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Is God a Trinity... Part III
The Holy Spirit... a Separate Person or The Divine Presence And Power Of The Father Himself

Carol Brooks

Index To All Six Sections

    Part I: Definition and Historical Background, Relying On Others To Decide What We Should Believe

    Part I B Plurality in The Godhead, The Deity of Christ & The Deity of The Holy Spirit

    Part II: Passages That Supposedly "Prove" the Trinity.

    You Are Here 001orange Part III: The Holy Spirit... a Separate Person, Or The Divine Presence And Power Of The Father Himself

    Part IV: The Grammar... Can it legitimately be used to support the idea that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity

    Part V: The Cappadocian Fathers.. The doctrine of the trinity, which has remained virtually unchanged to this day, found its roots in paganism not the Bible. This largely due to the part played by three ancient Greek philosophers and mystics. Part VB: The Cappadocian Fathers... Are both the Son and Spirit derived from the Father in "different ways"? Asceticism and Mysticism. The sad legacy of Neoplatonism.

    Part VI: Summary and Conclusion

 

ON THIS PAGE
The Word Spirit 

The "Power" of The Most High... What is This Divine "Power" That Works In Us?

Only One Spirit
The Bible Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Holy Spirit
The Bible Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Spirit of Christ
The Bible Equates The Spirit of Christ With The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit... Conspicuous By It's Absence as A Distinct Person
Did Jesus and Paul and John Forget About The Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit Is Curiously Absent From Visions of God's Throne
The Holy Spirit Is Never Prayed To or Worshipped
The Holy Spirit Is Missing from The Opening Salutation of Most of The New Testament Books and The Doxologies

What About Scriptures Describing Actions Of The Holy Spirit?

Impersonal Descriptions of The Holy Spirit

Impersonal Attributes of The Holy Spirit

 


The Word Spirit
The Holy Spirit is considered to be the 'third person of the trinity', a separate but co-equal member of the Godhead. Which brings us to the million dollar question.... is the Holy Spirit a "Person" in his own right?

The word "spirit" has been translated from the Hebrew rach and the Greek pneuma, both of which literally mean "current of air", "breath" or "wind".

(The word "ghost" is used in some older versions of the Bible because it comes from the Old English gast "soul, spirit, life, breath; good or bad spirit, angel, demon. It was the "usual West Germanic word for supernatural being" [31]

However, the English word "spirit" itself carries a broad range of meaning. It is used for a supernatural being... an angel or demon that can be seen if it reveals itself. Every other meaning of the word "spirit" involves that which is not seen... and is often used to denote the non-physical part of a person. For example "spirit" can mean...

    The vital principle or animating force within living beings
    The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings
    The essential nature of a person or group.
    The fundamental, emotional, and activating principle of a person;
    That which constitutes a person's intangible being as contrasted with his physical presence [32]

The essential nature... the mind, will, and feelings of a person is what drives and motivates them. However, because this driving force is non-physical and invisible, we do not see it, but can see the resulting actions. Just as we feel the effects of breath or wind which is invisible, we cannot see "spirit", but can see and feel what the spirit does.

    "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Gk. parakletos), that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit (Gk. pneuma) of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  (John 14:16-17 NASB)


The "Power" of The Most High

The Bible often speaks of the "power" of God, using the Greek word dunamis which, literally or figuratively, means force, power, strength etc. (Note, that although Dunamis specifically means miraculous power it can, by implication, mean the miracle itself. It is, therefore, often translated "miracle").

In our day, the English word "power" has largely come to mean having great influence or control over others. For example, the expression "corridors of power" is a household phrase referring to the centres of government. However, "power" also means the ability or capacity to do something, miraculous or otherwise.

Non-miraculous Ability: In the parable of the talents a man, who was about to go on a long journey, called his servants and "To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability (Gk. dunamis)... " (Matthew 25:15 NASB). The Corinthians who "... according to their ability (Gk. dunamis), and beyond their ability (Gk. dunamis), they gave of their own accord". (2 Corinthians 8:3 NASB)

Miraculous Ability: When the Sadducees, who neither believed in the resurrection of the dead nor in angels and spirits, sought to challenge Jesus' position on the resurrection, by putting a rather fanciful question to Him, He told them that they neither understood the Scriptures "nor the power (Gk. dunamis) of God" (Matthew 22:29). In other words they did not believe God had the ability (power) to resurrect the dead.

Jesus and His disciples, began their ministries in the "power" of the Spirit.

