Article on the Holy Spirit
by Allen Stump
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. 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 14:15-17) Jesus said very plainly that He would send another Comforter to comfort His people after His departure.
Let’s first take a look at a different verse that uses the word another. "And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. … And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day." (1 Samuel 10:6, 9) Saul became another man, yet physically he was the same person. His experience made him another man.
Jesus did not finish the conversation with verse seventeen. In the very next verse He clearly explains: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:18) Jesus said that He would come to His disciples as another Comforter. This is quite appropriate since the Bible plainly tells us who the Comforter is. The Greek wordparakletoV (parakletos), translated "Comforter," is used five times in the Bible. Four times the word is translated "Comforter" and the other time it is translated "Advocate." Here the Bible clearly states WHO the Comforter is. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos = Comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1) God has plainly revealed that Jesus Christ is our Comforter.
The Lord is that Spirit
Wait a minute, does not the Bible say that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit? (John 14:26) It most certainly does. Who is the Holy Spirit? Inspiration declares: "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17) The Lord is that Spirit, yet who is the Lord? "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (1 Corinthians 8:6) This could be expressed in the form of mathematical equations as:
Jesus Christ = the Lord
Ephesians 4:4 further states: "There is one body, and one Spirit." There is only one Spirit, and the Bible tells us that that Spirit is our Lord Jesus Christ, or more specifically the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He received from His Father. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6)
What exactly is a Spirit? According to the Strong’s Concordance, along with many other Greek Dictionaries, a spirit is a "mind." When God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, He was sending the mind, or thinking of His Son into our hearts. God asks us to "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5) The mind, or Spirit, that Christ had was the Spirit of His Father. "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John 3:34) Let us examine what the Bible says about a spirit.
The Biblical Concept of "Spirit"
"And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?" (Mark 2:8) Jesus perceived [Greek:epiginwskw - epiginosko "to know, that is to understand"] in His Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus is where He knew and understood things. The Spirit of Jesus is the mind of Jesus.
"And the Spirit [Hebrew:j^Wr - ruwach #7307 in Strong’s Concordance] of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind [ruwach], every one of them." (Ezekiel 11:5) In this verse ruwach was translated "spirit" in one place, and "mind" in another. Clearly you can see that the spirit of an individual is the mind or thinking of that individual. (See also Isaiah 40:13, Romans 11:34)
"To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?" (Job 26:4) When we utter words, we are revealing whose spirit we have. We either have the spirit of the world, or the spirit of God, which is Holy Spirit. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)
Some people maintain that "the Holy Spirit," and "the Spirit of God" are two different things. As you can see from the preceding verse, this is not the case. The Bible speaks of "The Holy Spirit of God." God the Father has a Spirit. "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:20) Jesus Christ has a Spirit. "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:19) Does the Holy Spirit have a Spirit? Some say yes, while others say no. What saith the Scriptures? "The Holy Spirit of God." (Ephesians 4:30) The Bible nowhere mentions "the Spirit of the Holy Spirit." Why is that? Could it be that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Father and His only begotten Son? As the Scriptures plainly state, the Father has a Spirit and His Son has a Spirit, yet there is "one Spirit." Evidently the Father and His Son share the same Spirit while they are two separate individuals. This is true because they think alike; they have a kindred spirit.
The Father anointed His Son with His own Spirit. Therefore, they have the same Spirit. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:9) "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John 3:34) As is plainly shown, the Father and the Son share a Spirit. What type of Spirit do they share? Surely, it is a Holy Spirit. The Bible mentions several different types of Spirit. We read about "foul spirit," "evil spirit," "unclean spirit," "dumb spirit," "excellent spirit," "humble spirit," "wounded spirit," "broken spirit," "haughty spirit," "faithful spirit," "good spirit." All these spirits are distinguishable by the adjective that describes them. We know that God the Father has a Spirit, and can that Spirit be anything else or anything less than Holy? The word "Holy" is an adjective in every case, whether in English or in Greek. "Holy Spirit" is not a name, but a description of the Spirit of God. We know that God the Father has a proper name, which is "YHWH," otherwise known as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah," and His only begotten Son has a proper name, which is "Yahshua," or "Jesus." May I ask, what is the name of the Holy Spirit?
Time and space forbid going into more detail, but the real issue is "who is our Comforter?" The Bible says our Comforter is Jesus Christ, who is able to comfort us in all our temptations because He was tempted just like us. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [or help] them that are tempted." (Hebrews 2:18) It is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27) "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4) Because Jesus has suffered being tempted, and comes to us in a different way than He ever did before, He can truly be called, "another Comforter." Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you."
The Holy Spirit was to come and convict the world of sin. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:8) "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts 3:26) It is Jesus, after His resurrection, who comes to us to turn us from sin. Would you rather have a Comforter who knows what you are going through because He has been there Himself, or one who cannot empathize with you?
Some may immediately say, "Jesus called the Comforter ‘he,’ therefore he must be someone else." It was not uncommon in Christ’s day to speak of yourself in the third person. You find this style of writing throughout the New Testament. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." (John 5:19-22) Jesus spoke of Himself in the third person.
Fifteen out of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament start out with a greeting similar to this one. "Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." (2 John 3) Out of all these greetings, none of them mention a third being. Just two are mentioned, the Father and His Son. Surely if there were a third being who is to be equally worshipped and adored, the writers of the New Testament would have included him in these greetings, but alas, there is not one to be found.
John explains to us with whom we are to have fellowship. He says, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3) Surely if John were acquainted with a third God, he would want us to have fellowship with him as well, but there is no mention of another being. John further states, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9) "Both" means two, and only two. This agrees with Zechariah. "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." (Zechariah 6:12, 13)
Reasoning with the Jews, Jesus said, "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." (John 8:17, 18) If an additional being could testify in His behalf, Jesus would not have hesitated to mention him here.
Paul declared, "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels." (1 Timothy 5:21) Paul called the heavenly agencies to witness this charge given to Timothy. Notice who Paul called as a witness for him. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are naturally the first ones to be mentioned, but Paul did not stop here. He called all the angels of God to be his witnesses also. Certainly if Paul knew of a third being who is coequal with the Father and His Son, then he would have mentioned him in this verse. Yet there is no hint of another being, which is plain evidence that Paul knew nothing about a third god.
I could go on with this as there is an abundance of Scripture which plainly shows that "there is one God, the Father" and "one Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 8:6), and not a pantheon of gods in the Godhead.
The subject we are discussing is of vital importance. Please take the time to examine this in detail. The only way a judge can make a just decision is by viewing and weighing all the evidence. I strongly encourage you to examine all the evidence before making a decision. "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." (Proverbs 18:13)
Addendum by Ron Beaulieu
"Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the source and sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship." E.G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305. SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7a, p. 439.
"Jehovah is the name given to Christ. 'Behold, God is my salvation,' writes the prophet Isaiah; 'I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salfation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.' 'In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899, p. 2. SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 7a, p. 439.