“The granting of the spirit of holiness is viewed as yet to take place in the eschatological future”- B. D. Smith

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In the Holy Spirit? How
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In Christian Beginnings
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By Barry D. Smith

Qumran Sectarian Writings

“The Qumran community understands its existence as owing to the eschatological mercy of God.[21] Central to these texts is the assumption that the community represents the beneficiaries of God’s present and future eschatological promises. One such promise is the granting of a disposition to obedience,[22] sometimes called in the Qumran sectarian texts ‘a spirit of holiness.'[23] Significantly, in the Qumran sectarian texts this eschatological promise is understood as both already realized in the present and yet to be realized in the future.[24]

4.1. 1QS (Rule of the Community)

The Rule of the Community is a composite document serving as something of a constitution for the Qumran community. It provides not only regulations for entrance into the community and the ordering of common life, but also some of the theoretical underpinnings of the sectarian movement. In the Rule there are three references to ‘a spirit of holiness’ to consider.

4.1.1. 1QS 4.18-21

At His visitation, the time of eschatological salvation and final judgment, God will put an end to the existence of deceit (4.18-19). It is said that ‘God will purify by His truth all the works of man and purge for himself some from the sons of man.[25] He will utterly destroy the spirit of deceit from within his flesh’ (4.20-21). What is being described is the eschatological removal of the spirit of deceit. The sons of truth may be generally righteous, having a greater portion of the spirit of truth, but they still have a share in the spirit of deceit. Only at the time of God’s visitation will the possibility of disobedience to God be eliminated altogether.

The means by which God will carry out this eschatological purging is described in 4.20 as ‘his truth’. This important but ambiguous term in this context seems to mean the attribute of God whereby he opposes and ultimately defeats the deceit infecting His creation. Parallel to this, in 4.21 it is said that God will purify ‘man’— understood generically—from all evil acts by means of ‘a spirit of holiness,’ and that God will also sprinkle upon ‘man’ ‘a spirit of truth’ like waters of purification. It seems that in this context, at least, these three terms—his [God’s] truth, a spirit of holiness and a spirit of truth—are synonymous.[26] Each denotes the means by which God will eschatologically purify the members of the community. [27] Thus ‘a spirit of holiness’ is a name for an eschatological principle of obedience,[28] the means by which God shall destroy at his visitation the very possibility of disobedience.[29]

4.1.2. 1QS 3.6-8

Although 1QS 4.18-21 anticipates a time in the future when God would render disobedience impossible through purifying human beings by a spirit of holiness, in 1QS 3.6-8, it is said that a spirit of holiness is already present in the community, effecting repentance and atonement.

1QS 2.19-25a specifies what appears to be the procedure for an annual renewal of the covenant by the community. In this context, the case of the one who refuses to enter the covenant is discussed. This one is said to be unable to repent, in order that he might live (3.1). The same ‘cannot be purified by atonement, nor be cleansed by the waters of purification, nor sanctify himself in streams and rivers, nor cleanse himself in waters of ablution’ (3.4-5). The refusal to enter the community is equated with the inability to repent. The one who cannot repent is cut off from the possibility of atonement and ritual purity. Implicit is the assumption that these can only be procured as a function of entering the covenant.

The reason that atonement is denied to the one who refuses to enter the covenant is explained as follows: ‘It is by a spirit of holiness of the community in his [God’s] truth that he is cleansed from all his iniquities. It is by an upright and humble spirit that his sin can be atoned.’ Atonement occurs by means of ‘a spirit of holiness’, which is synonymous with ‘an upright and humble spirit’ (3.7). In other words, atonement occurs when a person enters the community and comes under the influence of a principle of obedience; this naturally leads to repentance, the turning from sin towards obedience to the Torah. In response to repentance God atones for sin, as promised in Lev 26:40-42.[30] Since it is called ‘a spirit of holiness of the community’, this principle of obedience is accessible only to those who enter the community.[31] The phrase ‘in his truth’ attached to ‘by a spirit of holiness of the community’ should probably be taken to mean that the cause of the existence of this spirit of holiness is God’s ‘truth,’ meaning in this context his eschatological mercy and salvation.

The variant reading in 4QS MS A (4Q255) Frg 2 of ‘by his holy spirit’ rather than ‘by a holy spirit’ indicates that, in the community’s view, this new disposition to obedience characteristic of those who enter the covenant originates with God. That is, the new disposition to obedience comes to human beings from without, being a gift of God’s mercy.

