Lesson 5 - Section 1B - Question 1 of 5 

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Before Acts 2:  To Whom Was the Holy Spirit Given and Why?

Genesis chapter 1 to Acts 1 - The Spirit is Given to Some:

Following are most of the scriptures from Genesis 1 to Acts 1 that refer to specific individuals receiving the Holy Spirit:

Joseph, the son of Jacob:

Genesis 41:38 -- Then Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?" (NAS)

Belzalel of the tribe of Judah, whom God called to help build the tabernacle: 

Exodus 31:3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, (NAS)

Exodus 35:31 -- "And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; (NAS)

Moses and the 70 elders that led the Children of Israel after the Exodus:

Numbers 11:17 -- "Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you shall not bear it all alone. (NAS)

Numbers 11:25 -- "Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And it came about that when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again. But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. (NAS)  

Balaam, the prophet of God:

Numbers 24:2 -- "And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him. (NAS)

Joshua, whom God called to lead the Children of Israel after Moses died:

Numbers 27:18 -- "So the LORD said to Moses, "Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; (NAS)

Deuteronomy 34:9 -- "Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. (NAS)  

Othniel, one of the first judges of Israel:  

Judges 3:10 -- "And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. (NAS)  

Gideon, another judge of Israel:

Judges 6:34 -- "So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him. (NAS)  

Jephthah, another judge of Israel:

Judges 11:29 -- "Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon. (NAS)  

Samson, another judge of Israel:

Judges 13:25 -- "And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. (NAS)

Judges 14:6 -- "And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a kid though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. (NAS)

Judges 14:19 -- "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father's house. (NAS)

Judges 15:14 -- "When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands. (NAS)

Saul, the first earthly king of Israel:

1 Samuel 10:6 -- "Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. (NAS)

1 Samuel 10:10 -- "When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. (NAS)

1 Samuel 11:6 -- "Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became very angry. (NAS)

1 Samuel 16:14 -- "Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him. (NAS)

Saul�s messengers and prophets:

1 Samuel 19:20, 23 -- "Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied...And he proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah. (NAS) 

King David:

1 Samuel 16:13 -- Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. (NAS)

2 Samuel 23:2 -- "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue (NAS)  

Referring to Amasai, the chief of the 30 leaders of David�s armies:

1 Chronicles 12:18 -- "Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, and he said, "We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you; indeed, your God helps you!" Then David received them and made them captains of the band. (NAS)

Azariah, a prophet of God:

2 Chronicles 15:1-- "Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded" (NAS)

Jahaziel, a prophet of God:

2 Chronicles 20:14 -- "Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; (NAS)

Zechariah, a prophet of God:

2 Chronicles 24:20 -- "Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, "Thus God has said, `Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.'"(NAS)  

Prophecies referring to Jesus Christ:

Isaiah 11:2 -- "And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (NAS)

Isaiah 42:1 -- "Behold, My servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (NAS)

Isaiah, a prophet of God:

Isaiah 48:16 -- "Come near to me, listen to this: from the first I have not spoken in secret, from the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and His Spirit." (NAS)

Isaiah 61:1 -- "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; (NAS)

Ezekiel, a prophet of God -- many referring to Ezekiel's visions:

Ezekiel 2:2 -- "And as He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. (NAS)

Ezekiel 3:12 -- "Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, "Blessed be the glory of the LORD in His place." (NAS)

Ezekiel 3:14 -- "So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me. (NAS)

Ezekiel 3:24 -- "The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me and said to me, "Go, shut yourself up in your house. (NAS)

Ezekiel 8:3 -- "And He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. (NAS)

Ezekiel 11:1 -- "Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD'S house which faced eastward. And behold, there were twenty-five men at the entrance of the gate, and among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people." (NAS)

Ezekiel 11:5 -- "Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and He said to me, "Say, `Thus says the LORD, "So you think, house of Israel, for I know your thoughts. (NAS)

Ezekiel 11:24 -- "And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen left me." (NAS)

Ezekiel 43:5 -- "And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house." (NAS)

Micah, a prophet of God:

Micah 3:8 -- "On the other hand I am filled with power-- With the Spirit of the LORD-- And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin." (NAS)

Zechariah, a prophet of God:

Zechariah 4:6 -- "Then he answered and said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, `Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts." (NAS)

Referring to the former prophets:

Zechariah 7:12 -- "And they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts." (NAS)

John the Baptizer:

Luke 1:15 -- "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb." (NAS)

Referring to Mary, the mother of Jesus and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist:

Luke 1:35 -- "And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God." (NAS)

Luke 1:41 -- "And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." (NAS)

Zacharias, a prophet of God:

Luke 1:67 -- "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying..." (NAS)

Simeon, a prophet of God:

Luke 2:25-27 -- "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law.."

Jesus, the Son of God and Messiah:

Matthew 1:18 -- "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit." (NAS)

Matthew 1:20 -- "But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (NAS)

Matthew 3:16 -- "And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him..." (NAS)

Matthew 4:1 -- "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." (NAS)

Matthew 12:18 -- "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles." (NAS)

Matthew 12:28 -- "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (NAS)

Mark 1:10 -- "And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; (NAS)

Mark 1:12 -- "And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. (NAS)

Luke 3:22 -- "and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased." (NAS)

Luke 4:1 -- "And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness." (NAS)

Luke 4:14 -- "And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit; and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district." (NAS)

Luke 4:18 -- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden," (NAS)

Luke 10:21 -- "At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight." (NAS)

John 1:32-33 -- "And John bore witness saying, "I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, `He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'" (NAS)

Acts 1:2 -- "...until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen." (NAS)

Jesus' Twelve apostles:

John 20:22 -- "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." (NAS)


According to the scriptures above, to whom was the Holy Spirit generally given during the time period from Genesis 1 (the creation) to Acts chapter 1 (just after Jesus ascended to heaven)?

  1. To all men and women.
  2. To those that obeyed.
  3. Only to specific leaders, prophets and special people within God's people.

All Men & Women Those Who Obeyed Leaders, Prophets...