    And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power (Gk. dunamis) of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. (Luke 4:14 NASB)

    "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power (Gk. dunamis) from on high." (Luke 24:49 NASB)

    but you will receive power (Gk. dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NASB)

This was the same power that enabled both Christ Himself, and the apostle Paul, to perform miracles during their respective ministries.

    "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power (Gk. dunamis), and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  (Acts 10:38 NASB)

    For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power (Gk. dunamis) of signs and wonders, in the power (Gk. dunamis) of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:18-19 NASB)

The miraculous power flowed from Jesus into the woman who, ill for twelve years, reached out and touched His garment, rightly believing that if she did so, she would be healed.

    Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power (Gk. dunamis) proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" (Mark 5:30 NASB)

Paul told the Ephesians that this power works within us as well.

    Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power (Gk. dunamis) that works within us, (Ephesians 3:20 NASB)


What is This Divine "Power" That Works In Us?
If the prophet Micah is to be believed, it is the Holy Spirit. Noting that the Hebrew word kach also means force, power or ability, Micah equated being filled with the Spirit of the Lord with being filled with God's power.

    On the other hand I am filled with power (Heb. kach)-- With the Spirit (Heb. rach) of the Lord-- And with justice and courage to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:8 NASB)

Micah was saying that in contrast to false prophets who led people astray (Vs. 5), he was filled with the power of the Spirit of the Lord who gave him courage to testify against the nation. Similarly, the Holy Spirit was the power the disciples needed to become courageous and energetic preachers of the Gospel.

    but you will receive power (Gk. dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NASB)

So how do we interpret these two verses? If taken by themselves, there are many who will disagree that they show that the Holy Spirit and God's power are one and the same thing.

However, theologians always rightly tell us we should use Scripture to interpret Scripture. If we follow that very sound advice we will have to consider that other sets of verses in the Old Testament unambiguously equate God's power and His Spirit..

God's Spirit/Power in Creation
The prophet Jeremiah said that the Lord had made the heavens and earth by His great "power",

    It is He who made the earth by His power (Heb. kach), Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12 NASB)

    'Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power (Heb. kach) and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,  (Jeremiah 32:17 NASB)

While Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 104 tell us that the "Spirit" of God was intimately involved in creation

    The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit (Heb. rach) of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 NASB)

    You send forth Your Spirit (Heb. rach), they are created; And You renew the face of the ground. (Psalms 104:30 NASB)

Two Creators?
And, as a by the way, the prophet Isaiah says the Lord created the heavens and the earth. So either the Spirit created this world, or the Lord did.. in which case we have two creators. OR they are one and the same Being.

    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the Lord , and there is none else.  (Isaiah 45:18 NASB)

God's Spirit/Power Has Set Us Free/Granted us Life
Peter mentions that God's Divine power has granted us life through the true knowledge of God and His Messiah...

    seeing that His divine power (Gk. dunamis) has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  (2 Peter 1:3 NASB)

Yet, the first verse below says the love of God comes to us through the Spirit, and the second says it is the Spirit of life that has set us free.... which makes it more than evident that the Divine power and the Holy Spirit are one and the same

    and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NASB)

    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:2 NASB)


Only One Spirit
Kenneth Samples, research scholar at Reasons To Believe, says "six simple statements show how the doctrine of the trinity "is indeed derived from Scripture". The fifth on this list is ....The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct persons and can be distinguished from one another (the Father is not the Son; the Father is not the Holy Spirit; and the Son is not the Holy Spirit. [33] In support of this statement he refers to the following verses...

    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19 NASB)

    and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."  (Luke 3:22 NASB)

    When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,  (John 15:26 NASB)

    But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-15 NASB)

    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB)

However, doctrine cannot be established on a superficial reading/interpretation of a few verses. To state, as Mr. Samples does, that Father, Son and Spirit "are frequently listed together in a triadic pattern of unity and equality" goes well beyond what the text says. Three of the verses quoted do nothing but mention Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one place, and none of them say anything about the nature of the Holy Sprit or Jesus Himself, nor a single word about unity and/or equality. Because all of these ideas have to be read into the text, they fall under the heading of mere conjecture.... based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence.

In order to come to a sound conclusion about the trinity (or, for that matter, any other Biblical doctrine), one has to do a lot more digging. If we are willing to invest our time and energy, our shovels will uncover a great deal that contradicts the orthodox view.

Let's start with the fact that the Bible makes it very clear that there is only one Spirit.

