of talking about how that God is personally present Sustaining and orchestrating His world Foreign [Music] I think the thing that I was tripping Out on is that for me to understand Okay this isn't some tangential is that The right word tangential this isn't Some secondary or yeah Topic this is the holy spirit right this Is really really important and so this Isn't like Angels or something where It's like well maybe I understand it Maybe I know who really cares I'd like To this is like the Holy Spirit that's Supposed to be living in me And making me a new creation and it Doesn't doesn't Paul talk about it like Groaning on my behalf oh yeah like all This stuff I'm supposed to be intimately Involved yes with the Holy Spirit yes And for me to begin to appreciate how The Bible views the Holy Spirit I have To get into a different mindset a

Different world view yeah than the one I'm accustomed to just to get on a Level Playing Field with the metaphors that It's using yeah and it's important for Me to understand the metaphors it's Using not because those are the exact Like that's not exactly how it works That's the metaphors they were using to Describe something much bigger and much More interesting but if I want to Understand the way they're describing it I have to think within their metaphors Yes and those aren't the metaphors I Think yeah they're not natural they're Not natural to you so for me to just get To like on to get to bat you know with This topic yeah it's interesting Yeah that's right it's a it's a massive Imaginative effort yeah here we're back To we've been here before where Um it's the fact that uh what the Scriptures are Uh is God revealing himself in and Through uh people and actually the Spirit's role in that is really Important and we'll talk about that and So that happens through language that's From a particular people in time and Yeah for them to even talk about God They are going to do it in their Language and their frame of reference That's why Genesis 1 talks about a Chaotic desert ocean yeah and not quarks And dark matter right because that you

Know like sure so yeah you're right Reading the Bible is always a Cross-cultural experience and for the Spirit I think the reason why it's Difficult is because this see this is Such a core part of following Jesus yeah The spirit's a really big deal and it Involves adopting a new In different type of world view at least To get my mind around what the spirit is And what the spirit does so I've Emphasized how difficult it is but let Me try to make sure I'm there So I breathe in ruach I breathe out Ruach and then to me that is an energy That's animating me and I know this Because when I see people stop breathing They stop that's right it's very Intuitive very intuitive yeah if you see Somebody collapse on the ground the First thing you're checking for is their Pulse yeah or if there's any ruach yeah It's it's one of the most basic signs so I just noticed that everyone is alive as We're walking so I've observed that yeah And then I'm looking around and like I See Leafs wrestling ruffling wrestling Ruffling grappling in the in or clouds Moving clouds moving and uh dandelion Seeds floating around and uh and I don't Know why but I can feel it I can't see It and I go you know what that's the Same substance that's keeping me alive And everyone else I know human and not

Human alive that's ruak and then when I Want to understand God I think well all this energy This is this is coming from God that's God's ruach when I say it's God's Rock I Mean I don't mean like he's up there Breathing all this technically right but Just that this this power comes from him Yeah that's right so yeah it's the Question of uh where did I get my ruach Did I make it for myself like what is This animating energy Um which is a 3 000 year old way of Asking where did this all come from why Are we here what's driving all of this And the biblical explanation for that is Right there in the second sentence of The Bible it's God's own personal life Over the creation before it was even Ordered yeah so it raises it's a bit of A puzzle because the first sentence says God created sky and land but then the Second sentence of the Bible who is it That is there in the midst of tohuva That's the instrument measurement Through which God creates and it's God's Ruach so right there in the first two Sentences you're like wait so who Created God or God's ruach I mean the Story are they different are they the Same right And then it's also it's well and it's Intentionally connected the third Sentence third verse of the Bible is