This ‘spirit of holiness,’ or ‘upright and humble spirit’ is also synonymous with ‘a spirit of the true counsel of God’ (3.6b), which is likewise said to atone for iniquity: ‘For by the spirit of the true counsel of God are the ways of man—all his iniquity— atoned’ (3.6b-7a). Assuming that should be translated as ‘true counsel,’ perhaps the designation ‘a spirit of the true counsel of God’ emphasizes the cognitive dimension of this new spiritual disposition. The spirit consists of the true counsel of God, for without an understanding of God’s will, there can be no proper repentance, since a person must know what God requires to be able to repent. To have this new disposition to obedience results in being able ‘to look upon the light of life’ (3.7a). To look upon the light is to understand God’s will; to do so leads to life. But, as Wernberg- Møller argues, the phrase could be translated as ‘the spirit of God’s true council,’ meaning the spirit possessed by or characterizing God’s true council or community. If so, it is parallel to the phrase ‘the spirit of holiness of the community’ (3.7b).[32]

4.1.3. 1QS 9.3

In 1QS 9.3, it is said that, when established, the community will be ‘a foundation of a spirit of holiness in (or of) eternal truth’ (9.3). Spirit of holiness seems to refer to the new disposition to obedience that God has granted to the community. Thus the community can be described as ‘a foundation of the spirit of holiness,’ insofar as this spirit of holiness given by God is ultimately responsible for the existence of the community: it is a foundation consisting of the spirit of holiness. Without it, there would be no repentance, no possibility for the members of ‘cleansing their way by separating themselves from deceit’ (9.9). The phrase ‘in (or of) eternal truth’ modifying ‘a foundation of a spirit of holiness’ makes it unambiguous that this foundation has as its basis in God’s ‘truth,’ which is his eschatological mercy resulting in salvation.

4.1.4. Summary

In the passages from Rule of the Community considered, spirit of holiness denotes an eschatological principle of obedience; it is the disposition to obedience that God in His eschatological mercy has bestowed upon the community. There is, however, a present and a future dimension to this eschatological gift. On the one hand, a spirit of holiness is the means by which God will purify human beings at His visitation (1QS 4.18-21). On the other hand, in two other passages in Rule of the Community (1QS 3.6-8; 9.3), a spirit of holiness is assumed already to exist in the community.[33] One need not, however, resort to the positing of different sources and careless redaction to account for this apparent discrepancy. Rather, to use a well-worn phrase, this juxtaposition of the eschatological present and future betrays the ‘already, but not yet’ perspective, so characteristic of this Jewish sect. It is a distinctive of the Qumran community’s self-understanding that its membership represents the recipients of God’s eschatological mercy, foretold in the Hebrew Bible. Not with all Israel, but only with a minority within the nation did God establish his eschatological covenant, or the new covenant, foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. (Of course, potentially, all Jews could be the beneficiaries of God’s eschatological blessings on the condition of joining the community.) Yet the establishment of the community is merely the first phase of the realization of God’s eschatological salvation. In fact, the members of the community are to be soldiers in the final, but protracted eschatological war. Consequently, it is not contradictory to affirm that a spirit of holiness is given to the community in the present in order to make repentance and atonement possible, and that this same spirit of holiness will function to destroy forever the very possibility of disobedience in the future.[34] (Until God’s visitation, the possibility of sin remains open the members of the community, even with a spirit of holiness [see 1QS 3.21-23].)

4.2. 1QSb 1.2 (Blessings)

1QSb contains blessings that are to be recited after the visitation of God, when the sons of darkness and evil have been removed from the world; thus these are eschatological blessings. At that time, the maskil is to bless ‘[those] who fear [God, do] His will, and keep His ordinances and are strengthened by His s[pirit] of holiness and walk perfectly.’ The blessing, in other words, will be directed towards those who obey God, the members of the community. What is significant is that the members of the community after God’s visitation are also referred to as those strengthened by God’s spirit of holiness. From the context, God’s spirit of holiness seems to be an eschatological principle of obedience. That is, at the visitation of God the members will be able to obey God, because they will have been strengthened by God’s spirit of holiness.[35]

4.3. 1QH (Thanksgiving Hymns)

In the Thanksgiving Hymns, there are found several references to spirit of holiness as a present reality. In some of these, it is clear that the spirit of holiness is a principle of obedience. A spirit of holiness is granted to the founder and the members of his community, with the result that obedience becomes possible. Without this provision of mercy, obedience would be impossible, since human beings are thought to be naturally weak and sinful.[36] Although it is never stated explicitly, since the community understood its origin and nature in eschatological terms, God’s granting a spirit of holiness is the fulfillment of His eschatological promise to make any future disobedience on the part of the Israelites impossible. Of course, the community applies this eschatological promise to itself, not to the whole of the nation.

