An insidious attack, on the Godhood of Holy Spirit, is being made by men professing to be faithful Adventists. They are touring the country, speaking, and making videos which deny the Personhood—and even existence—of the Holy Spirit.
HERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF EVIDENCE FROM GOD’S WORD PROVING THIS Here is an sample of their devastating statements, downgrading the Holy Spirit: FRED ALABACK—
HERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF EVIDENCE FROM GOD’S WORD PROVING THIS
Here is an sample of their devastating statements, downgrading the Holy Spirit:
BILL STRINGFELLOW—"You see, we’ve been thinking that the Holy Spirit is a real live being . . Really, it’s the Spirit of God . . The Holy Spirit is the mind, thoughts, words, influence, and power of God and His Son."—Bill Stringfellow, Video sermon, Part Two, March 1994.
EDWARD EDSTROM—"The ‘Holy Spirit’ is the nature of God’s Spirit . . the Soul of his Maker . . a part of Himself, His inner being."—Edward Edstrom, Human Spirit, 11.
SCOTT STANLEY, JOHN SMITH, JOHN ENCISCO—"The Holy Spirit is the person, or spirit, of the Father and the Son."—Scott Stanley, John Smith, John Encisco, Booklet, 16.
CALEB ALONSO—"The Spirit of the Father and the spirit of the Son is the Holy Spirit . . The Spirit is the light of God."—Caleb Alonso, Video sermon, Part Two, December 14, 1991.
MARTY WOLD—"The Holy Spirit is not some separate, self-existent, Being; but is the very Spirit, the Inner Self, the Inner Being, ‘the vital presence,’ the inner Person and Personality of my heavenly Father."—Marty Wold, Open form letter, August 19, 1987.
"Put thy trust in the Divine Breath—the Holy Spirit—which is the functioning of the Absolute [God] upon the buddhic plane."—Dictionary of All Scripture and Myths, Gaskell, 816.
"The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Godhead—the infinite source of all. It is the Breath of Atman,—the infinite power of God. It is not separate from, but operative through the Christ—the higher Self."—Gaskell, 366.
"Medieval theology generally distinquished . . the Holy Ghost [as] being the copula [or union] between the Father and the Son."—Gaskell, 770.
"The difference between the Father and the Son is this—‘The Father’ is to express God-hidden, ‘The Son’ is God manifest, and the ‘Holy Ghost’ is the knowledge of the Spirit of Truth, proceeding from the experience of both, as God hidden, and revealed."—Gaskell, 770.
"In the heart of the Trinity [or One God] the Creator laughs and gives birth to the child. The child laughs back at the Creator and together they give birth to the Spirit."—Meister Eckhart, quoted in The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, by Matthew Fox, 218-219.
"I [Father of All Things] order you [Son of Light] to go forth, to become as a guide to those who wander in darkness, that all man within whom dwells the spirit of My Mind (The Universal Mind) may be saved by My Mind in you, which shall call forth My Mind in them . . for I am the Mind of the mysteries."—Hall, quoting Hermes, XL.
In the pages which follow, you will find a remarkably complete presentation of what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say on the Third Person of the Godhead.
You now have in hand the evidence to fully refute the heresy that the Holy Spirit—the One who brings conviction of sin and guidance along the pathway toward eternal life—is not an actual Person.
This study is divided into two sections: The first provides you with quotations about the Holy Spirit; the second contains important statements about the Three Person Godhead.
— SECTION ONE —
THE PERSON AND DEITY
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is now being taught in our own ranks that Jesus Christ is nothing more than a high-ranking angel,—and the Holy Spirit does not exist at all! (Among professed Christians, there is generally no controversy over the nature of the Father. All sides agree that He exists.)
This present study will concern itself with defending the Bible-Spirit of Prophecy truth that the Holy Spirit exists as a distinct, separate Personage, and that He is the Third Person of the God, fully divine and equal to the other two Persons of the Godhead.
Checking into what is being taught outside our denomination, I discover that liberals and skeptics generally deny the existence of the Holy Spirit entirely. These liberals include not only leaders in the most liberal Protestant churches, but the great majority of religion teachers in the colleges and universities.
