Spirit' Refer To?
-by Tony Warren
Being "in the Spirit" is a biblical phrase which means that a person has the Spirit of God. It is a illustration that God is working within this person via His Holy Spirit to will and to do of His own purposes. When God therefore would reveal things to his prophets in visions, dreams, etc., He would inspire it to be written that they were "in the Spirit". This signifies that the Holy Spirit of God was inside them moving them to have these visions. These Visions were not literal things that were happening, but spiritual pictures via God of what would happen.
Before the scriptures were completed, God would sometimes come upon His prophets and give them information in allegorical or symbolic visions that became part of the scriptures. Being 'in the Spirit' is a signification that the Spirit of God was the one revealing this vision to the prophets. Just as in the apocalypse of John he is giving the Revelation of Christ and says he was in the Spirit. Or again:
God gave them His Holy Spirit, and they begin to prophesy or declare the Word of God for the future.
1st Samuel 19:23
This is God's working in man via His Spirit to bring a divine message or revelation for the people. The spirit of God comes upon them, and they receive "direct" revelation from God.
In the visions the Spirit lifted him up. It wasn't a literal trip, but a Vision where he was taken and shown marvelous things of God in the spirit. Not literally. The verse shows that God has come down to this man and is dealing with Him in a supernatural way in order to show him visions or prophesy of the future, and God's salvation plan. And this episode of Ezekiel mirrors also Revelation perfectly because John had some of these same visions that Ezekiel had, and some of the book of Revelation is intimately tied to both Ezekiel's visions and Daniel's Visions. In fact, you can see the identical language of being "in the Spirit" in:
You see, this is not an actual trip, it is a Spiritual trip. A vision that God is showing him (and us, through his testimony) of things, and God speaks of him as being carried "in the Spirit" to witness this vision. Just as John in revelation was "in the Spirit" to have the visions which he wrote of.
Being in the Spirit is simply God illustrating that they are being given divine revelation directly via God (the Spirit) in a vision. i.e., carried away in the Spirit, not literally carried into the sky, or mountain, or heaven, but spiritually he saw these things and occurrences.
This was typical of God interacting miraculously with His prophets in the Old Testament and prior to the completion of the New. But when the Bible was completed, this type miraculous prophecy ceased, and God pronounced a curse upon anyone who would dare claim to add to His Prophesies (rev 22:18-19). The Word of God is now a complete book, not a book in the making or an incomplete book. Today Christians prophesy by eating this book (spiritually) and prophesying again of what is written therein.
Copyright ©2000 Tony Warren
Created 8/3/00 / Last Modified 8/3/00
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