Who is the Spirit?
THE SPIRIT – GREEK
The word for ‘spirit’ in Greek is ‘pneuma’ (4151 Strongs), meaning ‘a current of air, ie breath (blast), or a breeze, by anal or fig, a spirit ie (human), the rational soul (by impl) ie vital principle, mental disposition etc or (superhuman), an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, ghost, life, spirit (ual, ually), mind.’ From 4154 prim root – to breathe hard, ie breeze, blow. It has been translated ghost (2 times), Ghost [with Holy] (89), life [breath] (1), spirit [breath] (151), Spirit (137), [with Holy] (4), spiritual gift [spirit] (1), wind (1), spiritually [of the Spirit] (4).
* All the verses translated ‘Spirit of God’ from ‘pneuma’ in the New Testament are listed below:
Matthew 3:16. ‘the Spirit of God descended’ (on Jesus)
Matthew 12:28. ‘If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God (Pharisees saved)
Romans 8:9. ‘Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be (said Jesus) that the Spirit of God dwell in you’
Romans 8:14. ‘led by the Spirit of God’ (Christians are)
Romans 15:19. ‘the power of the Spirit of God’ (Paul preached by)
1 Cor 2:11. ‘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 (which is in God knows them)’
1 Cor 2:14. ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God’
1 Cor 3:16. ‘the Spirit of God dwelleth in you’ (dwells in Christians)
1 Cor 7:40. ‘I have the Spirit of God’ (said Paul)
1 Cor 12:3. ‘no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed’
2 Cor 3:3. ‘written by Spirit of the living God’ (law on the heart)
Eph 4:30. ‘grieve not the holy Spirit of God’ (harmonising with the OT , ‘holy’ describing the Spirit of God)
1 John 4:2. ‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God’
Following the same principle for the Greek as for the Hebrew, I asked myself: to whom did the Spirit belong? According to the texts, it belonged to God. In some verses it meant the Father, for Jesus received the Spirit of God. Extra information did not change the teachings of the previous prophets, it simply identified ‘God’ in certain verses.
* The next phrase is ‘Spirit of the Lord’.
Luke 4:18. ‘the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me’ (upon Jesus, who is quoting Isaiah 61:1)
Acts 5:9. ‘agreed to tempt the Spirit of the Lord’ (Ananias & Sapphira)
Acts 8:39. ‘the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip’
2 Cor 3:17. ‘where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty’
2 Cor 3:18. ‘changed by the Spirit of the Lord’ (into His image)
Whose Spirit did Jesus have upon Him to preach good tidings, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives? Was it not His Father’s Spirit?
Consider Ananias and Sapphira.
According to Acts 5:9, this husband and wife deceitfully agreed to give only portion of the pledged amount of the sale of their property to the Lord. In this they were ‘tempting’ the Spirit of the Lord. Peter asks Ananias why he had ‘lied to the Holy Ghost’, and that in lying to the Holy Ghost, he had not lied to men, but to God. Acts 5:4.5.
In the past, my Trinitarian mind had reasoned that these three verses proved the ‘Holy Ghost’ to be ‘God the Holy Spirit’, a third co-equal Person of a triune Godhead. But I had fallen into the trap of false reasoning to prove a preconceived idea – a + b + c = d. (a = Spirit of the Lord; b = Holy Ghost; c = God. In this line of reasoning, the three statements are correct. However, the conclusion - d = the Trinitarian Holy Spirit, is assumed)
My analytical study of all texts on the subject in the Bible, has now shown that the ‘Spirit (pneuma) of the Lord’, and the ‘holy Ghost/Spirit (pneuma)’ are the same identity, the Spirit that belongs to God. In lying to the Spirit, Ananias and Sapphire did indeed tempt (or challenge) God to bring His judgment upon them. They paid for it with their lives, bringing fear upon the early church. See v11.
* The next term is ‘My Spirit’ or ‘my spirit’.
Matthew 12:18. ‘I will put My Spirit upon him’. (This is a Messianic quotation from the prophet Isaiah in 42:1, where God promises His Spirit to both Isaiah and Jesus.)
Luke 1:47. ‘my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour’ (Mary’s spirit)
Luke 23:46. ‘into Thy hands I commend my spirit’ (Jesus as He died)
Acts 2:17.18. ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh’ (God will pour out His Spirit; the result will be dreams, visions, and prophesying. The same Spirit of God poured out on Saul, Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel – if Scripture is in harmony with Scripture)
Acts 7:59. ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’ (Stephen as he died)
Romans 1:9. ‘I serve with my spirit’ (Paul)
1 Cor 5:4. ‘when ye are gathered together, and my spirit’ (obviously Paul approves of what they must do. v3. However, Paul’s spirit is not omnipresent)
1 Cor 14:14. ‘my spirit prayeth’ (only Paul can understand when he is praying in another language, if no one else speaks it)
1 Cor 16:18. ‘they have refreshed my spirit and yours’ (Paul’s friends in supplying his needs and encouragement)
2 Cor 2:13. ‘I had no rest in my spirit’ (Paul had no peace of mind because he did not find Titus)
* The next term is ‘His Spirit’ or ‘his spirit’, another grammatical form of the previous section.