Then what does God what does God and God's ruach do to bring order uh and Verse 3 begins and God spoke and of Course speaking is precisely what you do To breathe out your ruach so you have God spirit of God and God speaking a Word that releases the ruach out To bring order and creation so there's Already this complex depiction of even The god of the Bible Of how is God present here in the world Doing his work it's it's God's ruach Well it's God yes There's some complexity to God's Identity that's that's beginning to be Explored even in this vocabulary it's Really interesting God's ruach comes in the story of the Bible then to have an independent Character like it's it sits on this Ruach is its own being and character out There doing stuff And we'll see this again in the New Testament where it's the spirit but Sometimes the spirit of God sometimes It's the spirit of Jesus or sometimes It's just Jesus or sometimes there's This uh overlapping within God's Identity so but all that to say The ruach is a in the Old Testament a Way of talking about God the Creator God's personal life energy and presence Here with me which goes back to that Question where did I get my ruach and

Riot all across it's a it's a gift of God so that's the image in Genesis 2 God Breathes so God takes dirt forms the Human but that's still not fully human So God breathes the breath of life and Animates So so the vision of humans is that Humans are creatures Um they're they're they come from dirt They also go back to it Um but there is also something about Humans that is heaven it's Heaven and Earth that's Divine that's Divine and it Doesn't say what that is it just uses The image of divine ruach that animates And energizes humans so the same energy The same force that hovered over Creation turning it in from chaos to Order Enters humans And so now they are a combination of Earthlings And yeah uh but with this animated the Spark of divine breath And actually it's not just humans the Animals all creatures have Divine ruach Humans for sure job talks about the Breath of God and my nostrils Ecclesiastes says when you die the dust Returns to the ground and your ruach Returns to God who gave it so it doesn't Mean some immaterial version of you Floats up to God that's not what he's Talking about he's talking about no he's

Talking about your ruach the animating Life Energy that you've been borrowing It wasn't you it's not your identity no So it's not like a soul that you Identify with no it's just the energy That was keeping you alive is now given Back to God who gave it Um that your batteries laughs Yeah I gave you batteries for a while And then you died and took them back Which is uh job 34 he says if God Decides to take back his ruach and Gather his ruach back to himself all More Mortal creatures would expire so Even the ruach that I'm breathing right Now isn't actually mine which again it's All it's all very intuitive if you've Ever seen a human born you watched them Inhale their first ruach so they ruach Is something from the first breath that We receive from outside ourselves yeah And it is the thing keeping us alive Yeah and the last thing a human does is Breathe out breathe it back out and so This is all very intuitive you know to The Human Experience yeah there's Something very if there's something Essential to our life that we didn't Come with we had to receive it as a gift When we were born and it stays with us Our entire existence and this is ruach And then when we die die we exhale it And it's gone out of our bodies but it Was never ours never ours it was always

Something we were that's right we were Lent yeah yeah yeah it was lended to us Yeah that's the that's the vision of of Human ruach which is actually God's Ruach this is different than Eastern Like pantheistic World Views where I'm God your God the rabbit's God because I'm not God even though God's ruach is What animates me I'm a creature who has Received ruach as a as a gift that's why Job says it's God's ruach in my nostril He doesn't he didn't have to give it to Me but he does and then when he chooses He will take it back so this isn't your Soul it's not your soul yeah and so Animals have it we have it it's it's the Wind around us okay yeah so when we come Down then to our English word spirit The spirit of God Um we're talking about the rock is often Translated spirit Spirit or usually yeah Just a second second the ruach of God so Whatever translated in our English Translations as anything else but Spirit Breath or yeah when job says the ruach Of God is in my nostrils that's Translated breath it's translated the Breath of God is in my nostrils but it's The same exact phrase as the second is In Genesis Genesis 1 2 that says the Spirit of God spirit of God the ruach of God it is weird to say the spirit of God Is in my nostrils it's a weird thing I Said yeah totally it doesn't make any

