What makes this topic so important is that it challenges with another wrinkle, a longstanding misunderstanding or false rendering that relates to the “Holy Spirit”.
What exactly is the “Holy Spirit”? Is it another person/body in the Trinity concept, a power or both? Who, when and how was this Holy Spirit given? And what is it for? What is so specific about this spirit to be called “Holy Spirit”? It was used before, but a particular “Holy Spirit”(a nonpareil) was given to Jesus Christ only after he died and resurrected; what is that about?
Where to start for the quaesitum, is a “door” to understand the truth behind the actual nature of this “entity”. There is no better place to start but to unlock that “door”, the Holy Scriptures of today( like the Bereans who fact-checked Paul on what was available to them on that day, Acts 17:11), to get some indication of what precisely this is. In today’s generation, we are blessed to have internet capabilities for research to “run the gauntlet” of contemplative analysis.
Who was the Creator?
At the outset, this research will be an exercise in futility unless one acknowledges, the fact of a Creator God, an Intelligent Designer. Therefore, let us first establish who the Creator in Genesis was.
Col. 1:16-20 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
While there is no doubt that it was the Father who planned creation, it was the spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM/Lord God (EL SHADDAI/LOGOS/WORD) who proximately created all, the invisible and visible to us. No other spirit-composed person directly and actually participated in this creation, not even the Father.
And, “man-Jesus” was the incarnated El-SHADDAI/ God Almighty, YHVH ELOHIM/Lord God, the Word (John 1:1-5). The first “living beings” created were the “spirit-composed” angels (rejoicing at creation) including Lucifer(Isaiah 14:12-15); thereafter, the material world, inanimate and animate:
Job 38:4-7 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons(angels) of God shouted for joy? “
The Father actually planned and it was man-Jesus Christ, in his capacity as Pre-incarnate El-SHADDAI/Yahweh-Elohim/LOGOS, who willingly executed the plan to create in Genesis then and now is “ongoing” by the same proximate Creator. But, how and in what capacity?
What exactly is the “Holy Spirit”?
After establishing the fact of a Creator God, we can now continue with this journey together. To begin with, the etymology of the English word “spirit” is translated from the Hebrew word ruʹach and the Greek word pneuma , both meaning “breath, wind”. The English word “holy” is from Hebrew “kodesh” and Greek “hagios”, both meaning sacred, consecrated or set apart.
Taken together, the Holy Spirit in Hebrew Ruach HaKodesh and the Roman Holy Spirit are two different concepts of the power of the Creator; the former sees Ruach HaKodesh as the creative force, the power of the Creator through which everything came into existence, while the latter sees it as the “third person” of the “Holy Trinity”. So, which is it?
Remember this basic principle: that the “spirit essence” has to come directly or “flow” from a spirit/composed person. It cannot originate from any other nor from its own. As to whether there was a separate “person” with the “giver” of this “spirit essence” may be intimated by the narrative in the first “mention of this spirit” in Genesis creation.
The creation of the visible and invisible world was narrated in Genesis 1. Notice that the “heavens and earth were created” in Genesis 1:1 (presumably, with sun, moon, stars, etc. but no mention of plants, animals or humans on earth. Then in Genesis 1:2, the “earth became formless, void and darkness was over the surface of the deep”. Notice that the “heavenly bodies” were intact and it was “the earth” that was “formless, void and dark”. While no human really knows what actually transpired at that time (and without favoring one theory over another), consideration of the pros and cons of the “gap theory/ruin-restoration theory” is in order.
Then the “Spirit of God” moved upon the face of the waters and earth’s. Where did this “Spirit of God” come from? It says “of God”, meaning from Creator-God, the El-SHADDAI/Yahweh-Elohim. This “re-creation/restoration from ruin” occurred with this “Spirit of God” also creating plants and animals. Darkness was covering the lights of sun, moon and stars, then “uncovered” by God’s command, “let there be lights”; this was the 1st day of re-Creation. The designation of “heaven” was on the 2nd day whereas the designation “dry land/earth and seas” and creation of plants was on the 3rd day. The seasons, days and years, and what rules the day and night were on the 4th day. The animals were created on the 5th day and “man/woman” created on the 6th day.