Mark 2:8. ‘perceived in His spirit (Jesus understood)
Mark 8:12. ‘sighed in His spirit’ (Jesus sighed in his spirit or mind)
Acts 17:16. ‘his spirit was stirred within him’ (Paul’s spirit was stirred with indignation at the idolatry)
Romans 8:11. ‘shall quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth within you’ (the Father’s Spirit. see verse 11)
1 Cor 2:10. ‘God hath revealed (His secrets) unto us by His Spirit’
2 Cor 7:13. ‘his spirit was refreshed by you all’ (Titus’ spirit was refreshed)
Ephesians 3:16. ‘strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man’ (the Father’s Spirit. See v14.15)
1 Thess 4:8. ‘He hath also given unto us His holy Spirit’ (God has given His holy Spirit. Note ‘holy’, describing the Spirit, is in lower case in the King James. The translators were not always consistent)
1 John 4:13. ‘He hath given us of His Spirit’ (Note the rest of the verse, similar to John 17:21)
Praise God that the indwelling Spirit of God will change our bodies into immortality at the coming of Christ – if we are faithful.
* There are a few texts that use the term ‘thy spirit’, ‘your spirit’, ‘her’ spirit, and ‘our’ spirit.
Luke 8:55. ‘her spirit came again and she revived’ (gained strength)
Romans 8:16. ‘witness with our spirit’ (God’s Spirit witnesses with our spirit)
1 Cor 6:20. ‘glorify in your spirit which are God’s’ (inner being)
Galatians 6:18. ‘the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit’ (salutation of Paul. Also in 2 Tim 4:22 and Philemon 25)
* A large amount of texts state ‘the Spirit’ and ‘the spirit’. The New Testament understanding of the spirit must be exactly the same as that spoken of by former prophets, or we can discard the latter writings.
Matthew 4:1. ‘led of the Spirit into the wilderness’ (Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God. Also in Mark 1:12. Luke 4:1)
Matt 26:4. ‘the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’. (our weaknesses. Also in Mark 14:38)
Mark 9:20.26. ‘the spirit tear him’ (an evil spirit tormented the boy. Note that this spirit is also called a ‘foul spirit’ v25, a ‘dumb spirit’ v17.25, as opposed to ‘holy Spirit’)
Luke 1:17. ‘the spirit and power of Elias’ (John the Baptist was filled with the same Spirit as was Elijah)
Luke 2:27. ‘came by the Spirit into the temple’ (Simeon was led into the temple)
Luke 4:14. ‘in the power of the Spirit’ (Jesus received power from the Spirit of His Father. John 14:10)
Luke 11:13. ‘how much more will your heavenly Father give the ‘Holy’ Spirit to them that ask Him’ (the King James capitalises ‘Holy’ as a title, but again it is describing the Spirit of a holy God. Compare Psalm 51:11)
John 1:32.33. ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him… Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.’ (Also Mark 1:10. The Spirit that alighted on Jesus was the Spirit of God. See Matt 3:16)
After his baptism, Jesus knelt on the banks of the Jordan and prayed to His Father. “Never before that have angels listened to such a prayer. They are eager to bear to their loved Commander a message of assurance and comfort. But no; the Father Himself will answer the petition of His Son. Direct from the throne issue the beams of His glory. The heavens are opened, and upon the Saviour’s head descends a dovelike form of purest light – a fit emblem of Him, the meek and lowly One.
Of the vast throng at the Jordan, few except John discerned the heavenly vision. Yet the solemnity of the divine Presence rested upon the assembly. The people stood silently gazing upon Christ. His form was bathed in the light that ever surrounds the throne of God. His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man. From the open heavens a voice was heard saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. The Desire of Ages p112.
