A man reveals his true self by his spirit. Unfaithfulness is a spirit. “A stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Ps.78:8).
The twelve men that went to spy the land of Canaan defamed the land (Num.13:31,32). The Scriptures say that Caleb had another spirit, and persevered in the purpose of conquering the land. There two spirits. Ten men had the spirit of cowardice, and Joshua and Caleb had the spirit of courage and boldness “But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it” (Num.14:24). They were two different spirits.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel” (Gen.3:15). In this Scriptures Jehovah puts enmity between the serpent and the woman. This proves that both these antagonistic spirits come from Jehovah. They are breaths of the same God. One of the spirits is a good spirit; the other one is bad (Neh.9:20). “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah terrorized him” (1 Sam.16:14).
The good spirit from Jehovah left Saul when he sinned, and was placed over David (1 Sam.16:13,14). David, filled with the good Spirit, would sing to free Saul from the evil spirit, but this evil spirit was stronger and tried to kill David. “Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul’s hand. And Saul hurled the spear for he thought, ‘I will pin David to the wall.’ But David escaped from his presence twice” (1 Sam.18:10,11). In just about one second of confrontation between the two spirits, David had to flee in order to save his life (1 Sam.19:9,10).
This is fantastic! The good spirit fleeing from the evil spirit! In this dark world evil prevails over good, and Jehovah declares himself the author of evil! “If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not Jehovah done it?” (Amos 3:6), and “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?” (Lam.3:38).
The evil spirit of Jehovah is so strong and so superior to his good spirit, that the great men of the Old Testament fell into extremely serious sins. Abraham, the father of faith, handed his wife over to Pharaoh in order to protect himself. It is obvious that it was the evil spirit who compelled him to do it. Had the good Spirit guided him, he would have given his life to protect Sarai. The New Testament confirms this in 1 John 3:16. Isaac fallowed the bad example of his father Abraham, giving Rebekah, his wife, to Abimelech, king of Gerar, in order to save his own life (Gen.26:6,7). Samson was Nazirite, that is, consecrated from the womb (Judges 13:7). When he had reached adulthood, he went to Timnah, and fell in love with one of the daughters of the Philistines. His father tried to dissuade him, for in Moses’ law, Jehovah had prohibited any union between the Canaanite people and Israel. Samson faced his father and disobeyed him, marrying the woman. Which spirit compelled Samson to commit such sin? The spirit of Jehovah! “And the Spirit of Jehovah began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25). Certainly, that was not the good Spirit, because Samson went against the law of Jehovah (Deut.7:1-4). The truth is that in the Old Testament, the evil spirit of Jehovah prevailed against the good one.
In the New Testament, the picture is totally different. First, God the Father has just one Spirit. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling” (Eph.4:4). The evil spirit comes neither from the Father, nor from Jesus. Second, the good Spirit given by Jesus has much more power than the evil spirits (Mark 16:17,18; Acts 5:14-16), and “And Phillip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Phillip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed” (Acts 8:5-7). All the believers who have the Holy Spirit, nowadays, rebuke the evil spirits, which leave the possessed crying out and foaming at the mouth. A person has no need of being a great prophet to cast out a demon. Any believer can do this prodigy in the name of Jesus.
There’s a fact in the New Testament that calls our attention. It is the story of the young lunatic, possessed of demons. The apostles were not able to deliver him and brought him to Jesus (Matt.17:14-21). Why couldn’t they? Because Christ had not finished his work on the cross and they were still under the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, the evil spirit was stronger than the good spirit, and so the disciples could not overcome him. But Christ has all power in heaven and on earth. He grants this power to his disciples (Luke 24:49). And David did not have this power; therefore, the spirit that was over Saul and, after that, over David, was not the Holy Spirit.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira