In Whom The Spirit of God Is
Rev. Toh Nee Lim | On 11, Jul 2018
Scripture Readings: Genesis 41:38; Numbers 27:18; Daniel 5:14
Genesis 41:38 ‘And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?’
Numbers 27:18 ‘And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;’
Daniel 5:14 ‘I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.’
The three portion scriptures I have just quoted are all from the Old Testament. If you turn to the Old Testament it seems that the term, ‘the Spirit of God’ is another way of saying the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:1-3 it says, ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ This is the first mention of the Spirit of God in the Bible. We know that God is a tripartite being; evidenced by the noun ‘us’. It says ‘let us’ and not ‘let me’. So I would say that the Spirit of God mentioned in Genesis 1:1-3 points to the Holy Spirit. Of course the Holy Spirit is God. So when I say that a man in Whom the Spirit of God is; he has become a habitation of God. A habitation is a dwelling place. He has become the dwelling place of God. The Greek word for habitation means a permanent residence. God makes his abode in you. Other calls it ‘the Life of God in the Soul of a man’. You know how powerful it is when the life of God is in the soul of a man?
From observation from the bible, a man, in whom the Spirit of God is, pertains not only to his spiritual endowment. It can result in spectacular skill to his physical endowment; his workmanship. God says in Exodus 31:2-3 ‘See, I have called by name Bazaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship. A man in whom the Spirit of God is can also be filled with physical strength. We hear of Samson, with both hands brings down the whole palace of the Philistines; of Josheb who raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter, of Jashobeam: he was victorious over three hundred enemies. These men have supernatural physical feat; because they are men in whom the Spirit of God is. I personally believe a man in whom the Spirit of God is, can excel in his economic endowment. Some people are economically endowed; exceptionally rich because he or she is in whom the Spirit of God is. But this morning I just want to concentrate on the spiritual endowment. There are three bible characters in whom the Spirit of God is. We want to study them and their characteristics.
After Genesis 1, the next mention of ‘in whom the Spirit of God is’; in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 41. Genesis 41:37-40 says, ‘And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.’
The Hebrew word translated as “discreet” is “biyn” and it means to discern, understand, consider, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs. And the word translated as “wise” is “chakam”, which comes from the verb that means to be wise.
A person in whom the Spirit of God is, to the heathen; he has the gifts of the gods. To Pharaoh, Joseph has the sagacity (acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment) and the intelligence of a deity. Those who received their teachings from God have extraordinary insights. They have the ability to interpret dreams with great accuracy because they have an unction from the Holy One who enables them. He will have the spirit of prophecy and especially of things concerning the future. To confer that a person in whom the Spirit of God is; is an acknowledgement of the being and power of God. We are living in a world that there are 7.6 billion people. To distinguish yourself from these 7.6 billion people, you need to have what the bible says, ‘a person in whom the Spirit of God is.’ There are a few things to note. A person in whom the Spirit of God is; the discipline of suffering is needful. Without trial, Christian courage and fruit bearing will fail. It is said that without the winter’s cold the forest tree would not form sound wood. And trial calls them into exercise that through a sense of our weakness we draw nearer to God. We often cannot see the purpose of trial but it is needed. A person in whom the Spirit of God is cannot claim this for himself, nor that he possess any art of divination. He is not special but Elohim is responsible for it. You will notice that from the three scriptures that we have read in the beginning, it is outsider who proclaim and recognize that this person is the instrument by which Elohim has spoken to and used. This person is gifted by God and will possess wisdom and prudence. He will be so intelligent in counsel and the best person fitted to carry others through the years of trouble that was in store for them. He will give good advice to others, give fair warning followed after good counsel. Job 32:8 says, ‘But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. Another translation replaces the word understanding with the word intelligence. We must recognize that there is a spirit in a man; but what kind of spirit. It is not years so much as the spirit and illumination of the Almighty that maketh a man pre-eminent in wisdom. I will call this spirit in a man the inspiration from the Almighty that gives him understanding. And to have such inspiration it is the power of God to bestow as he pleases on the old or the young, on those small or great on the earth. I speak to young people. There is an ability to speak and a capacity of teaching wisdom; which is not tied to age; but may he found in young men as well as in old men.