    There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;  (Ephesians 4:4 NASB)

    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:4 NASB)

    For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB)

Yet the Bible tells us that

A) The Spirit of God dwells in us

    But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 NASB)

    However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9 NASB)

    Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB)

    and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NASB)

B) The Holy Spirit dwells in us

    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB)

    who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2 Corinthians 1:22 NASB)

    Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:14 NASB)

C) The Spirit of Christ dwells in us

    Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Galatians 4:6 NASB)

Now either, Paul got it wrong about there being only one Spirit and there are, in reality, three Spirits, OR the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same, which would account for the fact that the Bible tells us that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit give .....

Life to Our Mortal Bodies?
Similarly, on four separate occasions (Acts 2:24, 10:40, 13:30 and Romans 10:9), using the word Theos, the New Testament tells us that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Other verses make it clear that just as He raised Jesus from the dead, God will eventually give life to our mortal bodies, eternal life being a free gift from Him.

    But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life (Gk. zoopoieo) to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  (Romans 8:11 NASB)

    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23 NASB)

However, Jesus also gives life

    "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life (Gk. zoopoieo) , even so the Son also gives life (Gk. zoopoieo) to whom He wishes.  (John 5:21 NASB)

    (as it is written, "A father of many nations have I made you") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life (Gk. zoopoieo) to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.  (Romans 4:17 NASB)

    He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:12 NASB)

As does the Holy Spirit

    For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life.  (Galatians 6:8 NASB)


The Bible Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Holy Spirit
Psalm 139:7-10 and Jeremiah 23:23-24
Psalm 139 is clearly directed to the Father, as the opening verse ("A Psalm of David. O Lord (Heb. Yahweh), You have searched me and known me") makes very clear. In verses 7-10, David very clearly equates not being able to get away from the Spirit, with not being able to flee from the Lord even if he were to hide in Sheol, or under the sea.

    Where can I go from Your Spirit (Heb. rach) ? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. (Psalms 139:7-10 NASB)

While Jeremiah tells us that the Father Himself fills the heaven and the earth and no one can hide from Him.

    "Am I a God (Heb. elohym) who is near," declares the Lord (Heb. Yahweh), "And not a God (Heb. elohym) far off? "Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?" declares the Lord (Heb. Yahweh). "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord (Heb. Yahweh). (Jeremiah 23:23-24 NASB)
     

Isaiah 6:8-10 and Acts 28:25-27
Note Paul's words to the Jews, some of whom believed what he said, and others who did not.

    And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit (Gk. pneuma) rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 'go to this people and say, "you will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them."' (Acts 28:25-27 NASB)

Paul's words are a paraphrase of Isaiah 6:8-10, which has the prophet saying ...

    Then I heard the voice of the Lord (Heb. adonay), saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed." (Isaiah 6:8-10 NASB)

The word adonay in the verse above, simply means "Lord". However, the first verse of this chapter tells us that Isaiah "saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple", above whom Seraphim with six wings stood (Vs. 2). Verse 4 mentions that the temple was filled with smoke and the foundations trembled. All of which leaves little room to doubt that the ancient prophet was speaking of the Father Himself.

The answer to why Paul attributed these words to the Holy Spirit is simple... The Father (Adonay In The OT), and the Spirit (Pneuma In The NT), are the same Person.

Similarly...

The Mind/Spirit of the Lord
In his letters to the Romans and Corinthians, Paul twice referred to the "mind of the Lord"

    Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36 NASB)

    which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NASB)

The sense is, God is supreme... no one instructs or guides him. However, Paul was quoting Isaiah 40, in which the prophet said

    Who has directed the Spirit (Heb. rach) of the Lord (Heb. Yahweh), or as His counselor has informed Him? (Isaiah 40:13 NASB)

In other words, the Spirit if the Lord and the Mind of the Lord are one and the same thing.


Speaking By Which Spirit?

Considering that there is only one Spirit, Jesus could not have been speaking of two different Spirits in the following verse... which means that the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are one and the same Being.

    Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit (Gk. pneumati) of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit (Gk. pneumati). (1 Corinthians 12:3 NASB)


Who Would Tell The Disciples What To Say?
Scriptural evidence, rarely referred to, that the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the divine presence and power of the Father Himself is found in Mark 13 and Matthew 10, when Jesus gives specific instructions to his apostles, when they are sent out into the world.. Notice the identical instructions in both verses.. (All Emphasis Added)

    "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit (Gk. pneuma). (Mark 13:11 NASB)

The verse above doesn't say who the Holy Spirit is, only that He will give them what to say. Notice however the parallel instructions in Matthew

    and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. "But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit (Gk. pneuma) of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:18-20 NASB)

Matthew is writing about the same thing as Mark, but he goes on to say, "the Spirit of your Father". Again, bearing in mind that there is only one Spirit, these two verses provide strong evidence that the Holy Spirit is the Father's Spirit, not a third person in his own right.


Who Was Jesus Conceived by?
Time and time again, the Bible refers to God as Jesus' Father. In fact, Jesus Himself said God was his father. However, Matthew 1:20 tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

    But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived (Gk. gennao) in her is of the Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 1:20 NASB)

    that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten (Gk. gennao) You.'  (Acts 13:33 NASB)

The word "begotten" means to cause conception... Therefore one who begets is the father, and the one begotten is the offspring. Consequently if the Father and the Holy Spirit were two persons, then would it not stand to reason that Jesus had two fathers? Luke, however, makes it reasonably clear that the Holy Spirit 'coming upon Mary, and the power of the Most High overshadowing her was one and the same event, caused by one and the same Person.

    The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power (Gk. dunamis) of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35 NASB)

I am at a loss as to how, confronted with this type of evidence, people still believe that God and the Holy Spirit are separate Persons. But there is more...


The Bible Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Spirit of Christ
The following verse should make it readily apparent that the Spirit of God the Father and the Spirit of Christ are the same Spirit. This actually makes perfect sense, since Christ and the Father are one.

    However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9 NASB)


The Bible Equates The Spirit of Christ With The Holy Spirit
In his second epistle, Peter said prophecies were made by men "moved by the Holy Spirit", but in his first letter he said "the Spirit of Christ within them" predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

    no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21 NASB)

    As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (1 Peter 1:10-11 NASB)

Note: although the prophets knew they were inspired, it is unlikely that they understood that they were inspired by the Messiah Himself. However it doesn't change the fact that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ were one and the same thing. There was only one Spirit that inspired the ancient prophets.

Who Supervised the Initial Spread Of The Church
This is further emphasized by the fact that, as anyone who has read the book of Acts will know, from Pentecost on, the Holy Spirit pretty much supervised operations, telling people where to go, who to speak to, what to say and, in some cases, warning the apostles not to go to a certain place. Note some examples of the Holy Spirit directing the spread of the fledgling church...

    Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." (Acts 8:29 NASB)

    While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. "But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself." (Acts 10:19-20 NASB)

    While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:2 NASB)

    So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. (Acts 13:4 NASB)

    "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:  (Acts 15:28 NASB)

    They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;  (Acts 16:6 NASB)

    "And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. (Acts 20:22-23 NASB)

    "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28 NASB)

    After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. (Acts 21:4 NASB)

But out of the blue comes one single solitary verse in which Luke says "the Spirit of Jesus" did not permit Paul and, I believe, Timothy, to go to Bithynia. Yet the verse immediately preceding this one says the Holy Spirit forbade the apostles to preach the word in Asia.

    (6) They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; (7) and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; (Acts 16:6-7 NASB)

So what happened here? Did Jesus realize that the Holy Spirit had not done the needful and took it on Himself to do so? Or did He simply decide to intervene this once. Okay, So I am being just a tad facetious. The point is that there is only ONE Spirit, as the New Testament itself tells us. Both verses, using different wording simply reflect the direction and guidance given by the Spirit of God/Christ.... also known as the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit... Conspicuous By It's Absence as A Distinct Person

Did Jesus Forget About The Holy Spirit?
Jesus consistently spoke of the relationship between God the Father and Himself. For example, telling the Jews that He and the Father "were one" (John 10:30), He made Himself equal with God. (John 5:17-18), and said that the Father had sent Him (John 8:16). But not once did He make a similar statement about Himself and the Holy Spirit. Nor did He ever pray (or even talk to) the Holy Spirit as He did His Father (Matthew 26:39).

Note particularly that when Jesus said...  "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. (John 14:23 NASB), He only mentions Himself and The Father. And there are plenty of other verses in which Jesus left out the Holy Spirit.

    For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18 NASB)

    "But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me." (John 8:16-18 NASB)

    Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, (John 17:1 NASB)

    "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. (John 17:11 NASB)

    that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  (John 17:21 NASB)

Additionally, on several occasions, Jesus told the Jews that He revealed the Father... when they saw Him (Jesus) they saw the Father. Yet, in all these verses He did not even make a passing reference to the Holy Spirit.

