WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT? Third Person of the “Trinity”, Figure of Speech, Ghost, a Force or a Power?

There are different opinions as to who the Holy Spirit  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 יהוה and Yeshua, and since Yeshua is not יהוה, 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, as a person apart from the Father and the Son, is really a mystery. It is such a mystery that even those who are in favour of this idea can not explain it either.

SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT

  • 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 the Messiah?

    Matthew 1:18  [Hebrew Roots Version]
    18 And the birth of Yeshua the Messiah was this way: after His mother Miriam was betrothed to Yosef, before he came unto her, the Ruach HaKodesh found her pregnant.
    19 And Yosef her husband was a righteous man, and not willing to deliver her upto death, and not to disclose her: only it was in his heart to send her away in secret.
    20 And while he thought on this, the angel appeared to him in a dream, saying, Yosef son of David, fear not to take Miriam your wife, for that which will be born of her is from the Ruach HaKodesh: for from the Ruach HaKodesh she has conceived.

Is the Holy Spirit the Father of Yeshua and not יהוה, the Eternal? The only way to understand this is by going to Luke

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, the Power of the Eternal 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 Acts 7:55-56; Colossians 3:1; Revelation 5:1-9; 7:10). We don’t even see an empty throne for him.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3 offers a hierarchy that involves humanity and the Messiah in one category together with Elohim (יהוה the Father) who is the supreme authority but, where is the Holy Spirit?
  • Ephesians 5:5 tells us that the “kingdom” that believers will inherit is the kingdom of Messiah and of the Eternal. 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 has the attributes of persons and, therefore, is a person. Among a few of these attributes is the fact that the Holy Spirit:

  • examines the deep things of the Eternal 1 Corinthians 2:10.
  • speaks Revelation 2:7.
  • cries out with a great voice – Galatians 4:6.
  • intercedes – Romans 8:26.
  • bears witness – John 15:26.
  • leads us – Romans 8:26.
  • guides or directs us – Romans 8:14.
  • commands us – Acts 16:6-7.
  • grieves – Ephesians 4:30, etc…

To explain this consider the following verse

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 יהוה as well. It is the mind, feeling and the will of the Almighty יהוה. So, the personal attributes of the Holy Spirit are those of יהוה and Yeshua living within us with their personality and character. Yahweh HAS GIVEN the fullness of the Holy Spirit to the Messiah – John 3:34;  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 – John 15:26; 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 יהוהor his influence.

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

Romans 8:11[Hebraic Roots Version]
11 And if the Spirit of that One, who raised our Adon Yeshua the Messiah from among the dead dwells in you, that one who raised Yeshua the Messiah from among the dead, also will make alive your dead bodies, because of His Spirit that dwells in you.
1 Corinthians 6:14  
14 And Elohim, who raised up the Master, shall also raise us up through His power. 
Ephesians 1:19-20
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who are believing, according to the working of His mighty strength, 
20 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 יהוה is His Holy Spirit and through that Spirit, He resurrected His Son.

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.

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 [Mary] or was it the miraculous power of יהוה that caused the conception?

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. The power of יהוה is what works within us.

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

Shaul (Paul ) speaks about sin as something that – deceived and killed him – Romans 7:11.

Moreover, he says that
“death reigned from Adam to Moses” – Romans 5:14 – Sin and death are not persons

There are other examples like
– Love [ahavah] is patient…reckons not the evil – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.
– Kindness and truth shall meet, Righteousness and peace shall kiss – Psalms 85:10.
– And the moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed – 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! – Isaiah 44:23.
– You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? Matthew 5:13.

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

PERSONAL PRONOUNS
Another point that leads people to believe that the Holy Spirit is a person are personal pronouns like “he”, “his”, from him, to whom, that are used in verses as in 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 with the word being used.

CONCLUSION
As we have seen, the Holy Spirit 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 יהוה Himself. It has been joined to the spirit of Yeshua 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 we are given a small amount of it. It is as it were the first installment until we resurrect and then we will receive it in full. The Holy Spirit 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 NAZARENE NOTES

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are taken from The Scriptures,
Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research.
Used by permission.