John 3:5. ‘born of water and the Spirit’ (see next verse)
John 3:6. ‘born of the Spirit’ (indwelling Spirit of God. See promise Ezekiel 36:26.27)
John 3:34. ‘God giveth not the Spirit by measure’ (Christ was not limited in the Spirit of God)
John 3:8. ‘every one born of the Spirit’ (will receive the kingdom)
John 6:63. ‘it is the Spirit that quickeneth’ (compare Romans 8:11)
John 7:39. ‘thus spake He of the Spirit’ (rivers of living water will bubble up within the Christian. See v37.38)
John 11:33. ‘groaned in the spirit’ (Jesus was troubled)
John 15:26. ‘the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father’ (God’s Spirit comes from His own being)
Acts 2:4. ‘they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ (the Spirit and the ‘Holy’ Ghost are parallel terms in this verse)
Acts 6:10. ‘not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which they spoke’ (wisdom comes from God. James 1:5)
Acts 8:29. ‘then the Spirit said unto him’ (Spirit of the Lord speaks to Philip and tells him where to go. Compare 8:39)
Acts 10:19. ‘the Spirit said unto him’ (Spirit of the Lord speaks to Peter and tells him three men seek him. Compare 10:13-15 Peter repeats his experience in Acts 11:8.9)
Acts 11:28. ‘he signified by the Spirit’ (Agabus prophesied of a coming famine)
Acts 16:7. ‘the Spirit suffered them not’ (Spirit and ‘Holy’ Ghost are interchanged in this experience. Compare v6 which says they were forbidden by the ‘Holy’ Ghost to go into Asia)
Acts 16:18. ‘turned to the spirit’. (Paul commanded an evil spirit to come out)
Acts 18:5. ‘pressed in the Spirit’ (Paul was prompted of the Spirit to testify that Jesus was the Christ)
Acts 18:25. ‘being fervent in spirit’ (Apollos was ‘instructed in the Lord’ and diligent in teaching the things of God)
Acts 19:21. ‘purposed in the spirit’ (Paul determined to go to Jerusalem)
Acts 20:22. ‘I go bound in the spirit’ (Paul does not know what will befall him in Jerusalem, but despite his bonds the ‘Holy’ Ghost witnessed in every city through him)
Acts 21:4. ‘said to Paul through the Spirit’ (the Spirit directs Paul that he should not go to Jerusalem)
Romans 1:4. ‘according to the spirit of holiness’ (description of Jesus)
Romans 2:29. ‘in the spirit and not in the letter’ (obedience from the heart)
Romans 8:1. ‘walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (God directs by His Spirit. Also in Romans 8:4)
Romans 8:2. ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ (by this Spirit, we are free from the law of sin and death)
Romans 8:5. ‘they that are after the Spirit (do mind) the things of the Spirit’ (Christians desire the things of God)
Romans 8:10. ‘the Spirit of life because of righteousness’ (the Spirit of God is eternal life and righteousness)
Romans 8:11. ‘the Spirit of Him that raised Jesus’ (the Father’s Spirit. There are thirty verses that say Jesus was raised from the dead by His Father)
Romans 8:13. ‘through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body’ (it is only by the power of God’s Spirit within that we are able to put down the flesh)
Romans 8:15. ‘ye have not received the spirit of bondage, but the spirit of adoption’ (Praise God)
Romans 8:16. ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit’. (God’s Spirit speaks with our spirit. Compare 1 John 5:12)
Romans 8:23. ‘the firstfruits of the Spirit’ (we have the former rain; soon the latter rain will fall)
Romans 8:26. ‘the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities’ (help is available from God)
Romans 8:26. ‘The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us’ (the Spirit is able to read our minds, and thus our prayers can be answered according to the desires of our own hearts and the will of God. Compare 8:27 and 1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
You will notice the word ‘itself’ used of the Spirit. There are two verses that use this term. Romans 8:16 and 26.
Ellen White and other pioneers also used the word ‘it’ when speaking of the Spirit. The reason is because the Spirit is spoken of as the ‘breath of God’. It can be ‘poured out’ and ‘breathed upon’. It can come as ‘beams of light from the throne’, and ‘tongues of fire’. These are inanimate terms, and therefore the word ‘it’ is appropriate.
However, in spite of these impersonal descriptions, the Bible and the writings of Ellen White reveal that the Spirit is the omnipresence of God; His personal Presence. In Spirit, God is able to hear, see, speak, guide, teach, convict, and do everything He can do in His glorious position upon the throne of the universe, but with the added advantage of being everywhere.
Romans 11:8. ‘given them the spirit of slumber’ (the Jewish people are asleep to the identity of the Messiah, but the veil is done away in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:13-17)
Romans 15:30. ‘the love of the Spirit’ (it is only through the Spirit of God dwelling within that we have love and fellowship with Him. See Phil 2:1.Gal 5:22.23)
1 Corin 2:4. ‘in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (Paul’s witness was not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God through His Spirit v5)
1 Corin 2:10. ‘revealed them unto us by His Spirit’ (God reveals His secrets by His Spirit)
1 Corin 2:10. ‘for the Spirit searcheth… the deep things of God’ (it is His own mind!)
1 Corin 2:11. ‘save the spirit of man which is in him’ (a man knows and understands what is in his own mind, but he cannot know what is in God’s mind, except God reveals it to him by His Spirit)
1 Corin 2:12. ‘not received the spirit of the world… received… the Spirit which is of God’ (we cannot know the things of God (v9) but we can know them by the Spirit that is in God, when it is given to us)
1 Corin 4:21. ‘in the spirit of meekness’ (how Christians should live)
1 Corin 5:5. ‘that the spirit might be saved’ (hopefully he would repent and want to return to God’s people again)
1 Corin 6:11. ‘justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God’ (the Spirit must work within so that God can justify us, and cleanse us from sin)
“The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ”. The Desire of Ages p805.