4.3.1. 1QH 16

In 1QH 16.7 the author refers to being strengthened by a (or your) spirit of holiness. [37] Following this, there occur three more infinitive constructs: ‘To adhere to the truth of your covenant, to serve you in truth with a perfect heart, to love your [ ].'[38] Unfortunately, the text is full of lacunae, so that it is not clear how these three infinitive constructs relate to the previous infinitive construct,’ to be strengthened by a spirit of holiness.'[39] Nevertheless, it is probable that being strengthened by a spirit of holiness is to be enabled to obey God, since this is the central theme of this passage.[40] (In 1QH 1.31-32 God is said to strengthen the spirit of man, but with no reference to the means, the holy spirit.)

A few lines later the author writes,’ I know that no one is righteous except through you’ (16.11). On this assumption, the author implores God ‘by means of the spirit that God has given ‘him’ to perfect your [loving] kindnesses to your servant [forever], to purify me by your spirit of holiness’ and to draw me near to You by your grace according to your loving kindnesses’ (1QH 16.11-12). What is significant is that God’s spirit of holiness is said to be the means of purification.[41] The meaning is probably that receiving the spirit of holiness issues in repentance, which results in being purified from sins.[42]

4.3.2. 1QH 7.6-7

In 1QH 7.6-7, the author begins his hymn on a note of thankfulness: ‘I thank you, O Lord, that you have supported me with your strength, that you have spread your spirit of holiness ADD Check Hebrew// reference upon me in order that I not stumble.'[43] God enables the founder to carry out his appointed task of leadership within the community against all opposition by means of his spirit of holiness.[44] To stumble would be not only to fail, but to sin against God. The spirit of holiness is a principle of obedience, a new spiritual disposition.

4.3.3. Summary

The fact that God makes obedience possible for the leader of the community and the members of his community is sometimes expressed as God’s giving them a spirit of holiness. This spirit of holiness is an eschatological principle of obedience.

5. Conclusion

In the passages examined, spirit of holiness is a functional term denoting an eschatological principle of obedience. It refers to the new, divinely-granted capacity of repentance, which in turn results in atonement.[45] In some of the texts, the granting of the spirit of holiness is viewed as yet to take place, in the eschatological future, whereas in other texts, it is a present eschatological reality. Defined as such, the term spirit of holiness is synonymous with the various expressions in the Hebrew Bible used to describe the means by which Israel will be spiritually transformed at the eschaton. Clearly not every use of the term spirit of holiness in second-Temple Jewish texts has this meaning. Nevertheless, this is a distinctive use of the term.[46]”


[21] Indicators of the eschatological self-understanding of the community include: 1. References to “The end of days” or the end time as already present (CD 4.4; 1QpHab 2.5-6; 7.1-8; 4QMMT 99-102; 107; 116). (There are other such references that are futuristic in orientation (CD 6.11; 4QFlor 1.2, 11); 2. The interpretation of the formation of the community as the result of God’s restoration, foretold in the prophets (CD 1-4) 3. References to the members of the community as having entered the covenant (1QS; CD) and more significantly, the new covenant (CD A 6.19; 8.21; B 20.12; 1QpHab 2.3) 4. In 4QFlor 2, it is said that the present is the time of the eschatological refining mentioned in Dan 12.