    "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." (John 14:7 NASB)

    Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? (John 14:9 NASB)

    "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14:10 NASB)

Would He really have so completely ignored the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit was the third person of the trinity?

Also note that in the third quote above Jesus says the Father abiding in Him does His works. Where then did the Holy Spirit go?


Did Paul Forget About The Holy Spirit?
If God were a Trinity, one would imagine that Paul, who laid the greater part of the theological foundation of the early church, would have taught this concept. Yet, he does no such thing. On the contrary, he consistently, and repeatedly, tied the Father and Son together with no mention of the Holy Spirit. When he does speak of the Spirit, it is in a completely different vein. Was this a gross oversight on the part of the apostle, or are we simply refusing to see what was behind what he wrote? For example, in the book of Titus, Paul very distinctly said he was (Emphasis Added).

    "...a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,  (Titus 1:1 NASB)

Surely this would have been a slap in the face if the Spirit were indeed an entity coequal with God the Father and Christ. In his letter to the Corinthians, once again completely ignoring the Holy Spirit, Paul made an even more insulting statement when he spoke of one God and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, with no mention of the Holy Spirit.

    yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.  (1 Corinthians 8:6 NASB)

Also note the number of times Paul explicitly connects the Father and Son, with no reference to the Holy Spirit. For example...

    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, (Romans 1:8-9 NASB)

    giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14 NASB)

    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB)

    Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NASB)

In fact, in the books of Romans alone, I counted 22 instances where God the Father and Jesus Christ are tied together in the same sentence. For example Paul says we "exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (5:11), we are alive to God through Christ (6:11), he gives thanks to God through Jesus Christ (7:25), and says he, in Christ, found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God (15:17).

However, there is a distinct difference in how the Holy Spirit is referred to. Paul talks about the Holy Spirit who was given to us (5:5), "putting to death the deeds of the body" by the Spirit (8:13), being led by the Spirit (8:14). and the power and love of the Spirit (15:13, 19, 15:30), and in reference to the law, contrasts serving "in newness of the Spirit" vs the "oldness of the letter" (7:6).

What Paul never does is tie the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together, as he does Father and Son alone. In fact, 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the only place in Paul's writings that he mentions the Holy Spirit in the same verse as the Father and Son. But, even here, he says that our fellowship is of the Holy Spirit, not with the Holy Spirit, making the point that God's Spirit is the unifying agent that brings us together in fellowship, not only with one another, but with the Father and Son.

In fact, John very clearly stated who our fellowship is with the Father and Son, with nary a word about fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

    "Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3)


Did John Forget About The Holy Spirit?
As pointed out above, when John said, "Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3), he said nothing about any fellowship with the Holy Spirit... an unforgivable oversight had there been a 'third person' of a trinity.

Not only that, but John makes no mention of seeing the Holy Spirit in his visions recorded in the book of Revelation. For example, Revelation 5 describes a book in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. The book was sealed with seven seals, which only Jesus (the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David), is worthy to open. The chapter goes on to describe how an innumerable multitude of angels, living creatures and elders praise the Lamb.

However there is not one word about the Holy Spirit.

In fact, John's description of the throne of God is more than telling. He speaks of "the throne of God", "God who sits on the throne", "the Lamb in the center of the throne", "the throne of God and of the Lamb" etc. Where is the throne of the Holy Spirit? In fact, in the first quote below, although both God and the Lamb are mentioned, along with a great multitude standing before the throne, the Holy Spirit is conspicuously absent.

    After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9-10 NASB)

    "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:15-17 NASB)

    Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, (Revelation 22:1 NASB)

    There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; (Revelation 22:3 NASB)

Come to think of it ...


The Holy Spirit Is Missing From Other Visions of God's Throne...
In Acts 7:55-56, which describes the martyrdom of Stephen, we read that he "gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'" He saw God the Father and Jesus the Son, but no Holy Spirit.

In Daniel's vision of heaven he saw God the Father (the "Ancient of Days"), millions of beings attending Him, and "One like a Son of Man" given an everlasting kingdom. Curiously absent from the vision is the third person of a supposedly triune God.

