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The Holy Spirit

Recently there has been much discussion about the Holy Spirit. Is He an actual 'Person,' a separate being from the Father and the Son, or is the Holy Spirit simply the 'presence,' the 'power,' the 'expression' or the 'manifestation of the Most High' who is also a Spirit Being (John 4:24). It is not our intention to enter this argument or even to delve into this matter about the structure of God. That subject we believe is beyond the present human mind. Nevertheless in this section we will study several facts about the Holy Spirit and His dealings with humanity as recorded in the Bible.

Hebrew ruach = spirit, wind, breath
Greek pneuma = spirit, from the root 'pneuma' we get words like 'pneumonia', 'pneumatic' etc.

1. Yahweh is a Spirit Being

John 4:24 God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
We humans are composed of bones, flesh and blood. God is composed of 'spirit', a substance of which we know little. But even though we cannot properly define what the substance called 'spirit' is, we know that the universe could not function for even a moment without the Holy Spirit of the Most High. He is to all spiritual life what air, water and light are to the physical creation. Let us therefore prayerfully consider this awesome subject about the Holy Spirit of the Most High.

2. The Holy Spirit / Compared to the Wind

John 3:8 ...The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

3. The Holy Spirit Within Man

Since the days of old the Holy Spirit has, in varying degrees, come upon and dwelt within mankind. (Joseph, Balaam, Gideon, John the Baptist and Jesus)
Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; And the Spirit of God came upon him.
Numbers 27:18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him.
Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon...

Other Old Testament texts: Deuteronomy 34:9, Judges 11:29 and 14:6-19, 1 Samuel 11:6, 2 Chronicles 15:1, Psalm 51:11, Daniel 4:9 and 5:11-14. All these texts show that the Holy Spirit was very active in and about men and women of olden times.

Luke 1:15 ... And he (John the Baptist) will be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor...

4. The Believer and the Unbeliever

Just as the difference between a living person and a dead body is that one is breathing and the other isn't, in a similar way the difference between a believer and an unbeliever is that one is responding to the Spirit of God and the other isn't. Both may, of course, be influenced by the Spirit, the dead and the living, but only one person is truly alive, and that is the one who is responding to and is controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

5. Attributes of the Holy Spirit

He is the Wisdom of God

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

He is the Truth of God

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

He is the Mighty Power of God

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him....

6. Receiving the Holy Ghost

Add obedience to your faith

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.


Matthew 7:6-9 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs ... Ask and it shall be given you ...
Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12: Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Note: These verses imply that unconverted people (figuratively referred to as 'dogs') will not be given the Holy Spirit prior to conversion; though in varying degrees all mankind are motivated by Him. The first step, therefore, is to respond to the promptings of Yahweh's Holy Spirit by accepting Him, put your Faith in Him. Then, by His grace and power obey His commandments and produce spiritual fruit. Finally one may ask for spiritual gifts. The Most High has promised to meet such requests. Do not, however, confuse the Holy Spirit with His fruit, His gifts or His Baptism. Each is a different thing.

7. What comes with the Holy Spirit


Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23: Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law..

Spiritual Positions / Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church
first - Apostles, (special messengers)
secondarily - Prophets, (inspired preachers and expounders)
thirdly - Teachers,
after that - Miracles then gifts of healing,
  - Helps,
 - Governments,
 - diversities of tongues.
Note: Sad to say many in the church today seem to have gotten this divine order the wrong way round. Speakers in Tongues are being given a preference not found in Scripture. In the above list they come after teachers, helps and governments. Beware when this divine order is reversed. It is usually a sign that the spirit of confusion and evil is present. Another fact to remember is that not ever believer has the same gifts. Yahweh distributes gifts according to His choice, not ours.
1 Corinthians 12: 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
The implied answer in this passage is 'not every believer will have the gift of prophecy, teaching or tongues.' Some will have these gifts, but not all. Currently the Christian church is being swamped by people supposedly 'speaking in tongues.' Millions are confused, yea frightened by this phenomenon. Is it of God or Satan? For our answer see the following two articles: Baptism of the Holy Spirit. and The Gift of Tongues.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Updated: May 1999