The Holy Spirit
Reprinted from May 2011
Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (all were filled, not just the Apostles; due to the Cross, the Holy Spirit could now come into the hearts and lives of all Believers to abide permanently [Jn. 14:16]), and began to speak with other Tongues (the initial physical evidence that one has been baptized with the Spirit, and was predicted by the Prophet Isaiah [Isa. 28:9-12], and by Christ [Mk. 16:17; Jn. 15:26; 16:13]), as the Spirit gave them utterance (meaning they did not initiate this themselves, but that it was initiated by the Spirit; as we shall see, these were languages known somewhere in the world, but not by the speaker).”
The Holy Spirit is talked about as much as any Member of the Godhead today. There is much confusion and much error concerning the exact definition of the Third Person of the Triune God.
The Holy Spirit is a Person, a real Being, Who thinks, acts, wills, feels, loves, and speaks. He cannot be seen by the natural eye, but His Actions fulfill all the requirements of a personality.
The Holy Spirit is not a thing or an it. He is not a universal mind or some vague life-giving force. He is not some fuzzy, abstract idea, nor is He a material or an ethereal substance. He is a Person, but He is also Deity. He is the Third Person of the Godhead – the Trinity. Now this does not mean the Holy Spirit is one-third God or one-third of God. God cannot be divided.
Neither does it mean that He is One of Three. God is One God. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is One LORD,” yet, He is Eternally self- existing in Three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these Persons is fully God, yet each is an individual Person within Himself. Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
Now, because all Three Members of the Godhead are God (which infers infinite Knowledge, infinite Love, infinite Mercy, and infinite Justice), all Three are always in complete agreement on everything. God is Omni- scient (all-knowing) and thus, always knows the Perfect Way for anything, for there is one Perfect Solution to anything – whether or not we (as humans) can see this Perfect Solution. It is, therefore, possible for the Beings to be in Perfect Unity at all times – if those Three Persons all have infinite (unrestricted and unending) knowledge as the Godhead does.
This is why it is possible to have “Three Members in One,” which is what the words “Triune,” “Trinity,” and “Godhead” describe. It is Three Individuals – each with His Own Personality, Awareness, and Mission – occupying the Position of God.
The Three Persons of the Godhead never argue or debate. Each one knows, at all times – even before things happen – what should be done and what will be done. They, therefore, don’t even have to discuss matters. Each knows before, during, and after, what should be done and what will be done. Each knows before, during, and after what should and will happen.
The final result, as we know, will be God’s Will. Thus, the Three Persons Who constitute God agree together always – never debating, never voting, and never disagreeing.
All Three Members of the Trinity are equal Omni- science (knowledge of everything) thus, Three Minds that act as One. They are in Unity. And the Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes that both God the Father and God the
The story of Ananias and Sapphira is told in Acts 5:3-4, “But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . .?” and then just a sentence or two later he states, “You have not lied unto men, but unto God.” This confirms that the Holy Spirit is God because Scripture here states that when Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit he was simultaneously lying to God.
HOLY SPIRIT – HOLY GHOST
I need to clarify something here because it can be confusing to some people to hear the term “Holy Spirit” used while at other times the term “Holy Ghost” is used. There is really no difference between “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” for they mean exactly the same thing.
In the original Manuscript the Greek word used for “Spirit” and “Ghost” was “pneuma,” which literally means “breath” and “breeze,” but, came to be used for a “spirit” or “ghost,” which could make a candle flame flutter, or the leaves rustle.
The Third Person of the Trinity was referred to by the Apostles as “God’s Pneuma,” which could be translated as “the Breath of God,” “the Essence of God,” “God’s Spirit” or the “Holy Spirit” and “Holy Ghost.” We (because the King James Translators chose to use the two terms “Holy Spirit” and “Holy Ghost”) are most familiar with these two terms. They can be used interchangeably.