[22] In Qumran sectarian writings, there are several means by which the eschatological imparting of a principle of obedience is expressed other than being granted a spirit of holiness. Obviously dependent on Deut 30:6, which promises that God will circumcise the hearts of post-exilic Israel, 4Q434 (Bless, Oh my Soula) states that God’s mercy manifested itself not only in deliverance from enemies but also in the spiritual transformation of the individuals who constituted the community: “He circumcised the foreskins of their hearts …he has established their feet on the path” (4Q434 1.1.4). Similarly, the author of 4Q436 (Bless, Oh my Soulc) says, .” have removed from me, and put a pure heart in its place” (4Q436 1.10), which is dependent on Ps 51:12 where it stands parallel to the phrase “steadfast spirit.” An echo of Jeremiah’s prophecy that God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, which, in part, will result in God’s placing His Torah within them and in writing it upon their hearts (Jer 31:31-34) is found in 1QH 4.10-12, where the founder affirms that God has engraved His Torah upon his heart. (Of course, in two places in the Damascus Document (text A) it is said explicitly that those who belong to the community have actually entered the new covenant [6:19; 8:21; cf. also 20:12 text B].) E. Sjöberg refers to God’s spiritual transformation of the Qumran community as “Neuschöpfung” (“Neuschöpfung in den Toten-Meer-Rollen,” Studia Theologica 9 (1956) 131-36).

[23] See A. A. Anderson, “The Use of `Ruah’ in 1QS, 1QH and 1QM,” JSS 7 (1962) 293-303, especially 301-302. F. F. Bruce categorizes the uses of the term “spirit of holiness” in the DSS, but fails to notice its use as the eschatological principle of obedience (“Holy Spirit in the Qumran Texts,” Annual of Leeds University Oriental Society 6 (1969) 49-55).

[24] Foerster explains, “Die Qumrangemeinde weiß sich also in einem eigenartigen `Zwischen’ lebend: die Heilszeit ist eingeleitet, Gott hat die Würzel der Pflanzung sprießen lassen, aber die Vollendung steht noch aus, noch ist die Zeit Belials” (“Der heilige Geist im Spätjudentum,” NTS 8 (1960-62) 117-34, esp 132). The spirit of holiness correspondingly is understood as a present and a future reality. E. Sjöberg anachronistically interprets references to “The spirit of holiness” and other similar formulations as God’s spirit: “Er [Gott] hat seinen heiligen Geist auf ihn gesprengt, um ihn zu reinigen und die Schuld zu sühnen” (“Neuschöpfung,” 135). In most of the passages in question, however, spirit should be taken to mean human spiritual disposition as influenced by God. M. Treves is on the right track when he insists that “spirit” in 1QS 3-4 refers to “tendencies or propensities that are implanted in every man’s heart” (“The Two Spirits of the Rule of the Community,” RQ 3 [1961-62] 449-52). He errs, however, in not recognizing that some uses of “spirit” refer to angelic beings.

[25] J. Licht believes that the text should read “The building of man” (“An Analysis of the Treatise on the Two Spirits in DSD,” Scripta Hierosolymitana, vol. 4, Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls [ed. C. Rabin and Y. Yadin; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1965] 97.

[26] See Friedrich Noetscher, “Geist und Geister in den Texten von Qumran,” in Melanges bibliques rediges en l’honneur de Andre Robert (Paris: Blaud and Gay, 1957) 306-307; Anderson, “The Use of “Ruah” in 1QS, 1QH and 1QM,” 301.

[27] The relationship between the spirit of truth or spirit of holiness as the eschatological means of the purification of the sons of Truth and the spirit of truth who resides in every human being from birth (1QS 3-4; see also T. Judah 20; T. Asher 1.3-9) is difficult to determine. Schreiner has proposed that they are the same (“Geistbegabung in der Gemeinde von Qumran,” BZ 9 (1965) 161-80, esp. 174-77). Similarly, Foerster argues that the spirit of holiness in 1QH is synonymous with the spirit of truth in 1QS 3-4 (“Der heilige Geist im Spätjudentum,” 129-30). It is preferable, however, to allow for polyvalence and even ambiguity of usage of the terms “spirit,” “spirit of holiness,” “spirit of truth,” or any other phrase consisting of “spirit” in genitive construct with another noun. One should not assume that there is a single consistent doctrine of the spirit underlying each of the occurrences of “spirit” used by itself or in construct form. The spirit of truth present in each human being from birth is not the spirit of truth by which God will purify eschatologically.

[28] A. R. C. Leaney feels obliged to connect the use of “spirit of holiness” in 1QS 4.21 with other uses of “spirit of holiness” “spirit,” and other phrases with “spirit” in them, on the assumption that there is a shared root meaning (The Rule of Qumran and its Meaning [London: SCM, 1966] 158-59). This is a difficult task, and probably in the end results in misinterpretation, since there is no root meaning.

[29] Strangely, in his study Licht does not comment on the use of the phrase spirit of holiness in 1QS 4.21 (“An Analysis of the Treatise on the Two Spirits in DSD.”

