What or Who is the Holy Spirit Study Notes

Rev Gary L Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC


Various groups have defined the Holy Spirit in different ways

Among them are these definitions of the Holy Spirit:

an abstract principle
an impersonal force
a fluidlike substance
an angel
a subordinate divine being

But what does the Bible say?

As we go into any bible study we must understand that we study the word of god through the eyes of faith. Through the eyes of faith our opinions and our beliefs are immaterial in the light of the word of God.

3 What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]? 4 By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men].

Romans 3:3-4 (AMP)

The lack of faith people have in God does not nullify his word!

And as we look at this subject we need to look at the subject through the eyes of the scripture .

As We begin lets clarify some terms:

The titles -Holy Ghost- and -Holy Spirit- are interchangeable; both are translations of the same Greek phrase. The King James Version uses the term -Holy Ghost- more frequently - but it also uses the term -Holy Spirit-. Many of the more modern translations use the term Holy Spirit.

The term -Holy Spirit- is usually more understandable to modern English speakers- especially those unfamiliar with the Bible- and to some Ghost does not bring across the proper meaning to them.

Frequently the Bible simply speaks of -the Spirit-.

So all three of these terms- Holy Ghost- Holy Spirit- the Spirit are all synonymous

Now in understanding what the holy spirit is we must basically understand the nature of God

I, the LORD, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. You must therefore be holy because I am holy.

READ Lev 11:45 (NLT)

God himself declares that he is holy

"Who else among the gods is like you, O LORD?
       Who is glorious in holiness like you--
    so awesome in splendor,
       performing such wonders?

Exodus 15:11 (NLT)

He is glorious in holiness and the basic nature of God is holiness and God himself assumes the title and is referred to as the - the Holy One -

for your Creator will be your husband. The LORD Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:5 (NLT)

In comparison to the holiness of God Isaiah 64:6 tells us - But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags! -

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)

Because God is Holy in Himself we must derive our holiness from God.

His very nature is Holy

Now the scripture tells us about the essence of God, that God is Spirit

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24 (NKJV)

The scriptures also tells us that there is only one Spirit of God

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

Ephesians 4:4 (NKJV)

And we are going to find the spirit of God the Holy Spirit and Spirit are used interchangeably in the scriptures relating to that very essence of God

3 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? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Acts 5:3-4 (NKJV)

For example here in Acts Peter told Ananias and Sapphira that they had lied -to the Holy Ghost- and then said they had lied - unto God -. Here the writer uses the terms holy spirit in reference to God

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV)

So we find here that the spirit of God dwells in us!

Now lets look at 1 Corinthians 6:19

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God- and you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)

Here we find the Holy Spirit is in us and it comes from God

So we see here some of the different scriptures that use the spirit of God - the Holy Spirit and – Spirit - interchangeably - yet all pointing to the spirit of God

Now as we get into this next section we will find some people have different ideas about the name of God in the Old Testament. The English term from early translators is Jehovah- some of the Jews Use YHVH as the unpronounceable name of God while some more modern Jews and Christians insist YHWH or Yahweh is the best rendition of the Old Testament name of God. For our purposes here we will use Jehovah which was formed by early translators who combined the vowels of Adonay with the consonants of YHWH- so when I use the name Jehovah I am speaking an Old Testament name of God in early English. If you are Jewish please understand I am referring to Hashem. You see traditional Jews use the name -Hashem- to show their respect to God by not taking his name lightly and only using what they feel is the proper name of God in there prayers.

So lets look at some scriptures and please follow them on the blackboard as we look in detail concerning there translations

Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
      Or as His counselor has taught Him?

Isaiah 40:13 (NKJV)

On blackboard you can see the relationship between the Spirit - or roo-ack in the Hebrew yehovah

The relationship between the spirit and Jehovah would be similar to referring to me personally and my character- or attributes.

Lets look at our next scripture:

27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD (jehovah) your God (Elohim) And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. 28 “ And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit (rooach) on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams,Your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:27-28 (NKJV)

Now we see in Joel that Jehovah our Elohim will pour out of his roo-ack on all flesh

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:9 (KJV)

As we move in to the New Testament Greek we find the roo-achh is now called the Greek Pneuma and we see here the spirit of god and the spirit of Christ used interchangeably and the scriptures tell us in Ephesians 4:4 that there is only one spirit- one pneuma- one roo-ack.

We are not talking about 2 separate spirits here.

Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit (pnuema).

1 Thessalonians 4:8 (NKJV)

Here we find the Holy Spirit being referred to as God’s spirit

So we can see how these scriptural references show us that the Holy Spirit pertains to God or is God Himself in spiritual essence.

If the Holy Spirit is God Spirit- then why is this additional designation needed?

Because the title Holy Spirit specifically refers to God in spiritual activity- particularly as He works in ways that only a Spirit can in the life of beleivers.

If thats true then the Holy Spirit is not an abstract principle – nor an impersonal force- not a fluidlike substance - an angel or subordinate divine being.

But rather the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God working in the area of spiritual activity among human beings.

The title Holy in Holy Spirit describes the fundamental character of God’s nature, for holiness forms the basis of His moral attributes while the spirit forms the basis of His being or essence- for the scriptures declare that God is a Spirit.

So the term Holy Spirit describes the very spirit of God Himself, the one Holy Spirit over all creation.

And its that the very spirit of God Himself- the one Holy Spirit over all creation that is promised to the believer.

When a person is filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit the great God of all creation comes into the heart of the believer and begins to work in the believers life in ways that only a Spirit can and begins to impart to us his holy nature.

And while the Holy Spirit is powerful it is also subject to our will. If we will not follow the leading of the Spirit we become carnal once again. As I brought out in my study What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit - even though the spirit of God can come into the heart of a believer today you do not become some kind of zombie or mind numbed robot. We are still free willed individuals capable of quenching the spirit of god in our life. It becomes our choice.

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