We live in a world where we really need the man in whom the Spirit of God is. Like Joseph, he will not sin against God when it comes to immorality. I remember when Jan was a very young girl studying in Singapore. She was just in her first year High School. She was at a certain store like 7 Eleven. In walk a group of youth. One of the youth was attracted to her and asked his partner to approach Jan whether they can be friend. Jan, immediately remembered Joseph, who flee from Potiphar’s wife, did likewise. She just literally flees from that store. A man in whom the Spirit of God is, will not sin against God when it comes to immorality. He will say, how can I sin against God and man by sleeping with you. I made a recent discovery. I found out that a priest in the bible can only marry a virgin. He cannot marry a divorce, a woman that has slept with another man already. Supposed you are a pastor and your wife died. You are not allowed to marry another woman who has married before. You also cannot marry another woman who has slept with another person. You can only marry a virgin. As there is a Nazarite vow, there is also a priestly vow. It talks about the high morality that God looks for in a man in whom the Spirit of God is. Joseph was such a person.
Number 27:18, ‘And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him.’
Joshua’s life is a good example of the spiritual growth that is experienced by every young believer who walks with the Lord. Something similar can be seen in the life of Elisha who, while walking with Elijah, was prepared for the task that God had in store for him. As Moses is to Joshua, so is Elijah to Elisha. Joshua was trained by Moses for 40 years; observing him, watching his time with God in Mount Sinai, observing the glow of God on the face of Moses. Joshua saw the 10 plagues, the Red Sea open and the Rod of Moses that became a snake when thrown into the floor. He has seen God in the supernatural. Joshua grew spiritually in that 40 years.
The word translated “spirit” appears to denote spiritual endowment and qualifications. So a person in whom is the Spirit has spiritual endowment and qualifications.
Note the phrase, ‘And lay thine hand upon him.’ It is to be observed that the spiritual qualifications of Joshua did not supersede the necessity of an outward consecration to his office. Samuel had to lay hand on David for spiritual endowment and qualification. Pastor Billy Tan likes to call Mike Barcelona a gentle giant. Whoever Mike is on contact with, whether it is Pastor James Singh, Pastor Peter Chng, Pastor Billy Tan and even a Singaporean chef that opens a cooking school in Phnom Penh, they like him instantly. I recognize that Mike has a calling by the favors he received from Ministers. But I have to lay my hand on him; like what the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua, a man in whom is the spirit and lays thine hand upon him. I have the authority to do that because I am his pastor. It seems that special qualifications for the office were bestowed in connection with the imposition of the hands of Moses, for it is written in Deuteronomy 34:9 that “Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him.”
It is by the influence of the Spirit of God that all good gifts are communicated to the sons of men. It particularly means here, the spirit of wisdom, courage, and the fear of God, with other gifts necessary for a well-qualified governor. Joshua is the successor to Moses. You all know that we are raising the Joshua generation; the next generation. If I have an envious spirit concerning my successor, I do not love my successor. Imagine Moses being envious of Joshua. I will not feel threatened or jealous or envious on who my successor is. Actually if my successor succeeds, in a way I succeed; so why should I be envious of my successor. Envious spirits do not love their successors; but Moses was not one of these. We should concern ourselves, both in our prayers and in our endeavors, for the rising generation, that religion may be maintained and advanced, when we are in our graves.
Of course my successor must have the spirit of God in him. My goal is to determine by prayer and endeavor concentrate on the rising of the Joshua in this church. Because Evangel Tabernacle will be in good hands and the Gospel can continue to be propagated, the church maintained and advanced when Pastor Lily and I go to the graves one day. A successor must have the Spirit of God. One of the characteristic of Joshua is courage; Joshua manifested this courage by fighting the Alamakites; who are the Nephilim or giants. The enemies that Joshua faces are all giants, powerful opponents of the work of God. Joshua not only has courage but humility towards ministering to Moses. Our successor must have a spirit of humility. Joshua has faith and sincerity. When he saw the enemies; his spirit is can do; it can be done. Joshua is a good man. That man is not fully qualified for any service in the church of Christ, who is destitute of the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whatever human abilities he may possess. Joshua was endowed by God with the requisite spiritual qualifications for the office. Moses however, was to lay his hands upon him, both in order to confer formal and public appointment, and also to confirm and strengthen the spiritual gifts already bestowed.