[30] The connection between the spirit of holiness and forgiveness is missed when the former is not understood as a principle of obedience. See, for example, O. Betz, who affirms that the spirit serves as a “Reinigungsmittel” but without explaining why (Offenbarung und Schriftforschung in der Qumransekte [WUNT 6; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1960] 131) and Bruce, “Holy Spirit,” 53. G. Klinzing says that both a blameless life or obedience and the spirit of holiness were means of expiation in the community, but does not seem to notice this is really one means of atonement: repentance (Die Umdeutung des Kultus in der Qumrangemeinde und im Neuen Testament [SUNT 7; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1971] 93-106). Likewise, P. Osten-Sacken does not make explicit that the “spirit of holiness” cleanses those who enter the community, because it leads to repentance and God mercifully allows repentance to have an expiatory effect (Gott und Belial [SUNT 6; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1969] 134-35).

[31] See Garnet, Salvation, 58.

[32] P. Wernberg-Møller, The Manual of Discipline (STDJ 1; Leiden: Brill, 1957) 61-62.

[33] In CD 5.11b-19 occurs a reference to those who heard the community’s interpretation of the Torah, but rejected it. They are described as follows: “Also they have made their spirit of holiness unclean, and with blaspheming tongue they have opened their mouths against the statutes of the covenant of God, saying, `They are not unfounded'” (5.11b-12). The term “spirit of holiness” as used in this context seems to intend something like an original disposition to good or the conscience. Rejecting the “statutes of the covenant” results in the defilement of this the spirit of holiness, damage to this original disposition to good or impairs the conscience. Likewise, in CD 6.11b-8.2a, each member of the community is warned not to “defile his spirit of holiness” (7.3b-4a). From the context it is clear that defiling one’s spirit of holiness results from violating the laws of purity, especially dietary laws (7.3). To defile one’s spirit of holiness through ritual impurity is the defilement of that original disposition to good or perhaps a restored disposition to good. The phrase “to defile one’s spirit of holiness” seems to be an interpretation of Lev 11:43; 20:25, in which the verb “to defile” is used in the context of ritual defilement; in these passages, however, the object of the defilement is not spirit of holiness, but “soul.” See O. Betz, Offenbarung, 126-30.

[34] See P. von der Osten-Sacken, Gott und Belial (SUNT 6; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1969) 178-79.

[35] In 1QSb 2.24, another reference to a spirit of holiness occurs: “May He be gracious to you through the spirit of holiness.” Unfortunately, the context to which this statement belongs is lost, so that the full meaning of this text is unrecoverable.

[36] This is a long-recognized aspect of Qumran anthropology, and serves as a presupposition of the teaching on the spirit of holiness in the DSS (see Dietzel, “Beten im Geist,” 12-14; Sjöberg, “Neuschöpfung”; Betz, Offenbarung, 120-23.

[37] Vermes translates as “cleaving to Thy Spirit of [holiness], but this obscures the intended meaning.

[38] Becker, Das Heil Gottes, 162. Becker correctly interprets the reference to the spirit of holiness in 1QH 16.7 as “Kraft…,die sowohl negativ reinigend, als auch positiv den Wandel festigend, dem Frommen helfend beisteht” (162). This coheres with his hypothesis that the community constituted a sort of “Heilssphäre.” Becker does not connect the spirit with repentance and repentance with removal of objective guilt. He considers the spirit as a power (Kraft) that removes sin; it is synonymous with the Heilsphäre. As already indicated, Becker’s analysis seems to be a case of over-interpretation.

[39] As Becker explains, in some contexts “(God’s) truth” is the equivalent of God’s commandments, God’s will as expressed concretely in the Torah (Das Heil Gottes, 155-60). With respect to 1QH 16.7, he writes, “Da der Mensch wohl kaum an Gottes Treue zu seinem Bund kleben soll, wird man hier als Inhalt des Bundes fassen müssen, d.h. ist hier die in den Gesetzen konkret gewordene Wahrheit Gottes” (159).

[40] See Dietzel, “Beten,” 23-24. Becker correctly interprets the reference to the spirit of holiness in 1QH 16.7 as “Kraft…,die sowohl negativ reinigend, als auch positiv den Wandel festigend, dem Frommen helfend beisteht” (Heil, 162). This coheres with his hypothesis that the community constituted a sort of “Heilssphären.”