In contrast, conservative Protestants, who believe that the Bible is an inspired book, generally believe that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead.
In view of this, which side do you want to be on? Do you want to rank yourself with the liberals and skeptics or with the people who accept the Bible as the Word of God? Do you want to rank yourself with the liberals and skeptics or with the people who accept the Bible as the Word of God?
Why is it that Bible-believing Christians generally believe in the Holy Spirit? —It is because the Bible evidence is clear that this is so.
In addition, Advent believers have the Spirit of Prophecy—and the statements in it, supporting the existence of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead. They are also powerful.
In this present study, we shall consider what both fully inspired sources of divine instruction have to tell us.
Down through the centuries, the Bible facts most controverted have been those which directly affect our salvation. Satan wants to eradicate these facts from our minds. Let us state them here::
Christ is fully equal to the Father in every way. He has existed from all eternity. He became fully man, like us. He was fully tempted, but never sinned. He really died on the cross. He ministers for us in the Sanctuary above. It required His life, death, and heavenly mediation to provide an atonement for us. There is a coming judgment, and we must now obey the law of God, by the enabling grace of Jesus Christ, which includes the keeping of the Bible Sabbath. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is working to bring us to repentance. There is a real devil and actual demons. The Bible accurately instructs us in the way of salvation. Sincere prayer is heard and answered by Heaven.
Two crucial facts in the working out of the great plan of redemption are these: the truth that Christ is fully God and has existed from all eternity, and the truth that the Holy Spirit is a distinct Personage and the Third Person of the Godhead.
It is vital that you have a personal understanding of these truths, for they affect your salvation.
It is astounding that frail, fallible human beings, who so much need the Holy Spirit themselves, are willing to cooperate with Satan in downgrading Him. There are those who dare to teach that the Third Person of the Godhead does not exist!
"The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden."—Acts of the Apostles, 52 (Desire of Ages, 669).
To begin with, let us clear the record by stating that we do not believe in the dogma of "the Trinity." We do not even use the term (nor does the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy). The "Trinity" concept contains the error that there are three members of the Trinity and the three are one, not only in purpose—but also in person. That is an error. We do not worship a "three in one" God.
Instead, we believe in the doctrine of the Godhead, which teaches that there are three fully divine Persons (separate individuals) in the Godhead; and, although they are one in character, purpose, eternity, and divinity, they are not one in person.
REPLYINGTO THE ARGUMENTS
AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
The information you need:
1 - The information in this section will provide a basic understanding of the situation, so you can better deal with those who are being misled by claims that the Holy Spirit does not exist.
2 - The Bible-Spirit of Prophecy statements, which follow this section, provide you with an abundance of Inspired evidence.
3 - Following that, the section on the Godhead provides additional, solid Bible-Spirit of Prophecy evidence that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person in the Godhead.
Here is a statement of the primary error taught about the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is not an actual Person, but instead only an "attribute of God." He is the "spirit of God," but not an actual Person. Therefore, since He is not a member of the Godhead, it does not have three Persons in it.
Along with this, the critic frequently declares that Christ is not a member of the Godhead either! (In a companion study to this one, Christ is a Divine Person; we provide you with a wealth of evidence proving the divinity and eternity of Christ.)
In attempting to prove his point, the critic quotes a few passages which speak about the "spirit of God." There are a number of such statements, and it may be difficult to know if a particular one is speaking about the Holy Spirit ("the Spirit moved upon them," etc.) or "the spirit of God" (as in "He was grieved in His spirit," etc.)
How then should we meet these arguments of the critics? Here is how to do it:
You need not enter into a discussion whether this or that quotation refers to the Holy Spirit or "the spirit of God."
Instead, focus on those divinely inspired statements which clearly demonstrate the existence of the Holy Spirit. Here they are:
1 - Statements which show that the Holy Spirit is an actual Person.
2 - Statements which show that He exhibits the qualities and actions of a person.
3 - Statements which say that there are three members of the Godhead.
This present study provides you with those quotations.
