Many people assume that Yahusha (Jesus) somehow became God when he received the Spirit of God at his baptism. There are also many other common misunderstandings regarding God’s spirit throughout different religious sects. During my study, I looked at the phrase “Spirit of God” throughout scripture to determine the nature of the phenomena of a human being possessed by God’s Spirit.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God fell upon the prophets and many others. Yet, in Christianity, many believe that this is somehow a New Testament phenomenon that made Yahusha “God incarnate”. However, to call Yahusha “God” is to say that each of these men in the Old Testament, good or bad, was also God.
Scripture reveals that the Spirit of God is exactly what the phrase implies – the spirit that belongs to God. It does not belong to any human individual or earthly thing. God is not something that any one person can possess. Rather, the Spirit of God is an infinite portion of Himself that can possess us. In collaboration, He authorizes those who make themselves as set-apart as He is to possess the Spirit for His will to be fulfilled at the individual’s will. In other words, a person who is possessed by the Spirit of God can also possess the power of God to do that which fulfills His will. But simply because God possesses a person doesn’t mean that that person also has access to possess and utilize the power of His Spirit.
Additionally, there is an important distinction between a person who is possessed by God and one who possesses the Spirit of God. Yah can take over any person as demonstrated throughout scripture. Contrarily, one must meet strict standards to be able to possess the Spirit. That is, in order to have the power to use the spirit to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and perhaps even turn water into wine, a person must become like God in their character.
This is what Yahusha did that confuses people. He became like God; thus, he had every power and possession that belongs to God. Hince, he said, “Whatever belongs to my Father is mines.” Likewise, his disciples became like him, thus like God; therefore, they too had accessed the power and possessions of God as long as they walked in the character of God.
Look back at the story in Matthew 17:19 about the boy that had some sort of illness that caused him to fall in dangerous places and suffer miserably (probably seizures). The boy’s father went to Yahusha and told him that the disciples tried but could not heal his son. Yahusha responded to the disciples’ failure by saying, “You unbelieving generation who are not within the will of God, how long will I have to be with you? How long do I have to bear you?”
The point: When the disciples were not in good standing with God they could not access His power. Yahusha knew that their inability to heal the boy was evidence that they had departed the path, at least temporarily. Therefore, his response was so harsh because he understood that they were unable to heal the boy because they had left the will of God, resulting in a lack of faith.
Those who accept Yah’s (God) will and live it as He commanded are in God and of God, meaning, like His Spirit, they also belong to Him and all that belongs to Him is also theirs.
Even though God’s essence, that is His character, is in such a person, it doesn’t make that person God. Rather, they are possessed by His Spirit and possess His Spirit, which is His ways, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, and power. It’s His character!
Contrarily, God can possess an evil person and cause them to do good or anything He wills. But an evil person cannot possess God, using His power at will. As previously stated, an evil person or any man for that matter, being possessed by God’s spirit is not God.
Yahusha had a very special role in God’s will. He was to set an example for Israel and give us knowledge that leads to Yah’s complete truth which sets us free from the bondage of sin and allow us direct access to communication with God, which we call prophecy.
Yahusha is the head of Israel, the king, leader, master, and ultimate prophet because he was chosen by God as the first to understand and accept this knowledge and relationship fully. Yahusha understood his purpose and knew our Father like no one before him and was created to pass knowledge on to a chosen generation of people who would be like him in the last days.
Understanding this, we can seek, not only to be temporarily possessed by His spirit as with the Old Testament characters or to demonstrate some misunderstood form of it in church but to walk in it daily!
Some people “pass out” in church when they “catch” the Holy Ghost. I am not sure where or how this practice began. Think about what that means? God is always a purposeful God. One of action and intent. So what purpose, intent, or action does it serve to cause one’s body and mind to cease acting and to be without intent or purpose?
People usually don’t report having any other experience except falling on the floor or jumping around. They typically receive no insight, vision, or message that would be useful and their own walk or anyone’s else’s, as is evident in the Old Testament. Neither do they speak in other intelligible languages, called tongues, as in the New Testament. Nor do they come out of the trance with supernatural abilities such as the power to heal, speak foreign languages, or cast out demons, as the New Testament tells us is the only true evidence of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 16:17-18)
Oddly enough, I myself have had unexplainable experiences such as the “Holy Ghost” experiences described above, both in public and in private. However, in addition to these experiences, I had visions and insight that changed the course of my own life or warned me that my life would soon change drastically. Eventually, I did speak, hear, and see visions in Hebrew before I had a clue about the language, but it was many years after having these “Holy Ghost” experiences. In fact, it’s the reason I decided to study biblical Hebrew.
Nonetheless, this didn’t all happen at once. For this reason, I take no position as to rather another person’s experiences are actually the Holy Spirit of the Father or a spirit of something else… However, I generally tend to believe that sometimes its God, but most times it’s not. I try not to judge either way, lest I be accused by Yah of calling His Spirit a liar!
The moral is that the Spirit of God is a power from God that enters a person to relay a message and give insight, either to the person it enters or to a person in whom it will not enter because of their own unbelief.
The difference between the Spirit of God demonstrated in the Old Testament and the Spirit of God demonstrated by Yahusha is that its descent on Yahusha and those who truly believed in him would be permanent, not temporary. It would be a constant guide in the life of those who took on the character of God, taught to them by the Messiah. Still, its permanency is dependent upon our continued commitment to acting in God’s character.
I believe Paul said it best, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit”! (Ephesians 4) Throughout his writings, Paul points out that we must remain set-apart, for the Holy (set-apart) Spirit to remain in us. By filling ourselves up with uncleanliness we cause the Spirit of God to retreat from us, or at least to go dormant.
I hope this post helps you to understand the Spirit of God a little better and that you may someday recognize it in you!
Shalom Family 😊
Old Testament References:
Genesis 1:2 – 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.
Genesis 41:23 – The Pharaoh believed the Spirit of God was in Joseph when Joseph was the only one who could interpret his dream.
Exodus 31:2-5 – God filled Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, with his Spirit, making him able to do skilled and creative work so that he could follow God’s command to build the tabernacle, ark, and furniture.
Numbers 24:2 – The Spirit of God fell upon Balaam, the son of Beor, and he began to prophesy. Now Balaam was instructed by Balak to curse Israel, and Balaam went to do so, but God took over him and he blessed Israel instead.
1 Samuel 10:11 – The Spirit of God came upon Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin and Saul began to prophesy.
1Samuel 11:6 – The Spirit of God came upon Saul and Saul became angry.
1Samuel 19:20 – The Spirit of God fell upon Saul’s messengers and they began to prophesy.
1Samuel 19:23 – The Spirit of God fell upon Naioth
2 Chronicles 15:1 – The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded
2 Chronicles 24:20 – The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada and he prophesied.