[41] The spirit of holiness is synonymous with “The spirit that You have given me” in 16.11. Thus it is probable that the founder’s reference in 4.31-32 to the spirit created by God for human beings should also be taken as synonymous with “A spirit of holiness.” The passage reads: “And the path of man is not secure except by the spirit that God creates for him, to perfect the path of the sons of man, in order that all his creatures know the strength of his power” (see also 12.11-12; 13.18-19). In this context, the spirit is the capacity for obedience implanted in human beings by God. By it a person’s way is made perfect, so that it becomes known to all that God is active in enabling obedience (see Garnet, Salvation, 24-27). In addition, a spirit of holiness may also be called “A spirit of your [God’s] compassion” (16.9) or “A righteous spirit” (16.10). Anomalously, in 17.17, the author probably thanks God not merely for the spirit but the “spirits” that God has given him. One should add that in 1QH 9.32 the author says that God has delighted him with your spirit of holiness (1QH 9.32).

[42] See Dietzel, “Beten,” 18.

[43] In 1QH 17:26 an author other than the founder of the community uses writes, [I thank you, Lord, that] you have shed [your] spirit upon your servant. As in 1QH 7.7, the verb is used to describe the giving of the spirit of holiness, presumably with the same meaning. The probable use of the pronominal suffix denotes that the new spiritual disposition has its origin with God and is not an innate human capacity. Presumably, this shedding of the spirit occurred at the time of the author’s entrance into the community.

[44] The somewhat oblique reference in 1QH 14.11 to the existence of two spirits corresponding to good and evil could imply that there is a counterpart to the spirit of holiness operative among human beings, similar to the spirit of deceit in 1QS 3-4. The fragmentary nature of text makes it difficult to determine exactly the intended meaning, but it seems to be alluding to two forces responsible for all human volitional activity. The fact that, immediately following, the author refers to God’s spirit of holiness could be taken as confirmation of this interpretation (14.13). Another possible reference to the negative counterpart to the spirit of holiness could be , translatable as “guilty inclination”: “There is no salvation for guilty inclination; it will be trampled to destruction” (6.32; see also 7.16). The guilty inclination seems to be the natural disposition to evil in human beings, which will bring God’s judgment. When this disposition is supplanted by God’s spirit of holiness, the result is obedience and salvation.

[45] Leaney errs in objectifying the “spirit of holiness” in the Dead Sea Scrolls, so that it refers to an entity that exists apart from its effects; in other words, he does not interpret the term functionally. Leaney writes, for example, “The holiness of God’s spirit is emphasized again and again: only God’s spirit is holy and only he can bestow it upon a man” (Rule of Qumran, 35). This is probably the result of the influence of the Christian conception of the Holy Spirit on his interpretation of these uses of the term “spirit of holiness.” O. Betz also errs does not see the functionality of the term; rather he objectifies the “spirit of holiness,” interpreting it as a substance or an entity that originates from above and overcomes the flesh and its inherent weakness and impurity. He writes, “Der Geist dagegen kommt von oben, denn er ist Gottes Geist und, wie aus seiner Bezeichung hervorgeht, heilig wie der heilige Gott” (Offenbarung, 125). G. Maier likewise wrongly concludes that the spirit of holiness “Der ‘heilige Geist’ is also nicht der schlechthin menschliche….Der ‘Heilige Geist’ ist wirklich Gotttes Geist, geht aber gewisserma8en in das Inventar des Frommen über” (Mensch und freir Wille (WUNT 12; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1971) 188-89. At least with respect to the instances studied in this paper, it is better to say that the term “spirit of holiness” is a means of describing God’s action on individual Jews, creating in them a disposition to obedience. In other words, it is a divinely-grant attitude or spirit that leads to obedience to the Law or holiness.

[46] There are other meanings for the “spirit of holiness.” First, in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the phrase “The spirit of holiness” is used to denote the means of prophetic inspiration: 1QS 8.16 “According to that which the prophets have revealed by his spirit of holiness. (In CD 2.12 a similar meaning is probably intended: “And he informed them through those anointed of the spirit of holiness…”. This text is ambiguous for two reasons: 1. There is no preposition with holy spirit, so that it can be the object of the verb (see Vermes’ translation); 2. It is necessary to emend to (see M. A. Knibb, The Qumran Community [CCWJCW 2; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987], 27) The context suggests that the prophets are meant, contrary to Leaney, who interprets wxyvm as referring to God’s Messiah, to whom will be granted “The power to make the spirit of his holiness known to the ‘remnant'”). Second, the spirit of holiness denotes the means of obtaining spiritual knowledge otherwise inaccessible to human beings (see 1QH 12.11-12; 13.18; 14.12b-13a); the same idea is found in WisSol 9.17. The use of “spirit of holiness” in these texts is a synonym for “spirit of insight” in Sir 39.6 (see also Sir 48.12a, 24).