In all of this creation, there was this El-SHADDAI/Yahweh Elohim who was the Creator-God and it appears (although it did not directly state so) that he did all these creations with the “Spirit of God” that may have come/emanated from him; not necessarily from another person.
Psalm 104:30 “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground”. (N.B. “..,forth Your Spirit” suggests coming from him “… “they are created”.,.”renew the face of the ground” Compare with Genesis 1:2). Notice: “renew” because earth became “tohu and bohu”.
Psalms 33:6 “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” (the power of the word, the word spoken out, the heavens were created)
Also, notice in the creation of Adam and where the Creator was. Here, directly, the “spirit-of-man” emanated from him.
Gen. 2:7 “And the LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul(being). “
Notice that when Adam was formed from the “dust of the ground” he was not alive until the “breath of life” (the spirit-component of man) was “breathe into his nostrils”, then he became a “living being”. Prior to breathing in him the “breath-of-life”, all his material components, from head to toe, were still non-living. Remember that “the body without the spirit is dead, being alone” (James 2:26). He became a “living being” only after this “breath of life”, the spirit-component, came into him from the proximate Creator-God(Yahweh Elohim/the Logos/Jesus Christ).
The composition of a living person is “body+ spirit”. The body/matter-component came from earth and therefore “earthy”. But, the “breath of life” the “spirit-in-man”(the spirit-component) came directly from a spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM. This is the “active participle” (aka, kinetic energy” that brought life to an otherwise “non-living body”.
Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Micah 3:8 “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin.” (filled with power, with the Spirit)
2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (Spiritual truth only comes from God by and through the Holy Spirit).
Isaiah 66:2 “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
By referring to God’s spirit as his “hands,” “fingers,” or “breath,” the Bible shows that the holy spirit is not another person. (Exodus 15:8, 10) A craftsman’s hands cannot function independent of his mind and body; energy/power to do has to emanate from the person. Likewise, God’s holy spirit operates only as he directs it. (Luke 11:13) The Bible also compares God’s spirit to water and associates it with such things as faith and knowledge. These comparisons all point to the impersonal nature of the holy spirit.—Isaiah 44:3;Acts 6:5; 2 Corinthians 6:6.
The Bible also personifies wisdom, death, and sin. (Proverbs 1:20; Romans 5:17, 21) For example, wisdom is said to have “works, “children,” and “sin” is depicted as seducing, killing, and working out covetousness.—Matthew 11:19;Luke 7:35; Romans 7:8, 11.
By grammatical norm, the holy spirit was personified as a “helper” (paraclete) that would give evidence, guide, speak, hear, declare, glorify, and receive. He used masculine personal pronouns such as “he” or “him” when referring to that “helper.” (John 16:7-15) However, he did so because the Greek word for “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is a masculine noun and requires a masculine pronoun according to the rules of Greek grammar. When John referred to the holy spirit using the neuter noun pneuʹma, he used the genderless pronoun “it.”—John 14:16, 17. So, personifying as “he, him or it” maybe just for English grammar/ translation although this followed Greek grammatical norms.
As to the “three that bear witness”, Professor Bruce M. Metzger on 1 John 5:7, 8 said, “That these words are spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament is certain.”—A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. See also: Textual problem
It becomes clear conceptually, that this “spirit” (the spirit of life in man, the breath of life) is an energy that empowers. Dissimilar but much like gravitational power, mechanical power, electrical power, nuclear power, etc. without which, nothing happens, are not necessarily a person. YHVH ELOHIM (Lord God Creator) has this power that brings life to his physical creation by breathing this life-energy into the human body. Similarly, this “spirit-essence” is called the “Spirit of God” (of God, i.e., coming from God)(Genesis 1:2) hovering over the waters and the “breath-of-life” which is the “spirit-of-God-IN-man”, all spirit/energy.
All “energy/power” was already given and discovered as “potential energy” which was then used by humans as “kinetic energy” for creating or performing things. On the other hand, this “spirit-energy/power” is unique and was never given before by the Father except to LOGOS/Yahweh Elohim/El SHADDAI /Son of God which was used for Genesis creation, miracles, etc. However, there was another type of “spirit-energy/power” that was not given to anybody until the resurrected Jesus Christ in his capacity as “Son of God”; this was subsequently given ( as promised) to other humans, as well.
