and Sisters in this Forum,
to you and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ, HalleluYah!
received an email from a Christian who has questions on the human spirit and the Holy Spirit.
Since the issues affect everyone I shall respond and publish them in this email.
Statement 1: Here is an interesting enigma; the spirit that brings life
to man or beast is a kind of power or energy, but not a person. However, without this spirit of life man is unable to
develop a personality. (e.g. the phrase: that boy has spirit.)
In order to understand the true nature of man’s spirit one needs to know how man is created. “Then God said, ‘Let
Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Gen. 1:26). Some assume the plural pronouns “Us” and “Our”
refer to the plurality of gods. This assumption is incorrect because there is only One Creator. “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from
the womb: I am the LORD who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all
alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;” (Isa. 44:24). The plural “Us” and “Our” does not refer to multiple persons but to the One and only Creator Himself. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27) There are common traits in the image that God imparts to man
and woman. Both male and female have spirit, soul and body (Gen. 2:7; 1 Thes. 5:23).
of man is NOT an impersonal kind of
energy or power like what causes an electric
shock. The Bible gives us some wide range of functions of the human spirit that
is associated with thinking and understanding (Job 32:8); human emotions including sorrow (Pro. 15:13); anguish (Ex. 6:9;
Jn. 13:21); anger (Pro. 16:32); fear (2 Tim. 1:7) and joy (Lk. 1:47).
When my mother was single and a nurse she had to help lay out dead bodies. She said to me that dead body had
no personality - that it had gone elsewhere.
So does the spirit retain something of our personality?
Our spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12v7
of man is NOT his personality. The spirit is the essential part of man that has life within the person. The
Bible informs us: “For as the body without
the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jas. 2:26). Death is the separation of the spirit from the
body. The apostle Paul teaches that, for believers, death is “to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8) At his
martyrdom Stephen called “on God and
saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59-60).
physical death is compared to sleep (Jn. 11:11; 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 Thes. 4:15) the Bible does not teach that one loses consciousness
after death. The Lord Jesus Christ taught people who have died experienced enjoyment
and suffering (Lk. 16:19-31). If the spirit that has left the body at death is
just an impersonal force or power then there would be no consciousness of anything – no enjoyment or suffering. Jesus promised the repentant thief on the cross that He would be with him in Paradise the very day of
his death (Lk. 23:43).
John 4v24 states "God is Spirit" and our Father’s personality is pure.
Again, I would like to emphasize, the Spirit of God is NOT our Father’s personality. The Spirit of God is God Himself. It
is essential that we fully understand this absolute truth. Our Lord Jesus Christ
declared, “God is Spirit, and those
who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn. 4:23-24) When we worship God we are also worshiping the Holy Spirit who is God Himself (Php. 3:3).
The Holy Spirit is God
Scriptures indicate the Holy Spirit has all the same attributes as God
Creation: The Spirit of God was active in the Creation (Gen. 1:1-3). “You send forth Your Spirit,
they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.” (Psm. 104:30) “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4)
Eternal: The Spirit of God is called the “Eternal Spirit” (Heb. 9:14).
Jesus promised the disciples, “And I
will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (Jn. 14:16)
says, “I will put My Spirit in you, and you
shall live, . . .” (Ezk. 37:14) Jesus says, “It is the Spirit
who gives life; . . “ (Jn. 6:63) “But if the Spirit of Him
who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies
through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom.
Omnipotence: The angel said to
Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; . .” (Lk. 1:35)
Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;”
Omnipresence: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or
where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” (Psm. 139:7-8)
Omniscience: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?
Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10-11)
Blasphemy: The Lord Jesus Christ warned, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against
the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son
of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age
or in the age to come.” (Mt. 12:31-32)
“But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan
filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? . . . . Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You
have not lied to men but to God.” (Acts
5:3-4) Lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God.
The Holy Spirit is a
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force or power from God but is a Person who is God
Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the Holy Spirit as a Person.
”However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not
speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (Jn. 16:14)
Certainly an impersonal force or energy cannot be called “He”. How can an impersonal force, energy or personality guide you into all truth, hears, speak, tell you things to come and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit is called the “Comforter,
that He may abide with you forever.” (Jn.
14:16 KJV) “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you
know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Jn. 14:17 NKJV)
In these two verses our Lord Jesus Christ made it very plain and clear that the Holy
Spirit is a Person and not an impersonal force, energy or personality. You can
know the Holy Spirit and He dwells with you and will
be in you.”
Here is our Lord Jesus Christ’s clear teaching on the Holy Spirit as a Person and not an impersonal force, energy
or personality. “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But
the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance
all things that I said to you.” (Jn. 14:25-26)
The Holy Spirit does things and functions that only a Person can do, and which an impersonal
force, power and personality cannot do them. The Holy Spirit strives (Gen. 6:3). He teaches (Lk. 12:12), convicts people of sin (Jn. 16:8). He directs church affairs (Acts 13:2), helps and intercedes believers in their prayers (Rom. 8:26), inspires
holy men to write Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21), and sanctifies the saints (1 Pet. 1:2). The
Holy Spirit is truly a Person who is God Himself.