Sense uh well for us so this is this so This is why it's hard for us there's one Hebrew word yeah to talk about my breath The wind and the trees God's energy that He lends me to keep me alive and is Animating presence that sustains all of Creation and then all of that is rooted In a concept of who God is namely that God is ruach God Israel God is he he's Not he's invisible Um and he is a everywhere animating Invisible energy and and personal Presence that that authors all all that Exists But when we use Spirit what we're doing Is we're saying it's personal it's a Person not just simply an energy yeah so Pantheism would be an impersonal energy In which you and I all participate and Exist so we are all Divine and that's Not the biblical World Spirits is where Does that word come from yeah do your Online Oxford dictionary search Um anglo-french aspirit modern French Spirit Latin spiritus hmm I think it's Latin a Latin word spear test means Breathing ah and wind oh Spirit like ins Uh hmm yeah x x by expert exploration Yeah that would all come from the same Yeah Spirits yeah spirare to breathe oh Yeah uh yeah so and then from a Proto-indo-european they think it comes From pis to blow so it all comes from That metaphor of wind it does in Latin

As well yeah yeah yeah in Modern English Spirit which comes from the same breath Word refers to a personal being that is Invisible And so that came to be the English Translation of ruach when it was talking About not breath or wind but about God Himself when he is invisibly personally Present some somewhere here's a couple Examples that are really interesting Um Psalm 104. this is So cool verse 29 the poet says if you God if you hide your face from a Creature they are dismayed when you take Away their ruach they die and return to The dirt but when you send forth your Ruach they are created and you Revitalize the service surface of the Ground so when a creature breathes out It's ruach dies but when you send your Ruach creation Um so it's this connection but their Rock is his rule right yeah exactly yeah So it's their ruach that they you take It you take it away there ruach it Becomes Gods again that's what he said But then when God sends forth his own Ruach that's when creation happens now This isn't talking about Genesis 1. in The context it's talking about the life And death of animals like deers and Lions and so on like imagine a pregnant Deer squatting in the field giving birth To its young

This poet would call that creation and That that is God's grace Um creating new life there as it takes Its first breath but it comes from a Person it's it's a person yeah it's a Way of thinking about life where did Life come from which as I understand Modern Biology is still puzzling over That one sure and it's a way of saying God is the ultimate originator of life And that it's a it's a personal Being yeah that stands behind all of This that's the idea not only is the it Says when you send your ruach they are Created the animals and you Revitalize The surface of the ground yeah yeah so Now it's talking about just like compost Right yeah totally and like yes the Biology of the Earth yeah it's just the What we would call it like the Ecological cycle yeah something like That right so the ruach is responsible Not only for giving breath to the Animals but for the Harvest or the yeah The vegetation the energy that causes The plants to spring up out of the Ground yeah yeah Um which is almost certainly what Psalm 33 means when it says by the word of the Lord the heavens were made their Starry Hosts by the ruach of his mouth similar Idea Um except here it's up in the heavens Even the Stars populate out of yeah

Their movements what makes them move and What ordered them why aren't they always Flying around like the shooting stars What makes those certain ones stay fixed And move in these orderly patterns when It says made here does it mean like a Peered or formed in the same way that Like an animal's made I think made in terms of uh where did They come from who is responsible for Them yeah So this is interesting because it's like So the ruach is responsible for an Animal and being alive it's responsible For vegetation coming up out of the Earth yes it's responsible for the Stars Appearing in the sky and the order They're in and it's responsible for Keeping this all going yes yeah yeah so It's not creation and then the Sustaining and ordering and continued Order of creation those aren't separate Ideas in the old in the Old Testament That's why a deer being born in a field Can be described as creation Psalm 104 creation is God's ongoing work In developing and sustaining the world And that's as opposed to we think of it As a moment it wasn't there and that was There yes yeah [Music] So maybe a way to tie all this together Is to say in the Old Testament there's This I think beautiful aesthetically

