WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Written by Ron Hutchison

There seems to be much confusion today concerning the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt that a study of the work of the Holy Spirit is sometimes difficult, but so is a study of God the Father and Jesus the Son.

With enough work and effort on our part in studying the scriptures and reading everything the Bible says about His work, we will be able to come to correct conclusions concerning the work of the Holy Spirit both in the first century and today.

The Bible teaches that Deity is composed of three persons or personalities: God, the Father; God the Word, (who we know as the Son of God or Jesus Christ); and, God the Holy Spirit. These three persons or personalities were in the beginning, and existed before the beginning of this world: It is interesting (although I don't claim to be able to explain everything about it), that the word "God" in Genesis 1:1-2 in the Hebrew is plural. The passage 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." The word "God" is translated from the Hebrew word 'elohiym. This word is plural. I am convinced that the word indicates the ONENESS or the UNITY of the Godhead but it also indicates that there is more than one person in the Godhead. In this context is mentioned God and the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God refers to the Holy Spirit. In verse 26, the Bible uses some more interesting language where it speaks of God creating man: "And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: Again the plural is used - in this case the plural pronouns US and OUR, indicating more than one person involved in the word 'elohiym or that which is translated by the English word "God."

Now do we understand everything there is to know about the plurality of God? I admit that I do not, but the Bible does give us further insight into the nature of God. For example, in John 1:1-3, the Bible speaks of The Word:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." It is interesting to note that when the Bible says that "the Word was WITH GOD," the word "God" is, in the Greek, singular. But when it says "the Word WAS GOD," the word "God" is plural, again showing the oneness and unity of the Godhead. And when the John says "the same was in the beginning with God," the word "God" is again singular. I believe that when the Bible says "the Word was with God" and "the same was in the beginning with God," the word "God" is referring to the Father. When it uses the phrase "the word WAS GOD" it is referring to the fact that the Word has all the characteristics of Deity - He is Deity - He is truly God, just as the Father is.

Verse 14 of this same chapter makes very clear that the Word refers to Jesus Christ, for there it speaks of Him coming in the flesh. Yet, it is interesting that the Bible says that the Word or Jesus Christ is the one who made all things. This agrees with the inspired apostle Paul who wrote in Colossians 1:16-17 (speaking of Christ),
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Thus, Paul agrees with what John says and tells us that Jesus created all things - He was the active agent in the creation of all things. Thus, He was not a created being as the Jehovah Witnesses claim, He was the Creator.

The Bible is clear in showing that although the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, yet they are three separate persons. All three were present at Jesus' baptism.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17). Here we find Jesus who was on earth being baptized. We see the Spirit of God (The Holy Spirit) descending and lighting upon Jesus. And we see the Father speaking from heaven. All three present, yet distinct from one another each doing separate and different things.

Jesus spoke of the three when He told of the Spirit's work.
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me..." (John 15:26). Here we see the Comforter (who is the Spirit of truth) who will be sent from the Father. We see Jesus who will send the Holy Spirit from the Father. Again, we see all three mentioned - all present - yet all distinct from one another in what they are doing and what is being said.

Paul's closing words to the Corinthians refers to all three.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13:14). Here the word God in the phrase "the love of God" is singular. It, no doubt is referring to the Father. The Father (God) is contrasted with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost (as the KJV says) or the Holy Spirit (as the ASV renders it). There can be no doubt that there are three distinct persons mentioned here.

Jesus commanded baptism in the name of all three.
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:18-20). Again, we have all three persons mentioned. The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Now, in the remainder of our study we will consider the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit --- We will show that He is a person, not a mere influence or impersonal force.

First, I would suggest to you,
the works of the Holy Spirit show His personality. The Holy Spirit speaks. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith... (1 Timothy 4:1).

He witnesses or testifies. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26).

He would teach and remind the apostles. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).

He guided the apostles. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:12-13).

He led and forbade. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not (Acts 16:6-7).

The Holy Spirit possesses the characteristics of a person or personality. He has knowledge. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

He has love. Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me (Romans 15:30).

He exercises will. ...but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

He has goodness. Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst (Nehemiah 9:20). 

All these are characteristics of a person, a being possessing intelligence.

The Holy Spirit suffers slights and injuries which can only be ascribed to a personality. He could be grieved. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).

He can be blasphemed. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

He can be despised. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29). 

He can be lied to and resisted. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? .... Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye (Acts 5:3; 7:51).

A mere principle or influence cannot sustain any of these slights--Only a personality can be so treated.

The Holy Spirit possesses attributes of a divine personality. His connection with the Father and Son indicates His deity and He is called God. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God (Acts 5:3-4).

He is omniscient--He knows all. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

He is Omnipresent--He is everywhere at once. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:7-10).

He is eternal. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14).

The works of the Holy Spirit reveal His deity. He had a role in creation--He brought design and order to the universe. 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 (Genesis 1:2) ... By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens (Job 26:13).

He has a work in conversion. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). The word of God is the instrument used by the Holy Spirit to instruct man and produce faith in the heart of man. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Salvation is brought about by the preaching of the word of God which was given by the Holy Spirit. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (1 Corinthians 1:21).

His work in performing miracles is seen. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.... (Matthew 12:28).
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

Conclusion.

We have demonstrated that the Holy Spirit is a divine being referred to in Bible as "He," not "it." He is not merely some mysterious influence or impersonal power. He is Deity, just as God the Father and Christ the Son.

Christians walk in fellowship or communion with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:13).

Have you obeyed the gospel of Christ as set forth by the Holy Spirit in the inspired New Testament?

God's plan of salvation

Believe in Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24; Mark 16:16)
Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38)
Confess your faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 8:37)
Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4).


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