     (9) "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.  (10)  "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.  (11)  "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.  (12)  "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. (13) "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.  (14)  "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:9-14 NASB)


...And From The Left Hand of The Father
Many verses tell us that after His ascension into Heaven Jesus, the Lamb of God, sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He remains

    Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64 NASB)

    So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  (Mark 16:19 NASB)

    Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. (Acts 2:33 NASB)

    fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  [Hebrews 12:2 NASB)

    who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.  (1 Peter 3:22 NASB)

    which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:20 NASB)

Wouldn't the co-equal third person of the trinity merit a spot, perhaps on the Father's other side.


The Holy Spirit is Not The Temple and Does Not Light The New Jerusalem
It is also striking that, in describing the "the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:10), John states that he saw no temple in the city since "the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple". He also says the city "has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it". (Revelation 21:22-24 NASB)

Yet, once again, the Holy Spirit is not explicitly mentioned, which is an unimaginable, inconceivable oversight if this Spirit is the third person of a Trinity.


The Holy Spirit Is Never Prayed To or Worshipped.
Prayer is a consistent theme of the New Testament. Jesus spent much time in prayer (Luke 6:12 NASB) and taught His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6). Prayer was a huge part of the spiritual life of the early church (Acts 12:5, Romans 10:1, 2 Corinthians 9:14, Philippians 4:6 etc.). Paul strongly advised the (Colossians to devote themselves to prayer (4:2), and instructed the Thessalonians to "pray without ceasing; (5:17). This is hardly surprising since James told us that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  (James 5:16).

While it is true that most prayer was addressed to God the Father, there is one notable exception. Just as Stephen was about to die, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55). His last words were a prayer specifically directed at the Messiah... "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (Acts 7:59

However, there is not a single prayer directed to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

Similarly although the instructions to worship the Father are crystal clear...

    And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." (Revelation 14:7 NASB)

    But he *said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God." (Revelation 22:9 NASB)

    the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  (Revelation 4:10 NASB)

And God Himself says the angels should worship the Lord Jesus Christ..

    And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "and let all the angels of God worship Him"  (Hebrews 1:6 NASB)

There isn't a single verse which speaks of the worshipping the Holy Spirit.


The Opening Salutation of Most of The New Testament Books

Moreover, adding insult to injury, in most of his letters Paul greets the person or individual concerned in the name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, never once mentioning the Holy Spirit. (I counted fourteen occurrences (See List). And Paul wasn't the only one.. James and Jude did so as well. As did Peter and John in each of their second letters.

    James: James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. (James 1:1 NASB)

    Jude: Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:  (Jude 1:1 NASB)

    Peter: Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord  (2 Peter 1:1-2 NASB)

    John: Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 1:3 NASB)


The Doxologies
As said in an article by H A Barnes in Believer's Magazine

    In the New Testament a doxology is a short, unique, and spontaneous ascription of praise to God. They never follow a set pattern, but usually come after the mention of a divine name and they usually end with the phrase "for ever (and ever). Amen". Doxologies appear unexpectedly within, or more expectedly at the end, of the epistles. Their final "Amen" gives the readers an opportunity to show their agreement through their responding "Amens". [34]

James is the only NT author who did not include a doxology in his epistle.

There are approximately eighteen doxologies in the New Testament books... ten by Paul, three by Peter, one by Jude, one by the author of Hebrews, and three by John in Revelation (one written by him, while the other two were uttered by the angels and all created things, which John recorded). Although the doxologies themselves are short, I have, in some cases, included the preceding verses which show who the praise is being directed to. Note that not one of them is directed to the Holy Spirit.

    1. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:25 NASB)

    2. whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.  (Romans 9:5 NASB)

    3. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.  (Romans 11:36 NASB)

    4. Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 16:25-27 NASB)

    5. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5 NASB)

    6. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB)

    7. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20 NASB)

    8. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Timothy 1:17 NASB)

    9. that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14-16 NASB)

    10. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18 NASB)

    11.  Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 NASB)

    12. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11 NASB)

    13. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11 NASB)

    14. but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 NASB)

    15. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NASB)

    16. and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6 NASB)

    17. And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." (Revelation 5:13 NASB)

    18. saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 7:12 NASB)


What About Scriptures Describing Actions Of The Holy Spirit?
There are passages of Scripture that attribute actions, activity and even emotions to the Holy Spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit was involved in

    Creation... The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit (Heb. rach) of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 NASB)

    The Incarnation... Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 NASB)

    The Resurrection... But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 NASB)

Additionally the Holy Spirit is depicted as being

    Eternal .. how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  (Hebrews 9:14 NASB)

    Omniscient .. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-11 NASB)

    Omnipresent .. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalms 139:7 NASB)

And capable of

    Speaking .. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "today if you hear His voice, (Hebrews 3:7 NASB)

    Reasoning ... "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: (Acts 15:28 NASB)

    Feeling .. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 NASB)

Like countless other theologians, Patrick Zukeran of Probe Ministries comes to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit has to be a person, because it has the characteristics of a person In his words...