It's beautiful Um it's much more similar to Eastern and Mystical World Views than kind of a Modern Western materialist world view of That God's personal presence is what Animates and energizes all of creation From its first moments of origin right On through and Um that there is a personal divine Presence that animates everything that Exists in this or as Paul says right in Him we live and move and have our being He says in Acts chapter 17. that's That's exactly right that that statement Of Paul's is comes from a mind saturated In the Old Testament It's such a it's a much more mystical Mindset to think that I'm breathing in In God I'm looking out and seeing God Animating branches I'm breathing in the Energy God is lending to me I'm not Breathing in God I'm breathing in what The energy he's let me borrow I said It's it's similar to Eastern pantheism Okay but it's different in that I'm not It the rock isn't God or the rabbit we All are creatures dependent on God who's Not an energy so there's a distinction Between God and his energy And I am breathing in his energy and his Energy is animating the trees his energy Has ordered the Stars keeps them in Motion and allows stuff to grow out of The ground all of this is it's

Saturating yeah there's something that Makes all this go this is what uh my son Romans I live and move and have my being Yes it's it's what um my son on Roman Asked me Um when we uh our first there were no Slugs in Wisconsin when I was finishing My PhD in Wisconsin and he was born Um there are no slugs there when we Moved here when he turned three he Noticed slugs for the first time we were Watching One go and he asked me I swear This is what he meant because these are The words that he used he said Dada what Makes it go and I was stunned I was like Really He's asking me this question like how Old was he he was three yeah and I was Like yeah Yeah it does make it go buddy you know What makes anything go and then you know The moment that I I was like is he Really asking me that the next thing he Wanted to do was a spit on it But uh and then he moved on like his Mind had already moved on so I don't Know what he really meant by that Question yeah but he never really has no Legs how is it moving yeah I I'd like to think he was a philosopher At three but that's that's the question Like what makes it go what makes things Go yeah Um so for yeah well I just okay so but

So you're saying there's a distinction Between God and this energy but when Paul says foreign That's true and and God we live and Movement uh in God's Own Self okay all Right I'll maybe step back from that one A little bit yeah we'll talk about this When we talk about Paul and the spirit But yeah he believes that human life and All of life is there's just a very thin Veil separating us from the life of the Divine because if we fast forward we Know that the spirit of God is in in Christian Orthodoxy is part of the Trinity so it is God Um but at this point in the narrative It's his breath and we don't personal Invisible Presence this energizes things Yeah and so I wouldn't say I'm breathing In God I would say I'm breathing in God's rule the rule of God is in my Nostril yeah because just job would say Yeah It invites us to almost have a kind of a Re-enchanted view of creation yeah it is Very enchanting Um I think it's exactly the view of our Existence that was lost in the in the Enlightenment sure because we're tempted To just view our emotions as chemicals In our brain Or view this the sunset merely as the Interaction of light yeah atmosphere That kind of the cocktail of different

Yeah is it chemicals molecules and so on So and and what we've done is given Names to the physical components and Processes of the material world but what We haven't answered by those is the Metaphysical questions of where did it Come from what makes it go what makes it Go and why is it here and that's what The language of ruach is it's asking us To see that there is a person behind the Sunset and the air that I breathe and Watching the birth of my child and the Slug And through the story of the Bible that Is a person who wants to be extremely Close to us and for us to recognize that Closeness and embrace it and live in it Foreign [Music] Thanks for listening to this episode of The Bible project podcast in the next Episode we're going to continue our Discussion on the Holy Spirit really Looking forward to that our video on the Holy spirit is slotted to come out in Mid to late March of 2017. you can find It on our website thebibleproject.com And on our YouTube channel youtube.com The Bible project hey it is 2017 and This year we're going to be a lot more Diligent on our release schedule for This podcast we're hoping to start Releasing a podcast episode every week Up till now it's been a little bit

Random when we drop them thank you for Your reviews on iTunes those are really Helpful and thanks for saying hi to us We're on Facebook and Twitter and just Thanks for being part of this [Music] Thank you [Music] Foreign

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