However, in order to better understand the situation we are dealing with here, it is best that you understand several things:
1 - The Holy Spirit has a unique position: He never reveals Himself in a visible form.We have absolutely no record of that ever occurring—in heaven or on earth. Yet this need not be surprising, for we are also told that the angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14); and we know that they do, or choose not to, appear in visible bodies. Angels are not flesh and blood as we are. Why then should it be thought unusual that the Holy Spirit apparently never takes a bodily form.
There are physical laws of which we know nothing. We should not presumptuously imagine that only that which we can grasp in our small minds can be so. In the present writer’s book, The Origin of the Universe, one will learn that the existence of galaxies—vast orderly collections of stars—cannot possibly occur. Their existence violates certain physical laws, as we know them. Yet they are there anyway—and the atheists are confounded by the fact. For that matter, it is said that the honeybee cannot fly, because its wings are too small for the size of its body. Many of the errors of mankind are due to presuming to know so much, when actually we know so little. We ought to accept God’s truths as He reveals them to us rather than presuming to sit in judgment on those truths and attempting to deny them.
2 - We are discussing the Godhead. In view of the fact that we cannot understand the process of nature, which God has created, why should we imagine that we can understand God?
"If it were possible for us to attain to a full understanding of God and His Word, there would be for us no further discovery of truth, no greater knowledge, no further development. God would cease to be supreme, and man would cease to advance. Thank God, it is not so."—Education, 172.
3 - The Godhead does not intend that we understand its inner nature or how it carries on its operations throughout the universe. We are creatures, and we will never arrive at such knowledge. We are creatures, and we will never arrive at such knowledge.
4 - It is Satan’s studied objective to overthrow the Godhead.Because he cannot do this, he is determined to cause men to disobey Them—and even disbelieve in their very existence.
5 - There is a tendency for the Members of the Godhead to be self-effacing and not talk a lot about Themselves. The Godhead spends its time ministering, not talking about itself. We sense this as we read chapter one in Patriarchs and Prophets. When Lucifer began spreading his lying reports, the Father called all the heavenly host and explained the relation which Christ sustained to Him. The Godhead spends its time ministering, not talking about itself. We sense this as we read chapter one in Patriarchs and Prophets. When Lucifer began spreading his lying reports, the Father called all the heavenly host and explained the relation which Christ sustained to Him.
"To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels . . The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings."—Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.
It is an astounding fact, that those who enter a deeper communion with God, through His Word, discover that the Divine Beings are humble! Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." It is true. Beholding Christ, we learn what the Godhead is like.
"In Christ the character of God was revealed. As children looked upon His countenance, they saw purity and goodness shining forth from His eyes. In His countenance gentleness, meekness, love, and conscious power were combined. But though every word, every gesture, every expression of His face, betokened His divine supremacy, humility marked His deportment and bearing."—My Life Today, 300.
"Jesus, who is seated upon the throne . . who is above all powers, He who has the greatest influence in heaven and in earth, He to whom every soul is indebted for every favor he has received, was meek and lowly in disposition, holy, harmless, and undefiled in life."—3 Selected Messages, 429.
This is something we have difficulty grasping. Most everyone down here who attains to a degree of power, seeks to lord it over others. But God is perfect in every way. He is not only total in power and authority, but also in humility. I have read another statement, but do not now recall its location, which says that the Father, upon the throne of the universe, is the meek and lowly One. This is what the Godhead is like.
6 - Each member of the Godhead has an agreed-upon role—and each one requires self-sacrifice. In the planning of Heaven, although He deeply loves us, the Father does not minister to us as the Son does. The Father is self-effacing in this respect.
The Son is not the supreme Ruler until the final coronation after the Second Advent; that task is reserved for the Father. The Son is self-effacing.
The Holy Spirit is self-effacing to a remarkable degree. He it is that comes to us personally and helps us. The Father and the Son help us through Him.
Such self-control, such willingness to "let the other one do it" is something we are not used to. We generally do not find such traits among men on earth who wield great power.
7 - If we understand the above, we can better understand the mystery surrounding the Holy Spirit. He does not talk about Himself! When the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy talk about God, generally only one is mentioned, or possibly two. Far less often we are told about the three Persons of the Godhead in the same passage. When the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy talk about God, generally only one is mentioned, or possibly two. Far less often we are told about the three Persons of the Godhead in the same passage.