    The Holy Spirit is also a separate person, and He is also called God. First, let us understand, the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. He is a person and has the characteristics of a person. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), He speaks (Acts 13:2), and He can be lied to (Act 5:3-4). In Acts 5:3-4 the Holy Spirit is called God, "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?... You have not lied to men, but to God.'" So we see clearly that there are three persons in the Bible, and all three are called God. [35]

It is certainly true that, any 'being' that is capable of speaking, reasoning and feeling cannot be an impersonal 'force', But, on the other hand, the Bible often attributes human characteristics to inanimate things...


Anthropomorphisms
Anthropomorphism, which is attribution of human form, characteristics, emotions, motives, and actions to non-living things, is an ancient literary tradition. And the Bible is no different. The Old Testament speaks of non-living things crying out for vindication, shouting/singing for joy, clapping their hands, lamenting etc., none of which is, obviously, to be taken literally

    He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10 NASB)

    The meadows are clothed with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing.  (Psalms 65:13 NASB)

    Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy (Psalms 96:11-12 NASB)

    Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy (Psalms 98:8 NASB)

    Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.' (Isaiah 14:8 NASB)

    For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  (Isaiah 55:12 NASB)

    Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework. (Habakkuk 2:11 NASB)

Similarly, the New Testament depicts wisdom as having children, creation groaning, righteousness speaking, water and blood testifying etc. etc.

    Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children." (Luke 7:35 NASB)

    For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:22 NASB)

    But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "do not say in your heart, 'who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down),  (Romans 10:6 NASB)

    For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 John 5:7-8 NASB)

It was Paul who said creation groans (above) which we never take to mean that 'creation' is a living being. Yet when he writes that the Holy Spirit feels grief, why do we necessarily assume that these emotions have to mean the Holy Spirit is a person, especially in light of all the evidence against. Ascribing activity or other human characteristics to the Holy Spirit does not mean the Holy Spirit is a distinct person.

We need to return, for a moment, to the definition of the English word "spirit", which is often used to denote the non-physical part of a person, ie. the part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings. In the case of God, if the Holy Spirit is indeed His essential nature, which He shares with us when we are born again, then any 'human' attribute of the Holy Spirit is hardly difficult to understand. And it is no wonder that Acts 5:3-4 indicates that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God.

In other words, God's Spirit, which is a part of Him, thinks, reasons and feels just as He does. And, in cases, where the Holy Spirit is said to have done something, it is God using His Spirit as the agency, or power, through which He works.

Besides which, in complete contrast to it's descriptions of the Father and Jesus Christ, the Bible also describes the Holy Spirit in ways that certainly do not indicate a person.


Impersonal Descriptions of The Holy Spirit
In the Scriptures, God the Father and Jesus Christ are consistently portrayed with human like shape and form. God is portrayed as having

    An Arm (often used as a symbol of his power)
    "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (Exodus 6:6 NASB)

    Hands
    "Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:23 NASB)
    "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. (Acts 2:33 NASB)

    A Heart and Eyes
    "For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. (2 Chronicles 7:16 NASB)

    A Face
    "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 NASB)

    they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 22:4 NASB)

However, in comparison, the Holy Spirit is consistently represented by symbols.... inanimate objects.

    Tongues of Fire
    And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  (Acts 2:2-3 NASB)

    Water
    Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39 NASB)

    A Dove
    After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  (Matthew 3:16 NASB)

    A Pledge or Earnest
    who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2 Corinthians 1:22 NASB)

    Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.  (2 Corinthians 5:5 NASB)

    In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB)

To say the least, these completely different depictions are difficult to understand if the Holy Spirit is a person!


Impersonal Attributes of The Holy Spirit
Additionally, the Holy Spirit is spoken of in many ways that do not support the idea that a person is being spoken about.