1 Corin 12:6. ‘diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit’ (Also in v8.9.11. 2 Corinthians 12:18))
1 Corin 12:8. ‘to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom’ (Remember Bezeleel? See Exodus 35:31. Isa 11:2. Dan 5:11. 1 Cor 2:4)
1 Corin 14:2. ‘in the spirit he speaketh mysteries’ (To speak another language is nonsense to those who do not speak it)
2 Corin 3:6. ‘letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life’ (The Spirit is eternal. See Rom 8:1.2)
2 Corin 1:22. ‘given the earnest of the Spirit’ (deposit of the fulness. Also in 2 Cor 5:5)
2 Corin 3:8. ‘ministration of the Spirit’ (work of the Spirit under the Old Covenant)
Galatians 3:2. ‘received ye the Spirit by the works of the law…?’ (receive the Spirit by faith)
Galatians 3:3. ‘having begun in the Spirit’ (by faith and not works)
Galatians 3:5. ‘ministered to you the Spirit’ (Paul taught the people, and did miracles in the power of the Spirit and not by works)
Galatians 3:14. ‘promise of the Spirit through faith’ (promised to Abraham)
Galatians 4:29. ‘born after the Spirit’ (meaning ‘born of’. See context of verse)
Galatians 5:5. ‘we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith’ (it is only the Spirit of God that can give us the hope of eternal life)
Galatians 5:16. ‘walk in the Spirit’ (walk surrendered to God)
Galatians 5:17. ‘flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh’ (for the flesh and the Spirit are worlds apart)
Galatians 5:18. ‘led of the Spirit’ (obey voice of God)
Galatians 5:22. ‘fruit of the Spirit’ (love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self control – the character of God and Christ)
Galatians 5:25. ‘if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit’ (in harmony with God, and by His power)
Galatians 6:1. ‘restore one in the spirit of meekness’ (with love)
Galatians 6:8. ‘he that soweth to the Spirit shall reap of the Spirit eternal life’
Ephesians 1:17. ‘God (Father) may give you the Spirit of wisdom’
Ephesians 2:2. ‘the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience’ (the spirit of the world and the devil)
Ephesians 2:22. ‘habitation of God through the Spirit’ (God is working by His Spirit to build our characters for heaven)
Ephesians 3:5. ‘now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit’
Ephesians 4:3. ‘keep the unity of the Spirit’ (in peace and love)
Ephesians 4:23. ‘be renewed in the spirit of your mind’
Ephesians 5:9. ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
Ephesians 5:18. ‘be filled with the Spirit’ (it is God’s promise)
Ephesians 6:17. ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God’
Ephesians 6:18. Praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit’ (if we are walking in the Spirit, we will be praying in the Spirit; but not as charismatics speak of ‘praying in the Spirit’)
Philippians 2:1. ‘fellowship of the Spirit’ (If we have the Spirit of God, we have fellowship with God in our minds)
Philippians 3:3 ‘worship God in the Spirit’ (a worldly person cannot do this, as they do not have the Spirit of God)
Colossians 1:8. ‘your love in the Spirit’ (One of the fruits)
Colossians 2:5. ‘I am with you in the spirit’ (Paul could not be there in person, but he was with them in heart and mind)
1 Thess 5:19. ‘Quench not the Spirit’ (grieve not the Spirit of God. See Ephesians 4:30)
2 Thess 2:13. ‘through sanctification of the Spirit’ (we are sanctified by the Spirit of God working on our minds)
1 Tim 3:16. ‘God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit’ (in spite of being ‘in the flesh’, Jesus was sinless in His Spirit)
1 Tim 4:1. ‘the Spirit speaketh expressly, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits’
2 Tim 1:7. ‘God has not give us the spirit of fear’ (but power and love and sound mind)
Hebrews 10:29. ‘have done despite unto the Spirit of grace’ (similar to 1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30)
James 2:26. ‘the body without the spirit is dead’ (this can fit for both life [body and spirit of life], and the Christian walk [without Me ye can do nothing])
James 4:5. ‘the spirit that dwellethin lusteth’ (our bent to sin is enticed by temptations to sin)
1 Peter 1:22. ‘obeying the truth through the Spirit’ (the only way we can obey is by the power of God. John 15:5)
1 Peter 3:18. ‘Christ put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit’ (The Father raised Jesus by His Spirit. See Romans 8:11)
1 Peter 4:6. ‘live according to God in the spirit’ (from the heart, as well as by the Spirit)
1 Peter 4:14. ‘the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you’ (if reproached for Christ’s sake)
1 John 3:24. ‘know He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us’. (the Spirit bears witness if we keep His commandments)
1 John 5:6. ‘it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth’ (Compare Romans 8:16. John 14:16-18)
1 John 5:8. ‘three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood’ (it is the Spirit that bears witnesses to the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of Christ)
Jude 19. ‘sensual, having not the Spirit’ (they have grieved the Spirit away)
Rev 1:10. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day’ (John in vision on the Sabbath)
Rev 2:7. ‘the Spirit said unto me’. (Also in 2:11.17.29. 3:6.13.22)
Rev 4:2. ‘immediately I was in the Spirit’ (John goes into vision)
Rev 11:11. ‘the Spirit of life from God entered into them’ (the two witnesses. Even if a vision, only the Spirit from God can give life)
Rev 14:13. ‘Yea, saith the Spirit’
Rev 17:3. ‘he carried me away in the Spirit’ (in vision)
Rev 21:10. ‘he carried me away in the Spirit’ (in vision)
Rev 22:17. ‘the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come’. (the Spirit continues to give the invitation, and so does His faithful church)
This long section gives us a clear picture of what the Spirit of God does in His work upon the earth.
