WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT? Is it the third person of the “trinity”, a figure of speech, a kind of ghost, a force or a power?

There are different opinions as to who the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is. Is it the third person of the “trinity”, a figure of speech, a kind of ghost, a force or a power? As in any Scriptural teaching, it is necessary to study the Scriptures in depth to discover the truth. A superficial reading will, no doubt, lead us to a false understanding.

A THIRD PERSON?
We have spoken about “Yahweh and Yahshua”, and since Yahshua is not Yahweh, they are two different beings. Therefore, the concept of the trinity (three co-equal and co-eternal persons, so to speak, that form the DEITY) is not true.

The concept of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh), as a person apart from the Father and the Son, is really a mystery. It is such a mystery that those who are in favour of this idea can’t explain it either.

Let us start by making some questions:

  • If the Father is a person, apart from the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a person apart from them, then, who is the Father of Messiah?
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 1:18-20
18  But the birth of יהושע [ Yahshua] Messiah was as follows: After His mother Miryam was engaged to Yosĕph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant from the Set-apart Spirit.
19  And Yosĕph her husband, being righteous, and not wishing to make a show of her, had in mind to put her away secretly.
20  But while he thought about this, see, a messenger of יהוה appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Yosĕph, son of Dawiḏ, do not be afraid to take Miryam as your wife, for that which is in her was brought forth from the Set-apart Spirit.

Is the Holy Spirit the Father of Yahshua and not יהוה (Yahweh) ? The only way to understand this is by going to Luke

Luqas (Luke) 1:35
35 And the messenger answering, said to her, “The Set-apart Spirit shall come upon you, and THE POWER of the Most High shall overshadow you. And for that reason the Set-apart One born of you shall be called: Son of Elohim.

The Holy Spirit is the power that produced the conception.

  • The apostle Paul salutes the Father and the Son in the introduction of his Epistles. Why doesn’t he do the same with the Holy Spirit? It would seem offensive to the Holy Spirit if it were in the same category.
  • Why is the Holy Spirit never shown as sitting or standing near the throne as the Father and the Son are? ( See Ma’asei (Acts) 7:55-56; Qolasim (Colossians) 3:1; Hazon (Revelation) 5:1-9; 7:10). We don’t even see an empty throne for him.
  • Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 11:3 offers a hierarchy that involves humanity and the Messiah t in one category together with Elohim (Yahweh the Father) who is the supreme authority but, where is the Holy Spirit?
  • Eph’siyim (Ephesians) 5:5 tells us that the “kingdom” that believers will inherit is the kingdom of Messiah and of Elohim. Why isn’t it the kingdom of the Holy Spirit as well?
  • The Father and the Son talk among themselves, but, why don’t they do it with the Holy Spirit?

These are just a few of the many questions that arise if the Holy Spirit is in reality a person. However, there are various points that can lead us to believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. Let us examine some of them.

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES
It is said that the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) has the attributes of persons and, therefore, is a person. Among a few of these attributes is the fact that the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh):

  • examines the deep things of Elohim  [Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 2:10]
  • speaks [Hazon (Revelation) 2:7]
  • cries out with a great voice [Galatiyim (Galatians) 4:6]
  • intercedes [Romiyim (Romans) 8:26]
  • bears witness [Yohanan (John) 15:26]
  • leads us [Romiyim (Romans) 8:26]
  • guides or directs us[Romiyim (Romans) 8:14]
  • commands us [Ma’asei (Acts) 16:6-7]
  • grieves [Eph’siyim (Ephesians) 4:30], etc…

To explain this consider the following verse

Romiyim (Romans) 8:9-10
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.
10  And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.