The Paraclete

“Naturally the instrument changed; the ego instrument is changed. So the priorities change. But what do you get, as a result? The bliss, the joy, all the promises of all the scriptures. The time has come and you should have it, you should have it. Master it and use it. That’s the way it has to be.

But I have seen people come from Sahaja Yoga, they get realized, they telephone to Me: ‘We are very nice, Mother. We are feeling very nice.’ They sit at home also meditate. But you have to come here because it is a very deeper way of cleansing. And who is going to cleanse you? I am the washer woman. I have to do the job. So better come to the laundry, that’s the point. And work it out. And once you are established, you’ll be amazed at yourself. Even with the movement of your hands, you can raise the Kundalini. You can. Just see. You can give realization. Just try; because your desire merges into the desire of God…

But even realized souls have to work it out. This is the biggest problem that I think I see. That our attention is so distributed, we cannot do anything in a concentrated manner. That’s why there is guru shopping also going on. We also cannot do our Sahaja Yoga in a concentrated manner. Because once we do Sahaja Yoga, we’re all right, ‘Oh we felt very nice, happy, Mother.’ Finished. Because attention doesn’t stay at a point, it becomes mobile, spread all over. Doesn’t reach any depth or height either. If you put them together, then it will work out.

And to make it worse, to make it worse ego orientation which has led us to sex orientation. Attention has become filthy, and that’s why you can say that it is stagnating by ego orientation, but it is getting fermented because of filth to which we pay attention.

So to clear the attention, clear this garbage into that clear cut, beautiful lake, you have to go within. You have to allow it to sediment. You have to take pride. By it’s own nature it will come, the beauty. And then you will see a ripple in that lake within you, a peaceful space in which you will see the bliss of God flowing into you, through you, you observing it and seeing it manifesting into other. That is what needs to be asked for.

No mental activity can do that. It is only the desire to be that works it. Only the desire to be one with God works it. Mental activity, rationality saps it. Through rationality, you cannot reach to God. So humble down in your heart. That’s why it is said, ‘Those who will be blessed have to humble down in their heart.’ It is very true.

It is very, very true that we have to humble down in our hearts, so that it will work. And keep your attention steady. Is it too much that I’m asking? You started with a very humble heart as a child. Only in this life all this has been accumulated bit too much. In past life you were not like that – much better off. Only in this lifetime only you have crossed the limit a little bit. it’s not difficult to recede.

So just try to humble down in your heart, and it will work out. Every time you get your touching of the Kundalini, or you can say the breakthrough, every time you get that experience, keep it in your memory and desire that and it will work out. Do not keep in memory the faults that you have had, where you have been.

When you climb up on top of a hill or a mountain, you don’t remember all the ditches you have fallen into in your childhood. You enjoy the atmosphere on the hill top.

Make it a strong memory within you, and try to keep it there. I know for some people it’s difficult – they come down, again go up. Because of the problems they’ve had before, the Kundalini comes down. But in Sahaja Yoga there is all arrangement. But if the desire is strong – not the mental activity, but the desire – it will work out. And that’s why I told you why it is to be, ‘Thy will be done.’ Accept it from the very beginning. This is the basis of what you’re going to rise. But the whole details I’ll give you later on. But this is the basis which you’ll have details of.

The Paraclete Shri Mataji
London, UK—26 June 1978

“There’s another type of life, a higher type of life which connects you to the Divine Power, and then this Divine Power gives you the Absolute Truth. If you grow more and more you will know Absolute Truth, because so far you don’t know. So, we have been doing wrong things, doing in the wrong way, getting lost, also, with listening to people who were just boasting and saying they know about the Truth. But when you, yourself discover the Truth, you are a different person. Your discovery is so innate and so real, that you discard all that is unreal; very easily you can discard it.”

The Paraclete Shri Mataji
Easter Puja. Istanbul, Turkey—22 April 2001

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