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What Does the Bible Say About the Holy Spirit – Is the Holy Spirit the Third Person in the Trinity, an Emotional Experience, Spiritual Enlightenment, or Something Else?

doveAlthough the issue of what or who the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is cannot be considered obscure by anyone who knows the scriptures, it is still one of the least understood concepts in Christendom. The problem with that is simply this – without the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven (John 3:5, Romans 8:9), you cannot possess the revelation of God (1Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 1:17, 3:5, 2Peter 1:21), and you have no hope in this present world (Romans 15:13, 2Corinthians 1:22, Galatians 5:5, Ephesians 1:13).
Wow – that’s sobering.
So, without a clear understanding of what or who the Holy Spirit is, what the Spirit does, and that means for you, you are lost. While everyone who is saved is not a Bible scholar, everyone who is saved has the Spirit (Acts 2:38-40, 5:32, 19:2-6; Romans 8:9, 1Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 4:30, Titus 3:5) and the Spirit confirms his presence within a person (John 3:3-6, 14:26; Acts: 1:8, 2:4, 10:44-47; Romans 8:15-16, Hebrews 10:15-16, 1John 5:6-13). So, if you believe that you are saved but you are still confused about what or who the Holy Spirit is, according to the scriptures, you could not possibly yet be saved.
Even more sobering, huh?
It becomes clear then that knowledge of the Holy Spirit is essential to Christian faith – what or who is it, do you “catch” it or “receive” it, and what is the purpose and function of the Holy Spirit? These questions must be answered scripturally in order for people who are seeking God in these last and evil days to find salvation. There are many false prophets and false doctrines in the world, so if you do not know who God is for yourself according to the scriptures, you will be lost.
Let’s begin our study of who or what the Holy Spirit is by first determining who or what it is not:

The Holy Spirit is NOT the Third Person in a Trinity

Despite what you may have been taught, the Holy Spirit is not the third person in “the Trinity” because the Trinity (concept of God in three persons – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, existing as separate entities) is not a Biblical concept. While it is indeed true that God manifested himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5, 14-15, 1Timothy 3:16), manifests his presence within the physical bodies of born-again Christians as the Holy Spirit (John 7:39, 14:17, Romans 8:15, 1Corinthians 3:16), and was introduced as our heavenly Father by Jesus Christ (John 5:18, 8:15-45), God only has one person:
Hebrews 1:1-3

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

1John 5:7

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Furthermore, the fullness of the Godhead, which is in the Greek Theios (not to be confused with Theos) and was a Greek word for deities in general, was found in Jesus Christ. This “Godhead” is not a collection of divine persons but a reference to God’s authority and power (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9). If you do not see the connection to the word “Godhead” and authority or power because you have been taught that the Godhead was the Trinity, consider the meaning of the word “figurehead” and compare the terms – then reread the scripture references and the meaning should become abundantly clear.
As we can see through scripture that the Holy Spirit is not a third person of God, since God is only one person with one personality. He manifested himself in flesh as Jesus Christ and continues to manifest his presence as the Holy Spirit in the church. He even manifested himself as a dove (John 1:32-33)! These manifestations are not separate persons, but the same God whose presence is revealed in different contexts when appropriate and necessary as determined by his own will.

The Holy Spirit is NOT an Emotional Reaction or a Religious Experience

As you may have already gathered, the Holy Spirit is not a religious term for an emotional reaction that one has when they hear the word of God. The Holy Spirit teaches (John 14:26, 1Corinthians 2:13), speaks (Mark 13:11, John 15:26, 16:13; Acts 8:29, 1Timothy 4:1, 1John 5:6), and comforts (John 14:16, 18, 26; 15:26, 16:7) – this is not an emotion, although the manifestation of the presence of God quite often produces an emotional reaction in the born-again Christian (Galatians 5:22).

The Holy Spirit is NOT Simply Spiritual Enlightenment

Although the indwelling and even the visitation of the Holy Spirit bring spiritual enlightenment (1Corinthians 2:10, Ephesians 3:5), this kind of enlightenment is and of itself is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, also called the Holy Ghost, is the Spirit of God, who himself is a person (Hebrews 1:3), not a state of mind. Consider how the Holy Ghost impregnated the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:35) – enlightenment, no matter how deep or revelatory, cannot conceive a human child. Furthermore, when the bodily form of the Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus at his baptism (Luk3e 3:22) the account in Matthew (3:16) says that “the Spirit of God” descended like a dove. It is abundantly clear that the Holy Spirit is indeed the Spirit of God himself, and as we know, God is infinitely much more than a man’s enlightenment.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

As we have seen through study of what the Holy Spirit is not, the Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of God that dwells within a person providing God consciousness and power to live up to God’s standards through grace. In order for us to be truly saved, we must have the Spirit of God living within us. There are more scriptural references to these facts; the New Testament is full of them because our salvation depends on it.