* Another way the word ‘pneuma’ is used is ‘in spirit’ or ‘in Spirit’.
Matthew 5:3. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ (contrite, humble)
Matthew 22:43. ‘David in Spirit called Him Lord’ (by inspiration)
Luke 1:80. ‘the child grew and waxed strong in spirit’ (this can be both the spirit/mind or the Spirit of God)
Luke 2:40. ‘the child grew and waxed strong in spirit’ (as above)
Luke 10:21. ‘in that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit’ (heart and mind)
John 4:23.24. ‘must worship Him in Spirit’ (see p34, John 4:24)
John 13:21. ‘He was troubled in spirit’ (concerned in his mind)
Romans 12:11. ‘fervent in spirit’ (Christians are to be, and can be by the Spirit of God)
1 Corin 5:3. ‘absent in body, but present in spirit’ (mind of a person)
1 Corin 7:34. ‘holy, both in body and in spirit’ (mind/heart)
1 Tim 4:12. ‘be an example… in conversation… in spirit’ (all things)
* There are also texts that state ‘a spirit’.
Matt 14:26. ‘it is a spirit’ (obviously they feared it was a ghost)
Mark 6:49. ‘they supposed it had been a spirit’ (as above)
Luke 4:33. ‘had a spirit of an unclean devil’ (obvious)
Luke 9:39. ‘a spirit taketh him’ (an evil spirit)
Luke 13:11. ‘woman had a spirit of infirmity’ (an evil spirit? or a true disease?)
Luke 24:37. ‘they supposed they had seen a spirit’ (thought Jesus was a spirit being)
Luke 24:39. ‘a spirit hath not flesh and bones’ (spirits are in another dimension)
John 4:24. ‘God (is) a Spirit’ (God is a spiritual Being, and the only way we can worship Him is in spirit, and of the Spirit. John 3:5.6 gives understanding of the reason)
Acts 16:16. ‘a spirit of divination’ (an evil divining spirit)
Acts 23:9. ‘but if a spirit or an angel’ (both are spirits and both are angels; the distinction must be that one is evil. Also v8)
* There are texts that have various words before spirit, such as ‘of spirit’, ‘are spirit’, ‘and spirit’, ‘or spirit’, ‘nor spirit’, and ‘another spirit’. Some refer to the angels as spirits (probably evil) others to the ‘spirit’ of man, and two involve the Spirit of God.
Luke 9:55. ‘what manner of spirit ye are’ (not listening to God)
Romans 7:6. ‘serve in newness of spirit’ (not in the flesh, and the only way this can be achieved is by the Spirit of God)
John 6:63. ‘they are spirit and they are life’ (Jesus’ speaks the words of His Father)
2 Corin 7:1. ‘filthiness of the flesh and spirit’ (filthiness of mind)
Hebrew 4:12. ‘the dividing asunder of soul and spirit’ (the Word of God goes deep down to the depths of our being)
2 Thess 2:2. not be shaken… by word, or spirit, or letter as from us’ (do not be deceived by anything)
Acts 23:8. ‘neither angel, nor spirit’ (Sadducees did not believe in angels, spirits or the resurrection from the dead)
* The words ‘same spirit’ and ‘whole spirit’ are also used.