Daniel 5:14 says, ‘I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom.’
In some translation, ‘the spirit of the gods is in you’ is written as ‘an excellent spirit’. Daniel has an excellent spirit. Was it because he had lived a good life, free from the burden of want and therefore his spirit is able to soar? If so then there are others, mainly found among the aristocrats of the world. No. Actually Daniel was weaned in the Lord, as a mother weaned a child. It is believed that Daniel could be a eunuch, because he did not marry and doesn’t have a family. Daniel’s life is not easy.
Daniel though young had to spiritually stand on his own. He couldn’t rely on others to lead him. Most of us will encounter a time in our life where we will be faced with a similar situation. You have to stand on your own. You have to be weaned from bottle feeding and stand for the Lord. Daniel did and you should too. Daniel has a hunger for knowledge. Some people only want to know enough to get by.
Daniel also made a decision not to be defiled by the world. Job made a covenant with his eyes. He says in Job 31:1 ‘I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?’ Daniel had an outstanding walk before the Lord and was well liked by others outside the kingdom. Daniel in whom the Spirit of God is has good habits. We find out that it was Daniel’s habit to pray three times a day. That is a great habit. People who develop good habits grow exceptional spirits.
Of course Daniel loves his nation, Israel. Do you love this church? Or it is just another church. Do you recognize that this is God’s church? That you will do anything to protect this church. You will not harm the pastors of this church and speak badly of this church. There are some people that are so careless and naïve that they knowingly or unknowingly harm this church. How would God feel when you harm his church? Daniel love Israel; the people of God.
I read again Daniel 5:14 says, ‘I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom.’ The person who said this is a King. He is King Belshazzar. Very probably Belshazzar had heard often of him, though he did not think fit to honor him, and use him with that familiarity his father or some say it is his grandfather (Nebuchadnezzar) had; or however he had now just heard of him by the queen. The queen of Babylon described Daniel. Listen to what she said in Daniel 5:11, ‘There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers.’ Men with excellent spirits are wise, intelligent, and full of light, the idea being right thinking that leads to right actions, minds filled with light not darkness. What we feed our minds will pour out of our spirits.
During the time of Belshazzar, Daniel was forgotten at court, forsaken and maybe forlorn; he lived privately, and was then ninety years of age. We may be forgotten by others, the world, relatives and even close friends. We may be forced to live a private live; in obscurity and we may also already be advanced in age. I call these the hidden years; or the years we are concealed by God. I hope to preach a sermon on being concealed by God. Somehow or other it seems that all great men of God has one common characteristics; they were concealed for a period of time. Enoch was concealed by God. Noah was concealed for maybe hundreds of years spending time building the Ark. Joseph was kept in prison for at least 10 years. David had to live in caves for a number of years. Paul was kept hidden after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus for a number of years before he appears again. How about Simeon and Anna? Luke 2:25-28 says, ‘Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God. And Luke 2:36-38 says, ‘There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Simeon and Anna were noted for their devotion to God, sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice, serving in the temple but were kept hidden for years and waiting for the Holy Spirit’s promise. A man or woman in whom the Spirit of God is, may be old but he or she will be one with a powerful and lasting influence.
In conclusion, a man in whom the Spirit of God is, is a habitation of God; a permanent residence. Every Christian knows that God doesn’t dwell in manmade temples or buildings. Instead, our Lord has chosen to live in human vessels — that is, in the hearts and bodies of his people. All who are in Christ make up his temple — his abode, his permanent residence. Every believer can boast with confidence, “God lives in me.” This is what happens in the day of Pentecost. God has no other physical residence — no nation, no capital (not even Jerusalem), no mountaintop. He doesn’t reside in the clouds or sky, the darkness or daylight, the sun, moon or stars. Of course, the Lord is everywhere, his presence filling all things. But according to his word, God makes his home in his people. The blood-cleansed heart is his permanent dwelling.