Yet we are given enough clear statements, to fully confirm that there are three fully divine Personages in the Godhead.
8 - Can you see that there is a built-in test here? Just as we are tested on the Sabbath and other truths, so we are tested on the Godhead.Will we humbly submit to what God tells us in His Word, without questioning as Lucifer did? Will we accept God’s truths as He gives them, without trying to twist and change them. Lucifer turned himself into a devil by vaunting himself to the point that he imagined he could better explain the proper order and governors of heaven.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BIBLE
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
First, He exhibits five attributes of a person:
He has intellect—The Holy Spirit has intellect, for "the Spirit searches all things." (1 Cor 2:10). The Holy Spirit reveals the deep things of God and reveals them to us. The same word is used by Christ in John 5:39, where He says, "Search the Scriptures."
He has knowledge—No human being can know the thoughts of God, but the Holy Spirit understands the mind of God (1 Cor 2:11).
He has a mind—Just as the Holy Spirit knows the Father, so the Father knows the mind of the Spirit (Rom 8:27). This passage clearly indicates that the Holy Spirit has intellect because the word, "mind" (phronema), means "way of thinking, mind-set, aim, aspiration, striving" (cf. Eph 1:17).
He has emotions—As used in the Bible, it means to have feelings, awareness, and an ability to respond to something. Ephesians 4:30 is a command: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." The Holy Spirit is grieved when we lie (v. 25), are angry (v. 26), steal or are lazy (v. 28), or speak unkind words (v. 29). The noun form of the same Greek word is used in 2 Corinthians 2:2, 5, about the sorrowful feelings of the Corinthians after Paul wrote them a stern letter of reproof. Only a person can be grieved; a mere influence cannot be grieved.
He has a will—The Holy Spirit can choose and make decisions. He has a will. This is shown in several passages. In Acts 16:6, for example, the Holy Spirit exercised His will to forbid Paul to go to one place, and instead directed him to go to Europe and preach.
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
Second, He does ten things which a divine Person would do:
He testifies—The promise of Jesus was that the Holy Spirit "will bear witness of Me" (Jn 15:26). In John 15:27, the same word is used of the disciples’ testifying about Christ. As the disciples would bear witness concerning Christ, so the Holy Spirit would bear witness of Christ.
He helps—Jesus promised to send His disciples "another Comforter" (Jn 14:16). "Another" means that the Holy Spirit would be a helper, as Jesus was.
He teaches—Just as Christ taught the disciples (Matt 5:2; Jn 8:2), so the Holy Spirit taught them also (Jn 14:26). He did the same teaching ministry and brought to their remembrance the words of Christ.
He guides—Jesus assured His disciples that, when the Holy Spirit came, He guided them in their search for truth (Jn 16:13). He was as a guide, escorting a traveler through an unknown country.
He convinces and convicts—It was promised that the Holy Spirit would "convict the world" of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8). The word, "convict" (elegcho), means to "convince someone, point something out to someone."
He regenerates—Everyone who experiences the new birth is regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Eze 36:25-27; Titus 3:5).
He intercedes—The Holy Spirit takes the pleadings of the believer and intercedes on his behalf before Christ (Rom 8:26). He intercedes for humans just as Christ does (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25). An inanimate quality cannot intercede for anyone.
He commands—The Holy Spirit commanded that Paul and Barnabas be set apart for missionary work (Acts 13:2).
He sends out—In Acts 13:4, He sent two men out to do missionary work.
He forbids and prohibits—In Acts 8:29, the Holy Spirit directed Philip to go and speak to the Ethiopian eunuch.
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
Third, certain things can be done toward Him, which could not be done if He did not have a personality:
He can be obeyed—In Acts 10, the Lord told Peter to go to the house of Cornelius. He obeyed the Holy Spirit and went.
He can be resisted—Stephen told the Jews, about to stone him, that they were "stiff-necked . . always resisting the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51).
He can be grieved—The Holy Spirit is grieved when a person sins (Eph 4:30; cf. Isa 63:10).