2 Corin 4:13. ‘the same spirit of faith’ (the same as Jesus had. Other verses use the term ‘same’; they are listed elsewhere)
1 Thess 5:23. ‘your whole spirit, soul, and body’
* Others terms describe the ‘spirit’ as follows:
Matt 12:43. ‘unclean spirit’ (Also in Mark 1:23.26. 3:30. 5:2.8. 7:25. Luke 8:29. 9:42. 11:24)
Mark 9:17. ‘dumb spirit’
Mark 9:25. ‘foul spirit’
Mark 9:25. ‘dumb and deaf spirit’
Acts 19:15.16. ‘evil spirit’
1 Corin 15:45. ‘the last Adam was (made) a quickening Spirit’ (Jesus has power to raise the dead. He is the Life-giver. John 11:25. 14:6)
Hebrews 9:14. ‘the eternal Spirit’ (Jesus offered Himself through the eternal Spirit. The Father’s Spirit empowered Jesus to live a life of righteousness, and to offer Himself without sin. The same eternal Spirit will empower us as well, if we are submitted to God)
1 Peter 3:4. ‘meek and quiet spirit’ (manner of living)
* There are also texts that qualify which spirit, by saying ‘that spirit’ or ‘that Spirit’.
2 Corin 3:17. ‘the Lord is that Spirit’ (read the context of the chapter, and ask yourself who ‘the Lord’ is)
Ephesians 1:13. ‘sealed with that holy Spirit of promise’ (there is only one who can seal us – the holy Spirit of God)
1 John 4:3. ‘and this is that spirit of Antichrist’ (what is the spirit of Antichrist? Read carefully the words of Antichrist in conjunction with the whole epistle of John)
* Some important texts tell us that there is ‘one Spirit’.
1 Corin 6:17. ‘He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit’ (we are one spirit with him in the human sense of unity, however, it is only by the Spirit of God. Compare v16)
1 Corin 12:13. ‘by one Spirit are we all baptised’ (only one Spirit of God is working for the salvation of mankind)
Ephesians 2:18. ‘access by one Spirit unto the Father’
Ephesians 4:4. ‘one body, and one Spirit’
Phil 1:27. ‘that ye stand fast in one Spirit’
* A number of texts speak about ‘every spirit’. They are vital in our understanding of the truth about the Spirit of God, as they relate to the spirit of Antichrist.
1 John 4:1. ‘believe not every spirit’ (test the spirits, as many spirits work for the great Deceiver)
1 John 4:2. ‘every spirit that confesses that Jesus is come in the flesh is of God’
1 John 4:3. ‘every spirit that confesses not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God’ (and that is the spirit of Antichrist. v3)
* There are 20 uses of the word ‘pneuma’ (4151) translated ‘spirits’, referring to unclean, evil, seducing spirits of devils. Two uses of the same word refer to the gift of discerning spirits, and three to the angels of God. Two speak of the spirits of men. One verse refers to the ‘spirits of the prophets’ being ‘subject to the prophets’. Four verses refer to the ‘seven Spirits of God’, a symbolic picture, possibly of His omniscience and omnipresence. (Zechariah 4:2.10)
A number of verses have purposely been left out of the foregoing New Testament lists because I realised they added more information, and needed to be studied separately. They are now listed with my comments.
* The next two phrases are the ‘Spirit of Christ’ and the ‘Spirit of Jesus’. This is definitely new information.
Romans 8:9. ‘if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His’ (whose Spirit?)
Phil 1:19. ‘the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ’ (Paul sustained by)
1 Peter 1:11. ‘the Spirit of Christ which was in them’ (the prophets)
In the Old Testament I have not attempted to identify ‘God’, ‘the LORD’, or ‘The Lord’, except that these names speak of the same YHWH God, also called Adonai. The main point was the Spirit belonged to Him, whether the Father or Christ.
So far, the New Testament has revealed exactly the same information, whether the term ‘Spirit of God’, or Spirit of the Lord’ is used. These two phrases do not specifically identify ‘God’ or ‘Lord’, but now the ‘Spirit of Christ’ and ‘Spirit of Jesus’ show clearly with whom the Spirit is associated in the text.
Romans 8:9 is an important verse, for it interchanges the terms ‘Spirit of God’ and ‘Spirit of Christ’, showing that it is just as correct to say one as to say the other, for the Spirit belongs to them both. (Read Romans 8:9.10)
However, there is only one Spirit.
In other words, the Spirit of God is in Christ as well as in the Father, and thus Jesus could pray, “…as thou Father art in Me, and I in thee…” John 17:21 10:37.38. Christians are promised that the same Spirit within the Father and Son, will be in them. John 17:21.22. Luke 11:13.
The New Testament makes it clear that the Spirit initially comes from the Father, for “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ...” 2 Corinthians 5:18. The Spirit of truth “proceedeth from the Father”. John 15:26. Jesus said He would “pray the Father”, and He would send the Comforter in Jesus’ name. John 14:16. The disciples at Pentecost were to await ‘the promise of the Father’. Acts 1:4. (Note that “the circuit of beneficence” concludes with the Father, ‘the great Source of all”. The Desire of Ages p21)
However, there are other verses where Jesus says He will send the Spirit of truth Himself, although still acknowledging that it comes from the Father. “I will send unto you….” John 15:26.
