Lesson 5 - Section 1C - Question 5 

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

As we have seen so far in this lesson, the Holy Spirit was given during this timeframe only to a few specific leaders, prophets and other special people.  One might think that if a person was filled with the Holy Spirit, it might be impossible for that person to make mistakes or to teach error.

The following scriptures show that the presence of the Holy Spirit did not make these people perfect or infallible:

1. Referring to Moses:

The Spirit was on Moses...

"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." Numbers 11:17 (NAS)

...but Moses still sinned and made mistakes:

Numbers 20:11-12 -- "Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them." (NAS)

2. Referring to Samson, judge of Israel:

The Spirit was working in the life of Samson...

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)

...but Samson continued to lie and to make mistakes:

Judges 16:10 -- "Then Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me, how you may be bound." (NAS)

Judges 16:18-21 -- "When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands. And she made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. And 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. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison." (NAS)

3. Referring to King Saul:

The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Saul...

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)

...yet, Saul continued to sin by disobeying God's word...

1 Samuel 15:24 -- "Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice." (NAS)

...and eventually God took His Spirit from Saul:

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

4. Referring to King David:

The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon 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)

...yet, David still disobeyed God's word and sinned with Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 12:13-14 -- "Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. "However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." (NAS)


According to the examples above, did the receipt of the Holy Spirit in these examples cause the person to be perfect from that time forward?

  1. Yes.  After receiving the Holy Spirit, a person cannot sin against God or make mistakes.
  2. No.  After receiving the Holy Spirit, they were still tempted by sin, but they never lost the Holy Spirit.
  3. No.  After receiving the Holy Spirit, they were still tempted by sin and for some, such as Saul, they lost the Holy Spirit (or the Holy Spirit left or was taken away from them).

Yes, Perfect No, But Never Lost No, Some Lost