Who Is The Holy Spirit?
There is a lot of confusion in the churches today about the identity and nature of God. The vast majority of professed Christians believe in the doctrine of the trinity. Our last two lessons have dealt with the identity of the One True God, and the truth about His only begotten Son. This lesson deals with the truth about the identity of the Holy Spirit. May we prayerfully consider what the Bible says on this important subject, and set aside our own pre-conceived ideas, and those that we have been brought up with as we look for a plain “thus saith the Lord.”
“The spirit in which you come to the investigation of the Scriptures will determine the character of the assistant at your side. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance. But if the Bible is opened with irreverence, with a feeling of self-sufficiency, if the heart is filled with prejudice, Satan is beside you, and he will set the plain statements of God's word in a perverted light.” – Gospel Worker p. 127
"Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit; and all should decide from the weight of evidence."--Testimonies for the Church, Volume 3, p. 255
1. From the very beginning of the Bible, how is the Holy Spirit so often presented? Genesis 1:2
The very first mention of God’s Spirit is found in the second verse of God’s great book! It is obvious from this that this subject is found in abundance throughout the Holy Scriptures. It is often called “the Spirit of God!”
2. What does the Bible tell us about God in John 4:24?
3. What other fact are we told about God? Leviticus 19:2
The first point to help us in our understanding of this important subject is the fact that God is Holy, and God is a Spirit! So God is a Holy Spirit. We should even say that God is THE Holy Spirit, because He is the great original source of holiness! When the Bible says “the Spirit of God,” it literally means what it says. God the Father is the Holy Spirit!
4. What happened to Jesus when He was baptized? Matthew 3:16
6. What does the book of Acts say that Jesus was anointed with? Acts 10:38
7. What does Isaiah prophecy about the anointing of Christ? Isaiah 61:1
It is clear from all these verses that Jesus was anointed, or filled with the Holy Spirit of God! This was prophesied before hand and was positively fulfilled according to God’s Word.
The following is a list of the Bible verses that let us know that the Holy Spirit is the literal Spirit of God…
“Spirit of God” (26 times) Genesis 1:2; 41:38; Exodus 31:3; 35:31; Numbers 24:2; 1 Samuel 10:10; 11:6; 19:20; 19:23; 2 Chronicles 15:1; 24:20; Ezekiel 11:24; Matthew 3:16; 12:28; Romans 8:9; 8:14; 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 2:14; 3:16; 7:40; 12:3; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 4:2
“Spirit of the Lord” (31 times) Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6; 14:19; 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:6; 16:13-14; 2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Kings 18:12; 22:24; 2 Kings 2:16; 2 Chronicles 18:23; 20:14; Isaiah 11:2; 40:7; 40:13; 59:19; 61:1; 63:14; Ezekiel 11:5; 37:1; Micah 2:7; 3:8; Luke 4:18; Acts 5:9; 8:39; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
So that is 83 times that we are told that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God! It is true that there are another 96 times that it is called the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, but surely we don’t think it is talking about another Spirit besides the Spirit of God!
Next, we will look at Jesus’ own words about this important subject! It is interesting to note that Jesus spoke to His disciples about this a other very important truths as they were gathered together in the upper room for their last supper together. This discourse by Jesus is recorded in John chapters 14, 15, 16, and is capped off by His prayer for them in John 17. If you have a red letter edition of the Bible you will see that almost all of these 4 chapters are in red! Obviously our Savior and Lord is the greatest authority there is on this subject, so let’s see what He has to say here!
8. What comforting words did Jesus tell to His disciples at the beginning of chapter 14 as well as near the end of the chapter? John 14:1 & John 14:27
Jesus told them not to let their hearts be troubled because of His leaving them. So the information contained in these chapters is comforting!
9. What did Jesus tell them concerning His relationship with the Father? John 14:9-10
Jesus said that in seeing Him they had already seen the Father, but this does not mean that they are one in the same! They are one in character, spirit and purpose, but not one is substance.
10. This same John gives more information concerning this in his gospel book! John 1:18
No man has seen God the Father at any time! But His Son Jesus has revealed Him to us through His Spirit and character!
11. Does Jesus reveal to us that the Father was inside of Him? John 14:11
If you read chapters 14-17, you will find that Jesus says this over and over!
12. What did Jesus say that He would pray that the Father would give them? John 14:6
13. What is this Comforter called in the very next verse? John 14:17 (first part)
14. How long does Jesus say that the Comforter will dwell with them? John 14:16 (last part)
15. Whom did Jesus say would always be with us to the very end of the world? Matthew 28:20
16. Even though the Bible says “another” comforter, Whom did Jesus say would come unto them so that they would not be comfortless? John 14:18
Notice in verse 17 Jesus assures His disciples that the One who is dwelling WITH them then, would later be the one that was dwelling IN them in the near future!
17. Whom did Jesus say that He would reveal to His faithful, obedient followers? John 14:21
18. Who does Jesus say will abide in His people who are faithful and obedient in verse 23?
What an awesome Bible promise from the Savior! Jesus had already stated that the Father was in Him! Now He tells them that He will come unto them and dwell inside of them! That means that the Father and the Son have promised to make their abode inside of their faithful and obedient disciples!!!
In the next chapter, we see that Jesus again promises to abide in us, and we in Him! In verse 1, He uses the illustration of the True Vine (Jesus) and the branches (us) and the Husbandman (the Father). The whole point to this illustration is to be connected to the Father and the Son! If we are, we will bear fruit to the glory of God! (See verses 1-8)
19. How did Peter identify the Spirit that we are given? 1 Peter 1:11
20. How did Paul identify the Spirit that we are given? Galatians 4:6
The apostle Paul identifies the Spirit that we are given as the Spirit of His Son (Jesus) in his letter to the Galatians, but in His book to the Romans, he ties the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ together in this one verse! (Romans 8:9)
The trinity teaching says that it is a different person or being of the godhead who is the Holy Spirit, but the Bible again helps us to understand that the pagan myths have crept into the churches! Jesus says that He is the comforter! And His beloved disciple John confirms this truth by his use of the word parakletos. The word only appears in the New Testament 5 times, and all of them are written by John. In John 14:16; 15:26; and 16:7, this word is translated Comforter, which is sometimes confusing for people because of the “another Comforter” in John 14:16.
However, the last time that John uses this word parakletos, it is translated Advocate in 1 John 2:1 and there is no mistaking who John is talking about there! Jesus is our Advocate with the Father! And John who used the same word in his gospel book had to have been referring to the same Advocate/Comforter!