After Christ’s ascension to heaven, the disciples met in the upper room to pray for power from on high. To their prayers, “Jesus added His intercession. He claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it upon His people”. Acts of the Apostles p37.
So although the Spirit emanates from the Father, it has also been given to Christ to give to His people. Thus it is appropriate to say that the Spirit comes from the Father, but just as appropriate to say it comes from the Son. “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you’. And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, ‘Receive ye the ‘Holy’ Ghost…’” John 20:21.22.
Jesus taught His disciples that they can only fulfil the divine commission by the power of His divine Spirit. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”. Zechariah 4:6. Their full anointing was at Pentecost.
(Jesus was also anointed at His baptism, and in the heavenly courts before beginning His priestly ministry, but He was already the Anointed One when He came to this earth. Notice John the Baptist’s reply to the Jews’ question as to his identity prior to the baptism of Jesus. “And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.” In the Hebrew he would have said, ‘I am not the Mashiach’ (the Anointed One) John 1:19.20.
After the heavens had been opened, and the Spirit of the Father was poured out upon Jesus, John “bare record that this is the Son of God”, and John 1:33.34. Study every statement in the New Testament that speaks of the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. Study ‘nasak’ (5258) regarding the anointing of Christ. Psalm 2:6. Proverbs 8:23. Over and over, the scribes and Jewish leaders asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, and in the same breath, if He was the Son of God. It is quite clear they were expecting the Anointed Son to appear, but did not believe Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Read ‘Patriarchs & Prophets’. Chapter 1, as well as ‘The Desire of Ages’, chapter entitled ‘The Temptation’, in that order.
All the above helped me in my understanding that Jesus is the literal, only begotten Son of God the Father, the Anointed Son who was sent to this earth to vindicate the character of His Father (Certainly Christ volunteered) Read John 3:16.17 again. “God did for us the very best thing that He could do when He sent from heaven a Sinless Being to manifest to this world of sin what those who are saved must be in character… He sent His ideal in His Son, and bade men build characters in harmony with this ideal”. 3 Selected Messages p132.133.
However, being the Son of God does not make Christ any less divine. He is as much ‘God’ as His father, for the term ‘God’ can be used to mean ‘nature’, in the same way ‘human’ is used in the sentence, ‘My son is as human as his mother’. Christ is divine in nature, for He is the ‘express image of His (Father’s) Person’. Hebrews 1:1-3. The term ‘God’ can also be used to mean the Father, who is the Supreme Deity. John 1:1 includes both meanings. The Word was with the God (the Father), and the Word is God (divine). If Jesus is not God (meaning divine), then we have no salvation. So we can praise God the Father sent His Son, who is our Saviour Immanuel – God with us)
* Another phrase arising from the foregoing is the ‘Spirit of His Son’.
Galatians 4:6. ‘God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts’ (Christians have the Spirit of God/Christ. Compare to Romans 8:11)
Although the Spirit initially comes from God, the Father is willing to speak of it as the Spirit of His Son. And this is appropriate, for “all things” have been given into His hands. Hebrew 1:3. John 3:35.
After studying through this extra information, I realised that it does not do any injustice to truth revealed by the prophets in the Old Testament or the New. Instead I am more informed about the Spirit. I can now see why Paul can interchange the terms ‘Spirit of God’ and ‘Spirit of Christ’ in Romans 8:9-11.
(For your own study, note the different ways this truth is referred to in this passage. Also read 8 Testimonies p61-68, and circle the titles given to the holy Spirit in these pages. Read slowly, prayerfully, and listen to what God is actually saying to the school in Cooranbong on May 10, 1896. Study also who changes us into the image of Christ. 2 Cor 3:18. Note v17. Study ‘Steps to Christ’, chapter ‘The Test of Discipleship’, and particularly note by whom we are born. See who works on the human heart? What is the renewing power? Who changes the heart? Who abides there by faith? Who works within? What is the vivifying influence? By whom are we transformed?)
* Another phrase is ‘Spirit of your Father’.
Matt 10:20. ‘the Spirit of your Father speaketh in you’ (Interchange of terms with Galatians 4:6)
When God’s people are taken to court, they are not to worry about their words, for the promise is given that the Spirit of God would speak through them. Another gospel writer says, “take no thought what ye shall speak, neither do ye pre-meditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the ‘Holy’ Ghost.” Mark 13:11.
“By the Spirit the Saviour is accessible to all…. When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of His disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love….” The Desire of Ages p669.
Again, this extra information harmonises with all the prophets have written. For some time it was difficult for me to think with Biblical understanding when I saw the words ‘Holy Ghost’ or ‘Holy Spirit’, because my Trinitarian mind wanted to see them as a title. However, once I had decapitalised ‘holy’ in my mind, it was easier. Praise God for His holy Spirit.