Quenched
A Divine person cannot be quenched, as when Paul told the Thessalonians "Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NASB). (The word translated "quench" is the Greek sbennumi, which literally means to extinguish. It is used a total of only eight times in the New Testament, usually in connection with fire, which makes it hardly surprising that Paul used sbennumi since the Holy Spirit was seen as "tongues as of fire" that rested on each one of those gathered in the upper room. Acts 2:3)

    A battered reed he will not break off, and a smoldering wick he will not put out (Gk. sbennumi), until he leads justice to victory.  (Matthew 12:20 NASB)

    in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish (Gk. sbennumi) all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NASB)

    quenched (Gk. sbennumi) the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.  (Hebrews 11:34 NASB)

Baptized With
Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit, which would be odd if the Spirit were a person.

    As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  (Matthew 3:11 NASB)

Filled With
Additionally, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how people can drink/partake of a person, or be filled with a person. If the Holy Spirit is a separate being, either He abides in a person, or not. The amount cannot vary.

    Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39 NASB)

    For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, (Hebrews 6:4 NASB)

    And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

    And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  (Ephesians 5:18 NASB)

Stirred Up
Also I am not sure how, as Paul told Timothy, you can rekindle, or "stir up" a Divine being, unless of course this being, like the Genie in a bottle, is asleep and needs shaking awake.

    For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh ("stir up" in the KJV) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  (2 Timothy 1:6 NASB)

Poured Out
How can a person, divine or otherwise, be given as a gift that is "poured out", or given "without measure".

    All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. (Acts 10:45 NASB)

    "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34 NASB)

In Acts 2, Peter quoted the prophet Joel (2:28-29), saying

    and it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'that I will pour forth (Gk. ekcheo) of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth (Gk. ekcheo) of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18 NASB)

A person cannot be poured, which is why neither Christ nor the Father are never referred to this way. However, every time this word has been used in the New Testament, it refers to an inanimate object. For example, wine ( Matthew 9:17 etc.), Christ's blood (Mark 14:24 etc.) and the vials held by the angels (Revelation 16:2 etc.).

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word shphak (poured) is used over 100  times for inanimate or abstract objects.  For example... blood (Leviticus 4:30, Jeremiah 22:17 etc.), ashes (1 Kings 13:3), wrath ( Psalms 79:6, Ezekiel 20:13 etc) and, of course the Spirit of God Himself

    "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord God.  (Ezekiel 39:29 NASB)

    "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28 NASB)

    "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication...   (Zechariah 12:10 NASB)

If the Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of God Himself, then having it "poured out", given "without measure", or "quenched" makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to speak of being "filled" with, "partake of" or be "baptized with" the Spirit if the Spirit is the essential nature of God Himself.


Finally
In Psalm 51:11, confessing his sin, King David implored God,

    Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalms 51:10-11 NASB)

If the Holy Spirit were a distinct person, with a mind and consciousness of its own, why did David not say something like "Holy Spirit, do not leave me"?

Perhaps because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God Himself and God can give the gift of His Spirit, or take it away.

 

Continue Reading... Part IV
The Grammar: Because the Holy Spirit is referred to as 'He' or "Him" in quite a few places in The New Testament, many people assume that the Holy Spirit is a divine person just like the Father and the Son. In fact, the grammar is often used by many evangelicals as the first line of defense against any challenges to the doctrine. The problem is that the grammar cannot legitimately be used to support the idea that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. Doctrinal bias, not grammatical accuracy, is responsible for referring to the Holy Spirit with masculine rather than neuter pronouns. In other words, there is no grammatical foundation for the orthodox view of the Trinity.

 

Footnote. Greeting in The NT Epistles
1. to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Romans 1:7 NASB)

2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3 NASB)

3. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:2 NASB)

4. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, (Galatians 1:3 NASB)

5. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:2 NASB)

6. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2 NASB)

7. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.  (Colossians 1:2 NASB)

8. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.  (1 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB)

9. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  (2 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB)

10. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,  (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NASB)

11. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Philemon 1:3 NASB)

12. To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  (1 Timothy 1:2 NASB)

13. To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  (2 Timothy 1:2 NASB)

14. To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.  (Titus 1:4 NASB)
[PLACE IN TEXT]


Endnotes
[31] Online Etymology Dictionary. © 2001-2013 Douglas Harper http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ghost

[32] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spirit

[33] Kenneth Samples. The Trinity's Biblical Basis. http://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/the-trinitys-biblical-basis/

[34] H A Barnes, Bromborough The Doxologies of the New Testament Epistles. http://www.believersmagazine.com/bm.php?i=20080611

[35] Patrick Zukeran. Jehovah's Witnesses and the Trinity. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/jw-trin.html

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The Trinity Part II

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