WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 10, 2022
TOPIC: THE HOLY SPIRIT ON EARTH BEFORE THE DAY OF PENTECOST
BY T. O. BANSO
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5 New King James Version).
Luke 2:25-26 says, “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (New King James Version).
After reading this scripture, someone asked why Christians always say that the Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost if the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon as and revealed something to him before Jesus started His ministry. He wondered why Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and others in the Old Testament before Jesus was born. To address these questions, one should ask: was the Holy Spirit on earth before the Day of Pentecost?
In the Old Testament, the Bible shows us the operations of the Holy Spirit right from the work of creation of the universe. Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (New King James Version). Job 26:13 also talks about the role of the Holy Spirit in the creation of the universe. “By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent” (New King James Version).
The phrase Holy Spirit was rarely used in the Old Testament. It was used only once in Psalm 51:11 and twice in Isaiah 63:10-11. Rather, the Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, and similar variants are used. The mention of the Holy Spirit begins in Matthew 1:18 with respect to the pregnancy of Mary. Although this is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, the event is still part of the Old Testament times as the new covenant had not taken effect and the church was not yet born at the time.
It is important to note that the Holy Spirit did not in the Old Testament and before the Day of Pentecost dwelled in a large number of people as we later see in the New Testament as God promised in Joel 2:28-29: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (New King James Version). In Ezekiel 36:27, God says, “ I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (New King James Version).
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God only came upon specific people or dwells in them for certain assignments. Whenever the Spirit came upon some Old Testament Bible characters, they spoke and did what was beyond their natural ability. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was not universal to every Old Testament believer.
Here are some instances of the Holy Spirit in operation in the Old Testament times:
1. Bezalel. He was filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all manner of workmanship (Exodus 31:3).
2. Joshua. Numbers 27:18-19 says, “And the LORD said to Moses: ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight’” (New King James Version).
3. Othniel. Judges 3:10 says, “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim” (New King James Version).
4. Gideon. “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him” (Judges 6:34 New King James Version).
5. Samson. Judges 13:25 says, “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol” (New King James Version). Also, Judges 14:6 says the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon Samson.
6. Saul. 1 Samuel 10:10 says the Spirit of God came upon Saul and he prophesied among a group of prophets that came to meet him. However, in 1 Samuel 16:14, the Bible says the Spirit departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. That was after God had rejected him as king and Samuel had anointed David king instead.
7. David. He said in 2 Samuel 23:2, “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (New King James Version). Also, Jesus said in Mark 12:36 that David said by the Holy Spirit, “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’” (New King James Version).
8. Ezekiel. He said in Ezekiel 2:2 that the Spirit came into him.
9. Mary. She was found to be with a child through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).
10. Elizabeth. Luke 1:41 says, “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (New King James Version).
11. Zacharias. Luke 1:67 says the father of John the Baptist, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied.
12. Jesus Christ. At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him (Luke 3:22). Also, Luke 4:1 says Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
In a prophecy concerning the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Isaiah 11:2 says, “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (New King James Version). Similarly, Isaiah 42:1 says, “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles” (New King James Version).
Quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:18-19 New King James Version).
All the reference to the Spirit of the LORD, the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit in these scriptures was in the Old Testament times and before the Day of Pentecost when the believers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been on the earth right from the Old Testament. He was there at Creation and continued to be at work on the earth as seen in all the instances cited earlier. But the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was not universal to all Old Testament believers. He indwelled or was on a few.
However, some Bible scholars hold a different opinion on this. They believe that the Spirit of God dwelled in all Old Testament believers and the reference to the Holy Spirit coming upon some of them was a special anointing for specific duties which was an addition to the Holy Spirit already dwelling in them.
John the Baptist told his listeners in Luke 3:16 that Jesus would baptize them in the Holy Spirit and fire. In John 20:22, Jesus breathed upon His disciples the Holy Spirit. However, He told His disciples that the Father would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, in His name (John 14:26). In John 16:7, He promised to send His disciples the Helper after He had gone away. The Helper refers to the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, or the Promise of the Father.
Acts 1:4-5 says, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (New King James Version).
The promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4 says, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (New King James Version).
From the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit took permanent residence in true believers. We can now be filled with and be full of the Holy Spirit. And this is not for specific persons but everyone. Acts 13:52 says the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. And in Acts 6:3, one of the requirements for qualification as deacons to assist the apostles was to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Acts 7:55 also says Stephen, the first Christian martyr, “being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (New King James Version).
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is also God just like God the Father and God the Son. He was involved in the creation of the earth (Genesis 1:2). We saw His ministry in the lives of different people before the Day of Pentecost. But on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to live inside believers forever unlike what existed before then. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17 New King James Version). God has poured out the Holy Spirit on all people as He had promised. This is quite significant.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit of the Lord left Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). David prayed to God not to cast him away from His presence and not to take His Holy Spirit from him (Psalm 51:11). But in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit dwells in true believers forever. The Holy Spirit indwells them permanently. They are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in them (1 Corinthians 3:16). However, although the Holy Spirit, under the New Covenant, dwells in the believers forever (He does not depart), unrepented sins can hinder His ministry (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall be full of faith and the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. I shall not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. I shall not resist the Holy Spirit but cooperate with Him in Jesus’ name. Father, let Your Spirit work in me without any hindrance in Jesus’ name. I pray that the Holy Spirit shall fulfil His ministry in the life of every child of God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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