Another Spirit


It’s nice to believe.  Ever wonder why certain people in the Bible believed God under extraordinary circumstances?  Like Daniel’s three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and AbedNego) who were saved from the fiery furnace… or David’s victory over Goliath.  How about Esther and Mordecai believing God for victory over Haman the Agagite who was the enemy of the Jews’?  These people demonstrated extreme belief, trusting and suffering for God even when the odds were against them.


There is another example of such belief in the Bible… Caleb and Joshua.  In the book of Numbers God commanded that twelve spies be sent to spy out the land of Canaan.  Canaan was the land that God had promised His people Israel.  Caleb and Joshua were among the twelve spies who searched the land.  Below is the story and the report the twelve spies brought back to the children of Israel.  The passage is long, but for this interpretations purpose, its inclusion is necessary:


Numbers 13

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.
Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori.
Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph.
Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea (Joshua) the son of Nun.
Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.
Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi.
Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi.
Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli.
Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael.
Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.
Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.
These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.  And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.  So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron;
where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.  And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.  And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.  Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.  The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.  And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.


As you can see, the majority of the spies did not believe God would deliver the land into their hands.  You see, God did not command Moses to send the twelve spies into the land so that they could perceive with their own eyes whether or not they would be able to possess the land, God had already promised Israel the land (Numbers 13:2).  God basically wanted to show off the land in an effort to encourage them, but because of Israel’s unbelief, this backfired.  


Numbers 14:1-6

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.  And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!  And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?  And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.  And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:


Right here is where Joshua and Caleb come alive.  All the other spies, because of their unbelief, have utterly disheartened the people.  The people are now so disheartened that they are actually thinking about ousting Moses and choosing a new leader to go back into slavery!!!  Thank God for the Spirit with Joshua and Caleb who believed God and brought a sense of hope into the situation.


Numbers 14:7-24


And they (Caleb and Joshua)  spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.  But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?  I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.  And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.  Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying.  Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.  And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,  The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.  Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.  And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:  But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.  Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:  But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.


You see, right here God points to the fact that Caleb had “another spirit with him” (John 14:17).  What do you think God meant by that?  I will explain later but for now let’s get through the rest of the discourse: 


Numbers 14:26- 38


And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.  Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me.  Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.  But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.  But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.  And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.  After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.  I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.  And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.  But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.

From the above passage it is clear that God judged the men who slandered the land.  Through slandering those spies enticed the entire congregation to murmur.  This not only upset God (He was almost ready to consume all the people in His anger), but their murmuring also became a witness against them.  Their murmuring set up a breach… a breach that would last 40 years.  Because of Israel’s unbelief, all those who murmured were left to wander and die in the wilderness. 


This interpretation clearly illustrates how unbelief can not only bring disaster upon you personally (Revelation 21:8), but can also take down and discourage many of the people who are standing with you.  These ten spies, because of their doubts, not only lost their own lives, but became a big part of the reason that none of the congregation of Israel, except for Caleb and Joshua, got to enter into the promised land.  I will not put all the responsibility on these ten spies.  The congregation could have believed Caleb and Joshua when they rose up in belief, but because they were doubters already (Numbers 14:22), the ten spies slanderous report simply ignited the doubt already alive in their hearts.


It’s apparent Caleb and Joshua stood up for God’s word.  They believed God.  God even said that Caleb had “another spirit.”  I liked this statement a lot the first time I read it.  God did not say, “Wow, Caleb believed me!!”  He didn’t say, “Wow, Caleb’s got some faith.”  No, God said Caleb had “another spirit.”  Some would say Caleb had a spirit of faith.  Some would say Caleb had a fighting spirit.  I then noticed something in the New Testament:


1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.


The reason Caleb believed was because Caleb had a spirit of love for his God.  This was “another spirit” which Caleb possessed, besides the doubting spirit of the ten spies.  Notice… even though Caleb was a valiant man (Joshua 14:11), his valiancy was not his strength.  In his speech to the children of Israel, Caleb humbly gives all glory and credit to God as being the one who would “choose” to bring about the victory and deliver the Israelites.  


Numbers 14:7-9


And they (Caleb and Joshua) spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.


Caleb was able to shout out with belief that day because LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS.  Caleb loved his God in the same way David loved his God (Psalm 31:23).  David fought Goliath in the valley of Elah that day because David would rather die than to hear his God being blasphemed (all the other men couldn’t care less – 1 Samuel 17:45-47).  It was David’s and Caleb’s love that inspired their faith (Luke 7:47-50).  Faith and hope do not inspire love, love inspires hope and faith… that’s why it’s the greatest gift:


1 Corinthians 13:13


And now abide faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).