Is the Holy Spirit another person/body in the Trinity concept or a power?
The concept of Trinity was foreign to the original 12 disciples, Paul and even to the latest writer John who wrote the Revelations, the last book in the New Testament Bible. Although pagans were aware, as in “Divine threesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe, Egypt, the near east, and Asia.” the Trinity concept was brooding among Christians that culminated in the Athanasius-Arius controversy.
It was in full-blown animosity in the 3rd and 4th century, causing a rift in the Christian world, especially between Athanasius and Arius, both respected leaders, who later on ex-communicated each other. To finally bring an end to this controversy, Emperor Constantine called for a Council in Nicea to bring conclusion to this, leading to Trinity Doctrine, the Nicean or Athanasian Creed.
Looking at the history of this doctrine and knowing what we know now, we realize that the root-cause of this rift was a misinterpretation of the nature and usage of the word “elohim “. See Reference #1 for analysis.
There is no Trinity (2). In fact, the Father has started, with the power of the Holy Spirit at river Jordan, begetting “children of God”with the “pioneer” man-Jesus, who manifested after resurrection as the “Son of God”, then subsequently, us towards becoming “spirit-composed children of God”.
The family that God is creating is not limited to 2 persons, the Father and Son, but will include many other “sons and daughters of God”, aka, “spiritual church of God”, the “kingdom of God”, all spirit-composed beings, higher in the hierarchy than angels(Heb. 1:4-14). Not animal kingdom or human kingdom, but God-kingdom. With this Holy Spirit of power, the Father is building this “God-kingdom“, with Jesus as the “head of this church/body”.
When and how was this Holy Spirit given?
By this time in this epexegesis, we already can see that the “Holy Spirit” is “energy/power” emanating from (not independent of or separate from the) spirit-composed Creator-God. Moreover, we see that it has been used in Genesis creation of heavens, earth and their re-creation with plants, animals and humans.
It is well known that it was the Holy Spirit that empowered man-Christ Jesus, who was the first recipient at Jordan river(Matt. 3:16). It is therefore given after the “breath of life“(the life-giving energy) was given to a flesh-composed man-Jesus to live.
He is Christ Jesus, no longer “man-Christ Jesus” but “resurrected and became Son of God by resurrection from the dead”. Yes, ONLY after resurrection from the dead was he “declared/shown/named” Son of God. Christ is in us, “is come in the flesh”, “the truth that lives in us forever”, through the empowering Holy Spirit, that Jesus received directly from the Father, promised as a gift to him and to being given to us ALL as planned. And, the mechanism for Jesus to create the God-kingdom composed of “spirit-beings” is by “in-dwelling in us” through the Holy Spirit, the Advocate/Comforter.
After Jesus’ resurrection, the Father gave this power to the Son-of-God Jesus (John 16:7) to then subsequently be given out to “believers”, to his disciples first and generally at Pentecost; then to others, as in:
Acts 1:8“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”(Holy Spirit is power)
Gal. 3:2-5 “The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?
The power of the Holy Spirit originates from the Father, then given to man-Christ Jesus to empower him to become “Son of God” by resurrection, then afterwards given to him by the Father, to then be distributed by Jesus(as Son of God) to believers. Much like the power to create all from the beginning was given to him, so was this power (Holy Spirit) given to him at his resurrection to now “create” “sons and daughters of God “. This power is being used to “build the spiritual church” (God-Kingdom) through the process of salvation (4).
Who is that Spirit?
Identifying who this “Spirit” is, may give pause to the belief that the Spirit is the 3rd person in the debunked concoction of Trinity. The “Spirit” ( the Advocate) is identified here:
1 John 2:1 “…But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” Compare with John 16:7
2 Corinthians 3:17 …’Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’
Philippians 1:19 …’For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Clearly, Jesus Christ is empowered to in-dwell in us mechanistically through this energy/power, aka, Holy Spirit. He is indeed “coming in” to us (the flesh) as in:
This is how Jesus is creating us into his body, by coming into us, the “church” and be one with him, as He is one with the Father. Notice, he is “in us”:
1 John 4:2 “…Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come (coming, contextually is the correct rendering of this word) in the flesh is from God,”
2 Corinthians 13:5 “…,Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Colossians 1:27 “… Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
What is this Holy Spirit for?
