Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Easy answer: In Psalm 51:11, David says: "Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." So, the Holy Spirit was in/with David when he wrote Psalm 51. Isaiah 63:11 also says: Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he that put his Holy Spirit within him? Even as early as Genesis 6:3 it says: "Then the Lord said, 'My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years'.” So here we have direct evidence that the Spirit of the Lord (which is the Holy Spirit) is IN man, not just WITH man.
The presence of Holy Spirit and active in the Old Testament period starting from creation. But the presence of Holy Spirit with Old Testament characters only for a specific period of time for specific tasks. Even God's grace was also with these persons like Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob,Joseph, Moses to name a few. Even all the prophets were also filled with the Holy Spirit. Today the Holy Spirit is active and can feel the presence of Holy Spirit to those who are in Christ.
I agree with the others that the Holy Spirit is God, is eternal, co-equal with the Father and Son and posesses all divine attributes. He like the Son was very active in the Old Testament but apparently did not permanently indwell individuals as he has post resurrection. In John 14 the Lord gives his promise of the Holy Spirit (Comforter, helper, advocate) who will in essence take his place. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:16-17). Dwelleth WITH YOU (present) and SHALL BE IN YOU (future). In John 16:7 Christ tells the disciples his departure is expedient (profitable, beneficial) for them. If he doesn't depart, the Spirit will not come. I personally believe when Christ breathed on them and said "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22), they at that time received and were permanently indwelled and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Many will disagree stating that the indwelling didn't occur until Pentecost but we need to remember who breathed the breath of life into Adam and told Lazarus to "come forth". (there was no waiting period). In light of the scripture referenced David's plea that the Lord would not take his holy spirit from him (Psalms 51:11) indicates the Spirit did not permanently indwell believers then as he has since Christ's resurrection.
The Spirit of God created the world. He has no beginning and end, so He exists with His created beings from the old to new testaments, to judgment times and everlasting life. But He chooses people to be with Him because He is most Holy, and does not act according to your demands!
The question was asked, “Was the Holy Spirit with the people in the Old Testament?" “Yes,” the Holy Spirit was indeed present with the people in the days of the Old Testament, empowering individuals such as Bezalel (Ex. 31:1-3) and Othniel (Judges 3:10), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), on Saul and his messengers (1 Sam. 19:20), and others. A central role of the Spirit’s work is to cause a man to declare Jesus as LORD, making him a true child of God, a clear reference to the salvation of an individual (Rom. 8:16). Since we know there is only one way to the Father (Jn. 14:6), this means all persons counted as saved in the TaNaKH (OT) must also have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to have faith in the coming Messiah—even without knowing his name! Later Apostolic Writings teach us plainly that regeneration of a man cannot take place without the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Read and observe the language of the passage from Paul in 1 Cor. 12:1-3. Despite all this, his ministry was slightly different back then than that of today because of his unique role in what happened after Acts chapter two. Perhaps it is best to think of his ministry in the TaNaKH as “less expansive” back then as compared to today. “Less expansive” is not to be equated with “non-existent.” In a very real way, the presence and primary ministry of the Ruach HaKodesh as we know him today, would always have to wait until the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Yeshua (Jesus). This is because he was specifically sent to testify of Yeshua after Yeshua left this earth (Jn. 14:25, 26). By the way, did you know that the Hebrew word for Spirit is “ruach,” which can also be translated variously as “breath,” or “wind”? When Messianic Jews such as myself refer to the Holy Spirit, quite often we use the term “Ruach HaKodesh.” Since the Hebrew word “kodesh” is a noun, a verse like Ps. 51:11 where the phrase “Ruach HaKodesh” is found literally conveys the sense of “the Spirit of Holiness.” But “Holy Spirit” (with “holy” functioning as an adjective) works just fine as well.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.