What about “Pouring out Spirit”?
Statement 4: The nature
of the Holy Spirit is rather perplexing for the following reasons. God speaks
about pouring out His Spirit: Joel 2v28-29 ; Acts 2v17,4 However,
the Bible says nothing about pouring out an angel, Jesus Christ, The Lord, or the Father.
Comment 4: The nature
of the Holy Spirit is not so perplexing if you can accept symbolism in Scripture that improves our understanding on spiritual
truths. There are several symbols which apply to the Holy Spirit such as the
dove (Lk. 3:22), fire (Mt. 3:21; Acts 2:3-4), wind (Jn. 3:8; Acts 2:2) and living water (Gen. 1:2; Jn. 7:37-39). There are others.
On the Day of Pentecost Peter explained to the Jews in Jerusalem that what they saw the experiences
of the disciples of Christ was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy: “And it
shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; . . .” (Acts 2:14-18) In order to understand the Scriptural phrase “pour out of My Spirit”
we need to go back to the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets.
Isaiah 44:3 -
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;”
The prophet is giving an analogy of pouring water to illustrate God’s
pouring of the Holy Spirit on His people. It is a graphic description of God’s
promise to His chosen people that they will receive great blessings of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ “commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father,
‘which,’ He said, you have heard from Me, for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the
Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5). That promise
was fulfilled in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and continued
in other places and at other times as well.
Psalm 72:6 -
“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.”
Hosea 6:3 -
“Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth
is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter
and former rain to the earth.”
The above two prophecies state God “will come to us like the rain, like the latter
and former rain to the earth.” How does God do that?
The prophet Joel gives us the answer. The rain
is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. God will “pour out His Spirit”
on His people like a heavy downpour of rain.
Joel 2:23 -
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; For
He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and
the latter rain in the first month.
The apostle Peter confirms what the prophet Joel wrote:
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them. ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell
in Jerusalem, Let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit
on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall
see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams, , And on My menservants and maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:14-18; ref. Joel 2:28-29)
Here is another prophetical teaching about the spiritual rain.
“Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the Latter Rain.
The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.” (Zec. 10:1)
We have learned that “rain” symbolizes the Holy Spirit. “Ask the LORD for rain” means we pray for the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ taught, “And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and
it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks it will be opened. . . . If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how
much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Lk. 11:9-11). Christians should pray for the Holy Spirit as taught by Jesus.
But why do we “ask the LORD for rain in the time of the Latter Rain”? In Israel there are
two seasons of rain. The Former Rain falls in Autumn (September – November)
during the time of sowing. The Latter Rain falls in Spring (March – May)
just before the harvest. Joel’s prophecy points to the two periods of God’s
downpour of His Spirit. During the First Century the Apostolic Church was sowing the gospel seeds. There was a heavy outpouring of the Holy Spirit at that time. This is the period of
the Former Rain. The End Time is the period of the Latter Rain that precedes
the harvest (Mt. 13:39). Now is the time of the Latter Rain. Now is the time to pray for the Holy Spirit. Now is the time
to “ask the LORD for rain in the time of the Latter Rain”.
Statement 5: Our Lord breathed out the Holy Spirit:
John 20v22 He breathed on them and
said to them, receive the Holy Spirit
Comment 5: We can learn another spiritual truth from the creation of Adam.
'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7).
The Hebrew word for breath 'ruach' is also used for spirit (Gen. 7:22).
Originally, Adam and Eve had the breath or Spirit of God in them. God had warned them, "but
of the tree of the knowledge of 'good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die "
(Gen. 2:17). True
to God's words, they both died spiritually on the day that they disobeyed Him. Although
they continued to live physically, but the Spirit of God had left them. Today all people share this same fate as Adam and
Eve. They are all spiritually dead because they do not have the Spirit of God in them. The heavenly Father had promised to
put His Spirit back on His people.
"Thus says the Lord God: 'Behold, O My people, I will open your
graves and cause you to come up from your graves, . . . I will put My
Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.
Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,’ says the LORD."' (Ezek.
On the evening of His resurrection our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples. "Then Jesus said
to them again, 'Peace be with you.' And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.
" (Jn. 20:21-22) It is highly significant that our Lord Jesus Christ breathed His Spirit on the disciples, the same way as God had breathed
His Spirit on Adam at Creation. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the way for God's
people to regain the spiritual life that had been lost by Adam and Eve during their Fall in the Garden of Eden.
Statement 6: In
Josh McDowell's book:
"The New Evidence that demands a verdict", page 141.
states John 10v30 "I and My Father are one" The term "one"
in Greek "one" is in the Neuter form (hen). To continue he deduces that
it means one in essence - not one person.
I presume that this essence must be the Holy Spirit that is internal to both the Father and Son. This
raises the question of how can the Holy Spirit retain its own personality if it exists in two distinct persons.
Comment 6: Josh McDowell is considered one the most highly respected Christian apologists of our time. His book “The New Evidence that demands a Verdict” is a classic on Christian
apologetics that defends the Christian theology of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On page 141 of his book concerning John 10:30 he begins: “In
this account, the Jews clearly understood Jesus’ words as a claim to be God.” In his concluding paragraph he wrote: “Their attempt to stone Jesus for blaspheme shows that they definitely understood
His teaching. It also shows that they did not stop to consider whether His claim
to deity was true or not.”
In fairness to Josh McDowell he did not write: "I and My Father
are one" The term "one" in Greek "one"
is in the Neuter form (hen). To continue he deduces that it means one in essence - not one person.” He attributed the statement to the Greek scholar A. T. Robertson and biblical commentator J. Carl Laney.
I am not a scholar of the Greek language therefore I am not qualified to make any comments on
Greek grammar or any writing of these scholars. All I can say and write is to
quote exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ said in John 10:30. Jesus said: “I and My Father are one.” Our
Lord did not say “I and My Father are one in essence”. He certainly
did not say “I and My Father are two Persons”. We all believe that
the Father is God, and we also believe that Jesus is God. We can safely say that
Jesus and the Father are one and the same God.
Another quandary is found in if the Holy Spirit is a distinct person then according to
child of the Holy Spirit
Matt 7v21 the will of my Father i.e. offspring of the God the Father.
Jesus is the offspring
of two male deities - that is not very nice??
Regardless of one’s theological position in Christianity there are basic truths that we all accept.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
No, Jesus does not have two Fathers. There is only
One Father and He is God. There is only One Lord Jesus Christ
and He is God. There is only One Spirit and He is God.
The Father and the Holy
Spirit are One
The Lord Jesus Christ stated very clearly about the essence of the Deity, "God is Spirit." (Jn 4:24) Bearing this in mind and at the same time remembering that there is only "One Spirit" (Eph 4:4), we shall come to the important truth that the Father and the
Holy Spirit are one and the same Divine Person.
A. 1) The one and only Spirit is called "the Spirit of God" in the Old Testament (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 31:3, 35:31; Num. 24:2; 1 Sam. 11:6;
Job 27:3, 33:4; Ezk. 11:4), and also in the New Testament (Mt. 3:16,12:28; Rom. 8:9,14, 15:19; 1 Cor. 2:41-,14, 3:16, 6:11,
7:40, 12:3; 2 Cor. 3:3).
2) The one
Spirit is called the "Holy Spirit" in the Old Testament (Psm. 51:11; Isa. 63:10-11); and of course He is known as the "Holy
Ghost" in the King James Version) in the New Testament. (Mt. 1:18,19; Lk. 1:1 5; Jn. 14:26; 20:22; Acts 1:8; Rom. 5:5; 1 Cor.
2:16; Heb. 2:4; 1 Pet. 1:12)
3) The Spirit
is called "the Holy Spirit of God" (Eph. 4:30) and also "the Spirit of your Father" (Mt. 10:20). The Holy Spirit
proceeds from the Father. (Jn 15:26)
Since there is only one Holy Spirit of God, who is the Father of us all; there can be no question about
the Father and the Holy Spirit being the one and the same Divine Person. (Eph. 4:4-6; Jn 4:23-24)
B. During the birth of our Lord
Jesus Christ, this one and only Holy Spirit of God entered the womb of the virgin Mary to conceive the Child Jesus (Mt. 1:20-25;
Lk. 1:30-35). The Lord Jesus has no human father.
His only Father is God who is the Holy Spirit. If the Father and the Holy
Spirit were two separate and distinct Persons as taught by some theologians, then Jesus would have two Fathers, which cannot
be true (Eph. 4:6). The truth is, the Father and the Holy Spirit are one and
the same Divine Person who is in the Lord Jesus Christ. This would harmonize
with His statement: "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me." (Jn. 14:10-11)
C. The Lord Jesus Christ taught
very clearly that the Holy Spirit is given by the Father. (Lk. 11:13; Jn 14:16,26) He
had asked His disciples to wait for the "Promise of My Father" which is the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-8) During the Old Testament time God had promised to pour out His Spirit on His people. (Prov. 1:23; Isa.
