“We couldn’t have done it without you. You saved our town from that notorious gang of outlaws. Isn’t that right sheriff?” “Yes, that’s right. How can we thank…Wait! Where did he go? Who was that masked man? Look, he left a silver bullet.” In the distance, the town’s people hear, “HI-HO SILVER! AWAY!” As a child, I loved to watch re-runs of “The Lone Ranger” on Saturday mornings. The series originally started on the radio from 1933 through 1954. In 1949, “The Lone Ranger” became the first western on TV and ran through 1957. Since I was born in 1955, I enjoyed the re-runs. In fact, “The Lone Ranger” was my favorite TV program. How cool is it for a “good guy” to wear a black mask and a white hat and a Texas Ranger uniform, who rides a white horse named Silver and has a Native American Indian named Tonto as his friend who rides a pinto horse named Scout, and they go around the wild west saving people from “bad guys“? (As a little girl, even though I didn’t know it, I loved it when stereotypical ideas were broken.) The coolest thing of all was that no one knew the Lone Ranger’s identity, except his loyal friend Tonto, and before anyone had a chance to thank him for saving them from a cruel injustice, he would mysteriously disappear into the sunset. The Lone Ranger was a person of mystery.
However, to truly appreciate the Lone Ranger, one needs to know his history. He was indeed a Texas Ranger. One day, he was part of a group of six Texas Rangers, including his brother, who were tracking some “bad guys” with the help of a guide. Unbeknownst to the Rangers, the guide was one of the “bad guys” and led them into a canyon, where the Rangers were ambushed and murdered by the gang they were tracking. All but one Texas Ranger was killed. John Reid, the only survivor, managed to make his way to a watering hole, where he was found by Tonto who nursed him back to health. Tonto recognized Reid as the one who once saved his life. Tonto says to Reid, “You Kemosabe. It mean ‘trusty scout.’” Tonto vows to stay with the “Lone Ranger” to help avenge the deaths the four other Texas Rangers and Reid‘s brother. Tonto made Reid’s mask from his brother’s vest and they dug six graves to make it look like all six Rangers were massacred.
The Lone Ranger needed a horse, so he and Tonto went to the “Valley of the Horses”, where Reid remembered seeing a beautiful white stallion. When they found the horse, it was wounded and was about to be gored to death by a wild buffalo. The Lone Ranger shot the buffalo and he and Tonto nursed the white stallion back to health. When the horse was fully recovered and joyfully running in the field, Tonto remarked, “It reflects like silver from the sun.” “Silver” the Lone Ranger replies, “that’s what we’ll call him, Silver.” After Silver is trained by the Lone Ranger’s calm voice and gentle manner (horse whisperer-like), he and Tonto ride to see an old friend of the Reid brothers who is a retired Texas Ranger. The friend knows about a silver mind that the Reid brothers operated. The Lone Ranger asks his friend Jim to work the mind for him, so he and Tonto will have spending money and also he wanted him to make silver bullets for his gun. The last part of the Lone Ranger’s request was rather odd, so Jim asks, “Silver? Why in the world would you want silver bullets?” The Lone Ranger explains that the silver bullets will be a symbol of justice. And that’s the history behind the Lone Ranger, a person of mystery. It is only when one knows the history behind the mystery that one can truly understand and appreciate the person of mystery, the Lone Ranger.
(For more about the origin of the Lone Ranger, google: loneranger.wikia.com/wiki/Lone_Ranger)
One may say that another Person of mystery is the Person of the Holy Spirit. Who is He? Is He an “IT”? Is He a “ghost” If so, is He a spooky ghost or is He like “Casper the Friendly Ghost”? Is He a vapor that hovers over the earth? Is He like a genie who grants wishes by answering prayers? There are so many stories out there about the Holy Spirit. Which one is true? A good place to find the story behind the Holy Spirit is to look for the answers in the Christian Bible. I am going to use the journalistic approach and answer the questions Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
Who is the Holy Spirit in relation to God the Father?
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity (Triune God, Godhead). The Holy Spirit is not a New Testament idea. We see Him before the beginning of time, in the Book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the SPIRIT OF GOD was hovering over the waters (1:1-2). We see God referring to Himself in the plural: “Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR own image, in OUR likeness’” (Genesis 1:26a) The Triune God was involved in the creation of all life. In Job 33:4, Job says, “The Spirit of God has made me; the BREATH OF THE ALMIGHTY gives me life.” In Ezekiel 37, “the SPIRIT OF THE LORD” placed Ezekiel “in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones” (v. 1) and He told Ezekiel to “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones…I will put BREATH in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD’” (vv. 4 and 6b). The Holy Spirit is the BREATH OF LIFE.
In Genesis 41:38-40, we see the Egyptian Pharaoh recognizing the Spirit of God in Joseph. We see the SPIRIT OF GOD referred to in I Samuel 10:10 and 19:20, 23. The SPIRIT OF THE LORD empowered judges to deliver the people in the Book of Judges and I and II Samuel. Also, it says the Messiah will be empowered by the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2 and 61:1). Other Old Testament references regarding the Holy Spirit are Genesis 6:3, Psalm 51:11 and 139:7 and 143:10, Isaiah 30:1 and 34:16 and 59:21, Joel 2:28-29, Haggai 2:5, Zechariah 4:6 and 6:8, and there are more. There is a distinct difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, in regard to the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit did not stay with some people, such as King Saul (See I Samuel 16:14) who abandoned walking in the way of the Lord and did “his own thing.” In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit indwells all those who believe and trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for their salvation and will never leave them because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross (See John 14:16-17).
What do the Lone Ranger and the Holy Spirit have in common? For starters, both may bear the name, “Kemosabe” or “Trusty Scout”. The Holy Spirit shows us the way and keeps us on the right path to walk with God. Both do not want any accolades for themselves. As the Lone Ranger wants the people to rejoice that justice has triumphed over injustice, the Holy Spirit wants all glory and honor to be bestowed on Jesus Christ who triumphed over sin and death and justifies all who believe and trust in Him for His finished work on the cross.
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His JUSTICE, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His JUSTICE at the present time, so as to be JUST and the One Who JUSTIFICES those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26).
If you accept the above Scripture to be true, it is the Holy Spirit working in you Who gave you the faith to believe God’s Word is true.
What does the New Testament say about the Holy Spirit? Tune in next time and find out.
Walking (and Rolling) in Step with the Spirit,