November 15, 2017 Who is the Holy Spirit: Activity in the Old Testament

 Last Week:

Who the Holy Spirit is and is not.

·         Not a force

·         Not an “it”

·         He is a person

·         He is God

This Week:

The activity of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

Jesus indicates in John 15:26 that “when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

He continues in John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

So, Jesus is stating that the Holy Spirit will come, but we see in the Old Testament that the Spirit was present. So what does Jesus mean by this? He is stating that the Holy Spirit will operate in a different way after the beginning of Pentecost.

So, let’s look at how the Holy Spirit operated in the Old Testament.


·         Most of the time called “The Spirit of the Lord”

·         Gave:

o   Supernatural Strength (Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14)

o   Leadership ability (Judges 3:9-10)

o   Prophetic ability (1 Samuel 10:10; 2 Samuel 23:2; Ezekiel 2:2)

o   Wisdom (Daniel 5: 11)

o   Authority (Numbers 27: 18- 21)

·         Was not a sign of holiness in some people (Judges, Saul)

o   The judges were not always Godly people, but those that he chose to lead a military assault for their freedom.

·         The Spirit would depart those that were disobedient:

o   Samson (Judges 13:25; 16:20)

§  Judges 13:25—And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

§  Judges 16:20— “She said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”

§  The Spirit departed from Samson because of him breaking his Nazarite vow. His disobedience to God is what cost him his strength. But, we see in 16:22 that his hair started to regrow. He was able to be empowered by the Spirit of the Lord once more to fulfill his purpose because he came to a point of repentance.


o   Saul (1 Samuel 10:6-9; 1 Samuel 15:23)

§  1 Samuel 10:6-9— “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophecy with them and you will be changed into another man. It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you that you should do.’ Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.”

§  1 Samuel 15:23— “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”

§  1 Samuel 16:14—“Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.”

·         “An evil spirit from the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:13-14)

 The Spirit of the Lord and the evil spirit could not be present in Saul at the same time. This tells us of something important. For the evil spirit to attack Saul, God had to remove Himself completely. Evil and Righteousness/Holiness cannot occupy the same space.


o   From the Lord indicates and reminds us that God is in control of all things, even those that are evil.

o   This spirit was used to bring God’s judgement on Saul for his disobedience. The evil spirit was given permission by God to torment Saul.

§  If we remember from Job, the Devil had to get God’s permission to attack Job, in the same way here, the evil spirit had to have God’s permission to attack Saul.

o   God used this evil spirit to bring David into the life of Saul

§   1 Samuel 16:15-19

o   This evil spirit was only temporary

§  1 Samuel 16:23 – “So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.”

o   This evil spirit was used for God’s purpose

§  Introduced David to Saul and paved the way for David to be king in Israel

§  (Romans 8:28)