The Holy Spirit Before Pentecost
1-The Spirit was present at the very beginning of the world. “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). God’s Spirit was involved in bringing order out of chaos and the creation of the world.
2-The Spirit of God worked on the hearts of people at Noah’s time. “And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3). But the people then, captive to their passions, were no longer subject to God’s Spirit.
4-Job declared that he was made by the Spirit of God. “The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
6-“The Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Othniel), 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” (Judges 3:10). Othniel was a great judge in that no indiscretion or unsanctified action was recorded of him.
7-King Saul had God’s Spirit. “The Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied” (1 Samuel 10:10). Saul’s life prior to this time had hardly been a model of piety. But this experience testified to the fact that God is able to change the most unpromising of men into a tool that will be used in His work when they yield to Him.
8-The Spirit of God came upon Mary the mother of Jesus. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). The Spirit was the Agent through whom the creative and life-giving power of God was exercised (John 3:3–8; Romans 8:11).
9-John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his others’ womb” (Luke 1:15). It was possible for the Spirit to “fill” John from birth because the Spirit had first been able to fill John’s mother, Elisabeth.
10-Elisabeth was filled with God’s Spirit. “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary…Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:41).
God’s Spirit At Pentecost
After His resurrection, Jesus “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). The scriptures give the reason for this great outpouring: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (verse 8).
This extra measure of the Spirit in the form of the early rain at Pentecost (Joel 2:23,28; James 5:7) was to empower the disciples to evangelize the world. And the latter rain represents the final outpouring of the God’s Spirit, which will produce the ripening of the harvest just before the second coming of Christ (Matthew 24:14).
In His service,