7 Responses to “What Does the Bible Say About the Holy Spirit – Is the Holy Spirit the Third Person in the Trinity, an Emotional Experience, Spiritual Enlightenment, or Something Else?”

  • Jonathan:

    I have wondered a lot about God being one, yet referred to as three entities.

    The only thing I would have to disagree on, is this “(the holy sprit) existing as separate entities is not a Biblical concept” and here’s why I think that:

    For starters God refers to himself as three different entities a lot in the New Testament and (at least) two different entities also in the Old Testament; in Tower of Babel story. Specifically when God says, “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7) Also, in the story of when Jesus gets baptized (Matthew 3:13-17), I ask you, why did he get baptized? I assume it was to receive the Holy Sprit which later it says, “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove alighting upon Him.” Seeming to confirm He didn’t have it at first, meaning They were separate. Lastly, in the story when Jesus dies on the cross, right before Jesus dies He “cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?’” I will also assume that God, whether it be the Holy Sprit or the Father, God left him. In that case, Jesus was undoubtedly separated from God.

    Now I won’t ignore that places where God says He is One but after seeing, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” I start to get an idea of what God really means. Obviously, anyone married knows the husband and wife doesn’t physically merge together as one person forever, but I’ve thought of their one-ness as an inseparable-spiritual bond; “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Just as God referrers to a man and woman as “one” so I have thought-the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Sprit-as One. And just like when marriage is separated my divorce, as when Jesus was forsaken by God, it creates a disheartening spiritual and emotional tear, yet they can physically be apart.

    But what do you think?

  • sue:

    This is a subject that has confused me, I agree with jonathan and to me what He beileves makes more sense than anything I have read about God being Jesus.

  • Shondell:

    The Holy Spirit IS the Third person of the Trinity. Water exists in how many forms,3, liquid, steam, and ice but are all water. The same with God. God the Holy Spirit has always existed just as God the Father has always existed just as God the Son has always existed.

  • Roy:

    I really enjoyed reading your explanation to this matter.
    It really makes things so much clearer.
    Thank you so much.
    May God continue to bless.

  • Rosetta Falcon:

    I would first like to thank you for giving me such an insight on the HOLY SPIRIT. But i would like to agree with Jonathan on the three beings of GODhead. I have always looked at the three GODHEADS as three saperate identities. In Mathew 24:30-31. ” Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky… they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.and at the end of the Gospel of Mathew 28-18:20 he says to his disciples.” Go then to all peoples every where and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I thought of this point of view as if we look at a triangle – there are three angles(which would be the point of views through which GOD manifest himself to a human being). So God though being one Person is still three different beings – but still one GOD. If we keep GOD on the Topmost side of the triangle Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of GOD the Father. Secondly any angle you view the trinity it is still the same GOD. But Jesus has also said that unless I go to the Father the Helper (Holy Spirit) cannot come – which also means that they would have to be the different and still part of the same trinity. I hope i have been able to express my point of view .. Please do let me know if my point of view is incorrect.

  • Rom.8:27 He has a mind (proving he is personal). Rom.15:30 he has love which only those with intelligence and personality express. Eph.4:30 he is grieved. Heb.10:29 he can be insulted. He can be blasphemed. Mt.12:32 Tells us all sins committed against the Son will be forgiven but the sin against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This certainly affirms he is neither a force nor a mere creature. Only an eternal sin cannot be forgiven, which means it is against the eternal God.

  • God the Holy Spirit:

    1) He can be blasphemed (cf. Mark 3:29, 30).

    2) He can be lied to (cf. Acts 5:3).

    3) He intercedes or prays on the behalf of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:26).

    4) He issues commands (cf. Acts 13:4; 16:6).

    5) He is intelligent, for He investigates and searches (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Rom. 8:27).

    6) He has a will (cf. 1 Cor. 12:9-11).

    7) He can be grieved (cf. Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30).

    8) He testifies (Neh. 9:30; John 15:26; Heb. 10:15) and teaches (John 14:26). Furthermore, only cognizant persons can exercise and engage in intelligent communication (e.g., Acts 13:2).

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