(In my study of John 14, 15 and 16, I had to analyse every single word to fully understand what Jesus was actually telling His disciples. In one verse He spoke of the Comforter as another Person, but two verses on, He spoke of coming Himself. Compare John 14:16.18. In the next verse he says the Spirit of truth dwells with the disciples, and it will be in them. John 14:17. A few verses on a disciple asks why Jesus will manifest Himself to the disciples and not to the world. This means to ‘show plainly, to reveal’. John 14:22. In another verse Jesus said He and His Father will come and make their abode in the disciples. John 14:23. Jesus said the disciples should rejoice that He is going to the Father, for He will ‘come again’ unto them. John 14:28. This is not speaking of the second coming, but referring to the coming of the Comforter. When He comes to them, He will ‘guide them into all truth’ John 16:13. Jesus tells His disciples they will see Him in a little while because He goes to the Father. John 16:16. And indeed, they did see Him again on the day of Pentecost, but in a different form)
The only way apparent conflicting statements can be reconciled, is to believe that Jesus promised His disciples He would return to them in Spirit. He would go to His Father in the flesh, and intercede on their behalf for the promised blessing.
Having received the personal presence of His Father in Spirit -- the very mind of God, and linked with His own mind -- Christ is able to pour that same blessing upon His disciples. Thus they too receive the mind of the Father and of Christ. (1 Cor 2:16)
What does the prophet to the Seventh-day Adventist Church say about the holy Spirit?
“The ‘Holy’ Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high”. The Desire of Ages p669. (Emphasis added)
When I first read this passage, my mind tended to stop at ‘Christ’s representative’, and I thought of the Holy Spirit as another co-equal Person who represented Christ. However, the sentence continues beyond ‘Christ’s representative’.
The next two words are ‘but divested’ Ask yourself: of what did Christ divest Himself? The answer is clear from the sentence; He divested Himself of the limitations of humanity. (Christ did not divest Himself of ‘personality’ per se. Look up the meaning of the word ‘divested’. Can you divest something you have never had?)
I needed to grasp the whole paragraph and not just isolated phrases or sentences.
Another statement makes it even clearer. Speaking of Christ, the prophet wrote, “The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His ‘Holy’ Spirit, as the omnipresent”. Manuscript Release 1084.
* One verse speaks of the ‘manifestation of the Spirit’.
1 Corin 12:7. ‘manifestation of the Spirit’ (is given to every Christian to do the works of God. Matthew 5:16)
Instead of seeing the holy Spirit as another co-equal Person delegating spiritual gifts to the believers, I now see Christ in Spirit working within His church. As there is only one Mediator, I am now able to see Christ in Spirit upon the earth, and Christ in glorified humanity interceding before the Father on our behalf. 1 Timothy 2:5. Hebrews 4:14-16. Romans 8:26-28.
All things have been given into Christ’s hands by the Father, “that in all things He might have the preeminence”, but only until Christ’s enemies have been placed fully under His feet. John 13:3. Col 1:18. Then before the watching universe, the final coronation of Christ will take place, and He will fully receive His kingdom. Then He will sit upon the throne of David, which is His inheritance. Christ will hand His delegated sovereignty back to the Father who will once again be “all in all”. 1 Cor 15:24-28.
* One phrase refers to the ‘Spirit of His mouth’.
2 Thess 2:8. ‘will consume with the Spirit of His mouth’ (the wicked will be slain at the second coming of Christ)
Ask yourself the question: By the Spirit of whose mouth? Could it be that of another Person? When Jesus returns, He is called ‘The Word of God’, and “out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword that with it He should smite the nations….” Revelation 19:11-15.
* One verse speaks of the ‘Spirit of prophecy’.
Rev 19:10. ‘the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy’ (Who is the Spirit giving prophecy?)
This is a very known doctrinal-proving verse for Seventh-day Adventists, and I have always understood and believed it, however, suddenly, it took on a new meaning for me.
Often non-Adventists have disputed our explanation by saying that ‘the testimony of Jesus’ is His own personal testimony. This explanation did not fully harmonise with what we wanted them to see regarding the ‘Spirit of prophecy’, and so it was usually put aside.
However, Jesus’ testimony is the Spirit of Prophecy – if the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus.
The apostle Peter speaks about the prophets testifying of the sufferings of Christ, and says they did so by the Spirit of Christ that was within them. 1 Peter 1:11. This means that when Isaiah wrote, “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter”, it was the Spirit of Jesus speaking to Him. Was it not the ‘testimony of Jesus’?
In the following epistle of Peter, he states that ‘prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the ‘Holy’ Ghost’. 2 Peter 1:21.
We must not ignore these obvious parallels.
“Who, but Jesus Christ by His Spirit and divine power, guided the pens of the sacred historians that to the world might be presented the precious record of the sayings and works of Jesus Christ?” 2 Selected Messages p137.
Thus the Spirit of Prophecy is Jesus’ testimony to His prophets.
There is another study
on the Holy Ghost