He can be blasphemed—God can be blasphemed (Rev 13:6; 16:9); Christ can be blasphemed (Matt 27:39; Lk 23:39), and the Holy Spirit also can be blasphemed (Matt 12:32; Mk 3:29-30).
He can be lied to—Peter told Ananias and Sapphira that, because of their deceit, they had lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). Because of that sin, they died.
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
Fourth, He is frequently referred to in the grammatical masculine:
Pneuma is the Greek word for "Spirit." It is a neuter gender word, and should have neuter pronouns accompanying it. However, the Biblical writers did not follow this proper grammatical pattern. Instead, in Greek, they used masculine pronouns. is the Greek word for "Spirit." It is a neuter gender word, and should have neuter pronouns accompanying it. However, the Biblical writers did not follow this proper grammatical pattern. Instead, in Greek, they used masculine pronouns.
Here are several examples: John 15:26, John 16:13, and John 16:14. In each instance, pneuma (Spirit) is the neuter noun, and ekeinos (He) is the masculine pronoun. This is a very purposive change. If the Spirit was not a person, it would not have been done.
THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is divine. His Deity is clearly taught in the Bible. If the Holy Spirit is not divine, then there is no Godhead. It is of interest that those who deny the existence of the Holy Spirit frequently go on to deny the full deity and/or the pre-existence of Christ!
The Holy Spirit is divine.
First, He has the attributes of divinity.
He is Omniscience—The Holy Spirit is all-knowing (1 Cor 2:10-12). The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of the Godhead (1 Cor 2:10). This word, "deep" (bathos), describes the knowledge of God. It is unfathomable to man, but the Holy Spirit understands it (Rom 11:33).
He is Omnipotent—The Holy Spirit is all-powerful (Job 33:4). His omnipotence is seen in the Creation. In Genesis 1:2, the Holy Spirit is seen hovering over creation as a hen over its young. The Holy Spirit was used to give life to created beings.
He is Omnipresent—The Holy Spirit is everywhere present. In Psalm 139:7-10, David says he cannot flee from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ taught His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be with them, wherever they might go. This would require omnipresence (Jn 14:17).
He is Eternal—The Holy Spirit is called the Eternal Spirit in Hebrews 9:14. Through the Eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself without blemish to God.
He is Holy—As with the other Persons in the Godhead, the Third Person is holy (Matt 12:32); He is entirely separate from sin.
He is Love—As with the other members of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is love; and, because of it, He is able to produce love in those submitted to the rule of the Godhead (Gal 5:22).
He is Truth—He is the "Spirit of truth" (Jn 14:17; 15:26). He is the truth, as Christ is the truth (Jn 14:6). The Holy Spirit leads into truth.
The Holy Spirit is divine.
Second, He does the works of divinity.
The Creation—The Holy Spirit took part in the Creation (Gen 1:2). Another description of the Creation event is given in Psalm 104:24-26. In verse 30, God is said to have done it through the Spirit "Thou dost send forth Thy Spirit, they are created" (Ps 104:30). Job 26:13 reveals that the Holy Spirit created, not only the earth, but also the heavens.
The Birth of Christ—The Holy Spirit took part in the incarnation of Christ (Matt 1:20).
The Inspiration of God’s Word—As the Spirit was present to bring Christ, the Word, to humanity; so He is present to bring the Word, through inspired prophets, to mankind (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit’s work, in doing this, is similar to the Father’s work (2 Tim 3:16).
The New Birth—The Holy Spirit is an active agent in bringing men to Christ in repentance, forsaking of sin, and willingness to obey God’s laws. The Holy Spirit produces the new birth (Titus 3:5; Jn 3:6), but He does it through the Word (1 Peter 1:23) which He also helped produce.
Intercession—The Holy Spirit is an intercessor (Rom 8:26), as Christ is. The Holy Spirit pleads with us; Christ pleads with the Father on our behalf (1 Jn 2:1).
Ministry—The Holy Spirit is our "Helper" of John 14:16. "Comforter" is parakletos, in the Greek, and means "one called along side to help."
At this point, it should be noted that the Holy Spirit comes forth, or proceeds, from the Father (Ps 104:30) and the Son (Jn 15:26). This closeness of relationship between the three should not be thought to indicate subordination of the Spirit to the other two. All three of fully equal, but each has chosen a different appearance and activity.
SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are symbols and representations in the Bible, which strikingly portray His Person and ministry.
Dove—The Holy Spirit descended "like a dove" at the baptism of Christ (Matt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22; cf. Jn 1:32). We are told elsewhere that it was "a dovelike form of purest light" (DA 112). It was in the shape of a dove alighting with his wings outward and upward, but it was not a bird.
Pledge—The Holy Spirit is given us as a pledge of something more to come. The Greek word is arrabon, meaning a "first installment, deposit, down payment, or pledge." It obligates the contracting party to make further payments. Ephesians 1:14 adds to the explanation.
Oil—The oil of Zechariah 4:1-14 is explained in verse 6 as the Spirit. Ordaining with oil is so the Spirit could come upon the person (1 Sam 10:6, 10). The Spirit is given for ministry (Ex 40:9-16; Acts 1:8). The illuminating, enlightening Spirit (Ex 27:20-21; 1 Jn 2:20). The cleansing, sanctifying Spirit (Lev 8:30; 14:17; Rom 8:2-3).
Fire—Fire is another symbol of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3; cf. Ex 3:2). It is cleansing, enlightening, purifying, and judging.
Seal—The Holy Spirit seals the believer (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30; cf. Matt 27:66). Sealing indicates ownership, security, and authority.
Water—Water is also a symbol of the Spirit (Jn 7:37-38, explained in 7:39). Water, as an emblem of the Holy Spirit, signifies eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14; 7:37-38), a reception of the Holy Spirit (Eze 37:25-27; Jn 7:39).
Wind—The wind represents the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:8), and the very word in the Greek and Hebrew means just that.
OTHER ACTIVITIESOF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Revelation—It is the Holy Spirit which has been the channel through which all Inspired messages and writings have come to mankind from the God of heaven (2 Sam 23:2; Acts 4:25; Matt 22:43; Eze 2:2; 3:24).
Ministry and Evangelism—The Holy Spirit enables men to aid their fellowmen and lead them closer to God (Jn 14:16-17; Acts 2).
Ability to Do Things—The Holy Spirit also enables men to do exploits (Judg 3:10; 6:24; 11:29, 14:6), artistic craftsmanship (Ex 31:2-5; 35:30-35), 1 Kg 7:14) and manage governments (Num 27:16-18; 1 Sam 10:10; 1 Sam 16:13).
Restraining Sin—The Holy Spirit strives with men and keeps them from plunging too rapidly into sin (Gen 6:3).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit—The Spirit baptizes with enabling strength to do a necessary work, to the degree that they will continue to remain humble, submitted, obedient, and teachable to God and His Word (Acts 1:15; 1 Cor 12:13; Acts 11:15).
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit—The Holy Spirit will dwell within those willing to receive Him (Jn 14:16).
The Sealing of the Spirit—The Holy Spirit seals men to the day of redemption (1 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30).
The Gifts of the Spirit—There are a variety of gifts which a true believer can have, but only as long as he is submitted to be led by God (1 Cor 12; Rom 12:3, 6; Eph 4:11-13).
THE SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
There is a sin against the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31). The movings of the Holy Spirit on the heart can be quenched (1 Thess 5:19), grieved away (Eph 4:30), and blasphemed (Matt 12:32).
It is a serious thing to grieve away the Holy Spirit; how much more serious to deny that He exists! The One upon whom God put His Spirit (Matt 12:18) was the One whom the Pharisees said was working through Satan (Matt 12:24). God said, "I will put My Spirit upon Him" (Matt 12:18), but the leaders said, "this fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils" (Matt 12:24). That was said after having seen the character-changing power of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men. What greater sin is it to declare that there is no Holy Spirit and those who believe in Him—are worshiping Satan?
We dare not willfully reject the Spirit or, at the prompting of Satan, declare that Holy Spirit does not exist!
"It is through the medium of His Spirit that God works upon the human heart; and when men willfully reject the Spirit and declare it to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them."—5 Testimonies, 634.
ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
Here, reprinted from one of our earlier studies, are additional facts about the Holy Spirit.
