IS THE HOLY SPIRIT A PERSON OR A FORCE?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Is the Holy Spirit a Person of the Godhead? According to the cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Holy Ghost is simply God’s “active force,” not God Himself. We want to see what God’s Word says regarding the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and not worry about what some denominational handbook says. “For what saith the Scriptures?”
The Bible says in Acts 4:32-37 (cf. Acts 2:44-47) that the believing remnant of Israel had pooled their wealth and possessions, “had all things common,” and “laid [the money] at the apostles’ feet.” In Acts 5:1-3, however, a Jewish man (Ananias) and his wife (Sapphira) withhold a portion of wealth from the apostles. The Apostle Peter says, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? … Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3,4). According to the Bible, if someone lies to the Holy Ghost, he or she has “lied to God.” Obviously the Bible makes the Holy Spirit equal to God. Because the names “Holy Ghost” and “God” have been used interchangeably, we conclude that the Holy Ghost is God.
Furthermore, throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit exhibits the characteristics of a Person, not an inanimate force.
- THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKS, SHOWS, HEARS, AND GUIDES US INTO ALL TRUTH. John 16:13 – “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.”
- THE HOLY GHOST CAN BE BLASPHEMED/SPOKEN AGAINST. Matthew 12:31,32 – “…but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men… but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him.” (cf. Mark 3:29-31; Luke 12:10)
- THE HOLY GHOST CAN BE GRIEVED/SADDENED. Ephesians 4:30 – “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
- THE HOLY GHOST TEACHES WITH WORDS AND REMINDS. John 14:26 – “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.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 – “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
- THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKS. 2 Samuel 23:2 – “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 1 Kings 22:24 – “…Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?” 2 Chronicles 18:23 – “…Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?” Ezekiel 11:5 – “And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD….” Matthew 10:20 – “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Mark 13:11 – “…[F]or it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” Acts 1:16 – “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” Acts 8:29 – “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to his chariot.” Acts 10:19 – “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” Acts 20:23 – “Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” Acts 21:11 – “And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” Acts 28:25 – “…Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,” Galatians 4:6 – “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” 1 Timothy 4:1 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” Hebrews 3:7 – “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice,” Revelation 2:7,11,17,29 – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;… He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;… He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;… He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:6,13,22 – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches….He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 14:13 – “…Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.”
- THE HOLY GHOST REVEALS. Luke 2:26 – “And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Ephesians 3:5 – “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”
- THE HOLY GHOST LIVES/DWELLS. John 14:17 – “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.” Romans 8:9,11 – “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his…. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 2 Timothy 1:14 – “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”
- THE HOLY GHOST APPOINTS. Acts 20:28 – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
- THE HOLY GHOST INVITES OR REQUESTS. Acts 11:12 – “And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:”
- THE HOLY GHOST BEARS WITNESS/TESTIFIES. John 15:26 – “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:” Acts 5:32 – “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 20:23 – “Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” Romans 8:16 – “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Hebrews 10:15 – “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,” 1 John 5:6-8 – “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
- THE HOLY GHOST MAKES INTERCESSION FOR US. Romans 8:26-27 – “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
- THE HOLY GHOST REASONS/THINKS. Acts 15:28 – “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;”
- THE HOLY GHOST HAS KNOWLEDGE. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 – “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.”
- THE HOLY GHOST CAN BE TEMPTED. Acts 5:9 – “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?”
- THE HOLY GHOST CAN BE VEXED/TROUBLED. Isaiah 63:10 – “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.”
- THE HOLY GHOST FORBIDS. Acts 16:6 – “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,”
- THE HOLY GHOST CREATED US / GAVE US LIFE. Job 33:4 – “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”
- THE HOLY GHOST SENDS. Isaiah 48:16 – “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.”
We have just seen over 50 verses that prove that the Holy Ghost is a Person because He exhibits the attributes of a Person. He is not simply “God’s active force,” as the cults suggest. The Holy Spirit is a living Person, one of the three Persons of the Godhead. Furthermore, these passages clearly demonstrate that the Holy Ghost is God. Will you believe the Word of God? (Will you believe the Word of the Holy Ghost?; 2 Peter 1:20-21) Or, will you believe the worthless, foolish tradition of men?
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