In fact, when our love is made perfect, then outside of ourselves is all we see. 


1 John (4:17-19)


Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.


When our love is perfect then we aren’t even able to see ourselves because perfect love is not focused on self at all.  When Caleb or David stood in the mist of death they didn’t have fear because their perfect love was not focusing on themselves, it was focusing on the God who had shown Himself faithful and who was “well able” to deliver them out of all tribulation (1 Samuel 17:34-37, Numbers 14:7-9).


Take the example of a hero jumping in front of a bus in order to save a child.  People will say that man was incredibly brave to do such a thing.  But ask the man why he did it and he will say, “I saw this child about to be run over and all I could think about was the child, for that reason, I jumped in front of the bus to save the child.  I did not even consider my own life.”  His love was perfect.  It was only focused on the child’s wellbeing and for this reason, he had no fear.  It is impossible to hold fear if you are not focusing on yourself.  It’s like filling a container you refuse to hold.  Fear only happens when your thoughts are centered on yourself.  Perfect love means to be focused on everything but yourself, and this is the love of God we are to strive for (1 John 4:19). 


Now that we can see it is love that inspires faith and belief, I want to highlight a problem existing both in the church and the world (1 Timothy 2:1-4). 


Because we as a church have not focused on perfecting our love, we have become a great source of discouragement toward one another.  Love believes all things.  It’s simple… but because we do not love, we do not give people the benefit of the doubt.  We automatically assume the worst, and this is a shame.  Because we ignorantly do this, we are certainly devouring one another:


Galatians 5:14-15


For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.


We don’t even give people a chance to be human.  We don’t give them a chance to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, or even to work out their own issues for that matter.  The Lord has shown me very clearly that because we judge and discourage one another, that we are indeed devouring each other.  Asking questions is always a good way to demonstrate to people that you want to understand them.  This also gives you an opportunity to learn about the person.  If you truly care about people, learn to ask many questions and don’t ask these questions with a loaded desire just to say something.  People can see right through that.  If your attention is directed toward someone, then aren’t they the focus?  What better way then to ask a lot of questions so you can get to the heart of a matter and then mercifully bring resolution to a situation.  Trust me, if you ask someone many questions with a loving spirit, and they see you are generally interested… they will open up and drop their guard and the work that gets done can be glorious.    


I want to affirm the Lord was able to show me this interpretation clearly because I am as guilty as anyone.  He showed me that I was indeed judging people for the intensions of their hearts, not even giving these people the chance to make the mistakes they might eventually learn from.  He showed me that I was wrong for doing this because most people are not even aware of the intensions of their own hearts.  For this reason, God would not even hold them accountable for these secret faults (Psalm 19:12).  He showed me love believes all things.  He said if I truly loved the people I was around then I would give them the benefit of the doubt, and stop looking for something wrong.  I was shamed when God showed me this.  I thought I always had to cover my back and make sure that I wasn’t getting duped.  But when you do this, you become critical and this is not the spirit the Lord wants in His children.  He wants us to Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Yes, we might get taken advantage of (1 Corinthians 6:7).  We might get duped if we give someone the benefit of the doubt.  I believe we need to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), giving people the benefit of the doubt until such time that they have given us a reason not to (Revelation 2:2).  Sometimes your simple belief in someone will actually inspire them.  A lot of people just need encouraging.  People now-a-days are so used to discouragement that they’re just waiting for someone to come and knock them down with it.  Try to do the opposite, try believing someone’s intensions are right and that they’re in it for the right reasons.  By doing this, you might actually breathe life into a person who’s currently struggling to understand themselves.  A lot of people can be molded by our belief systems.  Let’s use the spirit of love in order to encourage and inspire one another rather than devour one another.     


If you’re a Christian, then you understand your original nature.  We are all fallen sinners.  Let’s help the lost world by showing ourselves as good witnesses through our belief and encouragement.  I believe if Jesus were here today and a girl were to come up to him and say “I am having trouble in my dance class, I am discouraged and I need to do these things and I just can’t!! what am I going to do?  I am so frustrated!!”  Do you think Jesus would respond by saying, “well, before I can talk to you regarding this dance class you must admit to me you’re a sinner and then you have to accept me as your personal savior?”  I don’t think so, Jesus would never do this.  Jesus would want to be a loving witness toward the situation.  He would help her by going to the root of the problem, and by bringing edification to the situation.  Edification is truth mingled with love (a good witness).  Part of that love is an encouraging spirit based on that truth.  Lets try to edify people by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5), and by believing all things even when our sinful nature wants to backbite, devour or even point the finger.  If we are truly able to do this, then we will be able to inspire a generation of overcomes (Isaiah 58:9,12).