1—In the Old Testament, the term, "Holy Spirit" is only found in Psalm 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11.
2—Some say that the descriptions of the personality of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament are only personifications. But such an explanation would clearly destroy the meaning of such passages as John 14:26;16:7-11; Rom 8:26.
3—Though the word pneuma [Spirit] is a naturally occurring Greek neuter, yet the masculine pronoun, ekeinos [that or that one] is used of the Holy Spirit in John 16:14.
4—In many Greek texts, hos [which or the one which], a masculine relative pronoun, is used in Ephesians 1:14 to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a definite Person, not an immaterial nothingness.
5—He is called the "Paraclete" [Parakletos]—the Comforter or Advocate (Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). This is another indication, not only of His personality but of His personhood. The Greek word, parakletos, cannot be translated by "comfort" or be regarded as the name of any abstract influence. It has to refer to a distinct person. Another indication that a person is meant is the fact that the Holy Spirit, as Comforter, is placed in juxtaposition with Christ as the Comforter about to depart, to whom the same term is applied in 1 John 2:1
6—The characteristics of a person are ascribed to Him, such as intelligence (Jn 14:26; 15:26; Rom 8:16).
7—The fact that He has a will is another important characteristic of His personhood (Acts 16:7; 1 Cor 12:11).
8—Yet another characteristic of this Divine Person are His affections (Isa 63:10; Eph 4:30).
9—He performs the distinct acts of a person. He searches, speaks, testifies, commands, reveals, strives, creates, makes intercession, raises the dead, etc. (Gen 1:2; 6:3; Lk 12:12; Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:8; Acts 8:29; 13:2; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 2:10). Only a definite person could do all of these things; it cannot be a mere power or influence.
10—He stands in such a relationship to other persons, that His own personality and personhood are implied. He is placed in juxtaposition with the apostles (Acts 15:28), with Christ (Jn 16:14), and with the Father and the Son (Matt 28:19; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Jude 20-21).
11—There are also passages of Scripture in which the Holy Spirit is distinguished as a person apart from His own power (Lk 1:35; 4:14; Acts 10:38; Rom 15:13; 1 Cor 2:4). Yet such passages would become redundant, meaningless, and even absurd, if they were explained as indicating that the Holy Spirit were merely "a power" or inanimate force. In the above quoted passages, substitute the word "power" or "influence" for the name, "Holy Spirit,"—and see how ridiculous the sentences become.
12—The Deity of the Holy Spirit is indicated by several factors, one of which is that Divine names are given to Him (Ex 17:7; compare 2 Peter 1:2; Heb 3:7-9; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Tim 3:16).
13—He also has the attributes of the Godhead. One example is His omniscience (Isa 40:13-14). He has fullest knowledge.
14—The Holy Spirit is eternal (Heb 9:14).
15—The Holy Spirit does divine works, such as creation (Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4).
16—The Holy Spirit can create and restore (Ps 104:30).
17—The Holy Spirit regenerates men; that is, works in them the New Birth (Jn 3:5-6; Titus 3:5).
18—The Holy Spirit can raise the dead (Rom 8:11).
19—As with Christ, divine honor is ascribed to the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; Rom 9:1).
20—The Holy Spirit both inspires and enables men to do the tasks assigned them (Ex 28:3; 35:35; 1 Sam 11:6;16:13-14).
21—The Holy Spirit has a part in the work of redemption in several ways, among which is the fact that He prepared, or had a part in preparing, a body for Christ and thus enabled Him to become a sacrifice for sin (Lk 1:35; Heb 10:5-7).
22—At His baptism, Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:22).
23—The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Scripture, and in this way aids in bringing to mankind the truths of God (1 Cor 2:13; 2 Peter1:21).
24—By regeneration and sanctification, the Holy Spirit forms and increases the body of Christ, His Church, and dwells in it (Eph 1:22-23; 2:22; 1 Cor 3:16; 12:4-31).
25—The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ and leads His people into truth,—both of which are very important, not only to the glorification of God and of Christ, but also to the salvation of man (Jn 15:26; 16:13-14; Acts 5:32; Heb 10:15; 1 Jn 2:27).