The expression “ghost” is an Old English word and its meaning has changed somewhat since King James ordered his great Translation. Today when one says “ghost” one usually thinks of haunted houses and dis-embodied spirits floating around causing terror. Today’s ghosts are invariably evil. Originally the word “ghost” did not have this meaning or connotation. The term “Holy Ghost” was perfectly in keeping with the beautiful poetic language of the King James Version. Today in modern usage, the word or term commonly preferred is “Holy Spirit” and this is always proper. Either term is correct or acceptable however for they are both found in God’s Word.
The Three are all of One Purpose, One Design, and One Desire, and One Essence. They are One in fulfillment of the Duties pertaining to the Godhead, yet, there are certain statements that can be made for each that don’t apply to all Jesus is the Son of the Father. He is not the Father of the Son, so you cannot say that Jesus is the Father, while you can say that Jesus is the Son. Conversely, the Father is not the Son, but Jesus is the Son. The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, while neither the Father nor the Son proceed from the Holy Spirit.
In referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself said that if you say a word against Him it will not be forgiven! Jesus pointed out that you could say something against the Heavenly Father, or even the Lord Himself, and it could be forgiven (if one asks for forgiveness). But He stressed that blasphemous utterances against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven. So, there is a difference even in what can be said to each, or about each.
The Holy Spirit is present upon this Earth, while God the Father and Jesus are in Heaven. Jesus sits at the Right Hand of the Father – and the Father does not, of course, sit at the Right Hand of Jesus. We know that there is an Omnipresent factor in the locations of the Three Members of the Trinity, but, these specific differences should be noted. While there are differences in description, the Holy Spirit is nevertheless Totally God.
The Holy Spirit is Eternal, just as God is Eternal. This means that He always was, is now, and ever will be. He had no beginnings and He will have no end. In Hebrews 9:14 it states, “Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself,” confirms that the Holy Spirit is Eternal.
The Holy Spirit is Omniscient, which means the Holy Spirit is All-knowing and All-wise. His Wisdom cannot be increased because He already knows all things. Nobody directs, counsels, or teaches the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the teacher. As God, He is Perfect in knowledge and understanding. I Corinthians 2:10-11 declares that the deep things of God are always open to the Holy Spirit. He knows everything that God the Father knows. “The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” The deepest limits of knowledge are an open book to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is also Omnipotent or All-powerful. It is impossible for Him to be more powerful. The Holy Spirit cannot be restricted, He is All-powerful. His Power is seen both in the Creation and in His Work in the world today.
Someone might ask, “Well if He is All-powerful, why doesn’t He do something about all the problems existing in the world today?”
He can do anything He wants to do, but there is the factor of Mercy here – Mercy mixed with Compassion and Love. For you see, when the Holy Spirit does finally intrude to bring forth God’s Righteous Kingdom on Earth, all problems will be Divinely removed. But, at that moment everyone’s “second chance” will be lost. The Mercy involved in this means that Judgment is currently being withheld. Compassion and Love enter in because the sinner is being given the opportunity for Salvation and Redemption from sin before God finally intervenes.
THE POWER OF THE HIGHEST
There is a time when Judgment will come, evil will be punished, and the Orders of God the Father eternally established throughout Creation. Then the Orders of God will be carried out (His Will be done) – with eternal punishment for those who have not responded to God’s Mercy and Love. The Great Tribulation is coming when the Holy Spirit will resolutely carry out the Orders of God the Father and God’s Wrath will be poured out upon this Earth.
Even though evil isn’t immediately stopped and punished (and the Power of the Holy Spirit immediately demonstrated) the Holy Spirit is Omnipotent. He is referred to as, “The Power of the Highest” in Luke 1:35. In other words, He is Power personified. He is fully God – and through Him the Power of the entire Godhead is fully expressed. It is God’s Desire that every Believer be “tapped in” to this Power.
Acts 1:8 says:
“But you shall receive Power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth.”