Much like any power, e.g., mechanical, electrical, nuclear, gravitational, solar, etc. the Holy Spirit empowers believers in many ways. But it does not force us to do anything good without our consent and decision. The Father does not like “robots “. The Holy Spirit has many gifts and fruits as written in the Holy Bible for edification and glory of the “body of Christ”. This is key ingredient that believers must have in the process of salvation. The mechanism of how this happens is explained by Jesus (5).
Rom. 8:19 ” the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons ( and daughters) of God.” Manifestation is the “day of delivery”, at resurrection.
Once inside our “temple”, the “holy of holies” in our mind, it helps and guides our spirit-of-man (aka spirit-in-man) to do what is good. Contextually speaking, the “spiritual DNA”, akin to the “spirit of man” is an “egg” and the Holy Spirit is like the “sperm” in the process of “fertilization “. Through many changes and overcoming challenges, it then develops into a zygote. And with growth/development in the “uterus” of the “mother/church”, it becomes a mature fetus and ripe for “delivery”.
It subsequently manifests “full-term” at “delivery” as “newborn child of God” at resurrection of the “firstfruits “, as in 1Corinthians 15:23 “But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him”
This is the fulfillment of being “born again”(6).
The Holy Spirit is a power that originates from the Father. It is not a “person” nor limited to three persons in the doctrine of Trinity which evolved in the 3rd/4th century because of misunderstanding the nature of God in conjunction with the Shema doctrine of “oneness”. It is very important in the eventual “building” of the “kingdom of God”, the “church of God”, all “spirit/composed”.
The first man, as promised and who received this gift of the Holy Spirit, was man-Christ Jesus at river Jordan because of his belief in the Father that what he promised, he will fulfill. This was the power that enabled him to overcome temptation of Satan at the mount after fasting 40 days/night. This is the same power that guided him to the way of the Father, following God’s will rather than his’ in the garden of Gethsemane. In contrast, Adam in the garden of Eden succumbed to Satan’s temptation because of his weakness and lack of this power that provides wisdom.
Only after Jesus’ resurrection, as “Son of God”, was he given, by the Father, the same power, for him to in-dwell/bestow to others who believe, at their “appointed time”. After Jesus’ resurrection, he gave this power to his apostles and since then at Pentecost to other believers and ongoing unto this day.
As Jesus, (the forerunner, beginner,trailblazer, precursor,pioneer) was empowered by the “Holy Spirit” in him to be sanctified and glorified, we who are “called” during this period, will also be “sanctified” and become “overcomers” to endure through the end, so long as we follow “his will, not our’s”. As Jesus was glorified as “Son of God”, we will also be glorified with him as “children of God”, all spirit-composed.
Being so, we will be “spirit-composed”, immortal and live eternally; this salvation. Instead of the family of God limited to three, as falsely woven into the Trinity Doctrine, there will in fact be numerous members of this family,“many stars in heaven” as promised and prophesied to Abraham(Gen. 22:17; 26:4).
This process is the very essence of salvation from “second death”, for us then to say“death where is thy sting?” (I Cor. 15:55-57).
It is our hope that this research will help illuminate the controversy surrounding the Holy Spirit. Let us keep our mind open to truth and for no one to be stubborn because of misplaced “belief perseverance”.
May God Bless you. 👍🙏😇
Original Post: 5/4/2018
Revised and reposted: April 10, 2021
On this special day, this post serves as a “proposal” for consideration and acceptance.
Please tap hyperlinks for references
Critique is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014 Retrieved 5/3/18 at http://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/
2. Trinity Deconstructed. Retrieved 5/3/18 at https://fact-s.net/2014/08/06/trinity-doctrine-deconstructed/
See also: https://www.ucg.org/studienhilfen/broschuren/is-god-a-trinity/is-the-holy-spirit-a-person
3. Torah. Retrieved 5/3/18 at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/m/articles_torah.html
4. Justification, Reconciliation, sanctification and Glorification. Retrieved 5/4/18 at http://fact-s.net/2018/05/01/justification-reconciliation-sanctification-and-glorification
5. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 5/3/18 at http://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/
6. Born Again? Retrieved 5/4/18 from http://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/