The Spirit of Messiah lives within us, but verse 10 tells us that it is Messiah himself. This is something that is applied to the Spirit of Yahweh as well. It is the mind, feeling and the will of the Almighty Yahweh. So, the personal attributes of the Holy Spirit are those of Yahweh and Yahshua living within us with their personality and character. Yahweh HAS GIVEN the fullness of the Holy Spirit to the Messiah [ Yohanan (John) 3:34;  Qolasim (Colossians) 1:19] . Now that the Messiah has been glorified through the resurrection, the Spirit he has is of the Father and not His own. Their spirits have been united in one and are introduced into the believers as well [Yohanan (John) 15:26; Romiyim (Romans) 8:9-11] although not fully. On the other hand, because the Spirit has attributes that are not personal, it is something that makes us claim that the Holy Spirit is the power of Yahweh or his influence.

That the Holy Spirit is the Power of Yahweh is something we see in the following verses:

[Romiyim (Romans) 8:11]
11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע [Yahshua] from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you 
[Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 6:14]  
14 And Elohim, who raised up the Master, shall also raise us up through His power. 
[Eph’siyim (Ephesians) 1:19-20]
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who are believing, according to the working of His mighty strength, which He wrought in the Messiah when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies. 

These verses clearly show that the power of Yahweh is His Holy Spirit and through that Spirit He resurrected His Son.

[Eph’siyim (Ephesians)3:20]
20 And to Him who is able to do exceedingly above what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us .

The power that works in us? That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

[Luqas (Luke) 1:35]
35 and the messenger answering, said to her, “The Set-apart Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And for that reason the Set-apart One born of you shall be called: Son of Elohim .

Was it a person or a spiritual being that had relations with Miryam or was it the miraculous power of Yahweh that caused the conception?

[Luqas (Luke) 24:49]
And see, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The expression clothed with power from on high means to receive the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh]. The power of Yahweh is what work within us.

PERSONIFICATION
Personification is a literary technique which is used frequently in Hebrew Scripture. Many “personal attributes” of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh), mentioned above, can be a result of this technique. For example,

Shaul (Paul) speaks about sin as something that

deceived and killed him [Romiyim (Romans) 7:11].

Moreover he says that

“death reigned from Adam to Moshe (Moses)” [Romiyim (Romans) 5:14].

Sin and death are not persons

There are other examples like

“love [ahavah] is patient…reckons not the evil” [Qorintiyim Alef (1 Corinthians) 13:4-5]

Kindness and truth shall meet, Righteousness and peace shall kiss.[Tehillim (Psalms) 85:10]

And the moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed [Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 24:23]

Sing, O heavens, for יהוה shall do it! Shout, O depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, O mountains, forest, and every tree in it! [Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 44:23]

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? [Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:13]

In all these examples, the item that is personified is not a person and neither is the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh].

PERSONAL PRONOUNS
Another point that leads people to believe that the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh] is a person are personal pronouns like “he”, “his”, from him to whom that are used in verses as in Yohanan (John) 14:17;15:26;16:7, 8, 13, 14.

In the majority of European languages nouns have a gender, that is, they are masculine, feminine or neutral. Masculine pronouns are used in these verses because the word Comforter in Greek Parakletos is masculine. However, the word “Spirit” in Greek “pneuma” is neutral and in reality the neutral pronoun “it” should be applied in this case. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for Spirit [ruach] is a feminine noun. However, from a grammatical point of view, all Greek pronouns have to be in accordance to the word being used.

CONCLUSION
As we have seen, the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh] is not the third part of any trinity because it is not a person. It is the power, the mind, the disposition of the almighty Yahweh Himself. It has been joined to the spirit of Yahshua the Messiah now that He has been glorified and lives within true believers. It is the means by which we are guided to all truth and the power that makes the resurrection of the dead a reality. When we first receive the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh] we are given a small amount of it. It is as it were a first instalment until we resurrect and them we will receive it in full. The Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh] is a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father but it is not the third person of a fictitious trinity.

Shalom
Published by Comunidad Yisraelita de Yahshua Ha Mashiaj
Translated by NAZARENES TO THE WORLD

Unless stated otherwise, Scripture is taken from The Scriptures,
Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research.
Used by permission.