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How many promises?

Submitted: 1/27/2005
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Question: Hebrews 11:39 says all the people in the faith hall of fame received not the promise. 1 Peter 1:10-11, says that the prophets had the spirit of Christ in them. We know that the Spirit of Christ is the Holy Ghost, which is the promise of the Father. What promise did David and the others not receive?

Answer: Thank you for posting this question. It is an excellent example of why we need to rightly divide the Word of truth with great care.

The Spirit of God certainly moved upon the prophets of old just as He moved upon the face of the deep in Genesis 1:2. 2 Peter 1:21 says the prophets wrote as the Spirit moved them. But something new came along on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus foretold it when He said to His disciples that the Spirit of truth who presently dwells WITH them shall be IN them (John 14:17).

The difference between what David had and what Paul had is the difference between 'dwelling with' and 'dwelling in.' In Old Testament days God established relationships with various individuals, but in New Testament days He takes up permanent residence within all Spirit-filled believers. This indwelling Presence of God is what transforms believers into the image of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).