44:3; Ezk. 36:26; Joel 2:28-29) After the Lord Jesus Christ's death, resurrection,
ascension and glorification, the Holy Spirit was indeed poured out on the Disciples who had waited on Him (Jn 7:38-39, 14:28,
16:7; Acts 2:33). Surely those Disciples had received only one Spirit from the
Father, who is also the Holy Spirit Himself. (Acts 2:4,16-18,33,38; Eph. 4:30)
The Lord Jesus Christ explained, "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in
you." (Jn 14:20) This statement also harmonizes with the prayer of our Lord's, "That they all may be one; as You,
Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, . . . that they may be one, just as We are one; . . . I
in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one." (Jn. 17:21-23) The only way
in which this Oneness can be understood is to accept the truth that there is one Holy Spirit of God who is the same Divine
Person as the Father as well as the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not take a theologian
to understand that no Spirit-filled Christian can have more than one indwelling Spirit, for there is only one Spirit. If the Lord Jesus prayed that the Father, the Holy Spirit and Himself can dwell in
the believers, Surely He meant the one and only Spirit of God. This truth definitely
proves that the Father and the Holy Spirit are one and the same Divine Person who will indwell every true believer.
Why then does the Bible make a distinction between the Father and the Holy Spirit when both are one
and the same Divine Person? The answer is actually very simple. When the Bible mentions the Father, it is in reference to the fatherhood of God (Eph. 4:6) who is the Creator
(Isa. 64:8) and the Christians' relationship with Him as His children (Rom. 8:15; Mt. 7:11).
The Holy Spirit, who comes from the Father and is called "the Comforter" or "Counsellor", indwells the believer (Jn 14:16-17,15:26).
I empathise with the Jews when they have much difficulty with the notion of the trinity.
a 5 page MS Word (XP) document on this subject should you wish to read it.
Comment 8: The apostle Paul wrote: “Brethren, my heart’s
desire and prayer to God for Israel is
that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God,
but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorance of God’s righteousness
and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” (Rom. 10:1-3)
Most Christian denominations believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is most unfortunate that some do not fully understand the identity of the Holy
Some years ago an American subscriber to the ARK
Forum was earnestly seeking the truth about the Holy Spirit and healing of his physical illness. He has been taught the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force and energy.
After many weeks of correspondence he finally accepted the truth that the Holy Spirit is God (Jn. 4:23-24). He and his family were baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ in living water in Florida. That same day he prayed and received
the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues and he was also physically healed.
“God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Heb.
“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with
them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mk. 16:20)
Your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul Wong ~ Email: email@example.com
Dear Brother Paul
had to abandon the _______ ________ I tried being unhappy
with some of its notions. Alas this means I am short on Christian fellowship.
May I share some thoughts on "spirit"
(ruach) with you? Do feel free to make comment on any of them.
It appears that the
air and spirit have certain things in common:
Job 27v3 All the while my breath is in me and
the spirit of God is in my nostrils.
Air is relativity boundless, invisible and essential to life.
But air by
itself fails to impart comprehension; it is the spirit that grants understanding. 1 Cor.2v11 ;
Here is an interesting enigma; the spirit that brings life to man or beast is
a kind of power or energy, but not a person. However, without this spirit of life man is unable to develop a personality.
(e.g. the phrase: that boy has spirit.)
Now the kind of knowledge we seek makes us
the person we are. Those who seek carnal knowledge will develop a different kind of personality from those who seek
truth and righteousness.
When my mother was single and a nurse she had to help lay out dead bodies. She said to me that
dead body had no personality - that it had gone elsewhere.
So does the spirit retain something
of our personality? Prov.20v27
Our spirit returns to God who gave it.
John 4v24 states "God is Spirit" and our Father personality is pure.
The nature of the
Holy Spirit is rather perplexing for the following reasons.
God speaks about pouring out His Spirit: Joel 2v28-29 ; Acts 2v17,4
However, the Bible says nothing about pouring out an angel, Jesus Christ,
The Lord, or the Father.
Our Lord breathed out the Holy Spirit:
He breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit.
In Josh McDowell's book:
"The New Evidence that demands a verdict", page 141.
He states John 10v30 "I and My Father are one"
The term "one" in Greek
"one" is in the Neuter form (hen). To continue he deduces that it means one in essence -
not one person.
I presume that this essence must be the Holy Spirit that is internal to both the Father and Son.
This rises the question of how can the Holy Spirit retain its own personality if it exists in two distinct persons.
Another quandary is
found in if the Holy Spirit is a distinct person then according to
Matt 1v18-20, child of the Holy Spirit
the will of my Father i.e. offspring of the God the Father.
Jesus is the offspring of two male deities - that
is not very nice??
Obviously it is wrong to assume the Holy Spirit is a distinct separate person.
also 2 Cor.3v17 ; 11v31 ; Eph.1v3
...the Holy Spirit shall not speak on His own authority.
I empathise with the Jews when they
have much difficulty with the notion of the trinity.
I have a 5 page MS Word (XP) document on this subject should you
wish to read it.