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Understanding what is the Holy Spirit
ControllingInfluence.com

ControllingInfluence.com

Understanding what is the Holy Spirit

Controlling Influence

What is the Holy Spirit? – The Holy Spirit Summarized

The Holy Spirit is the breath or wind of God. It is God’s controlling influence that interacts with man and the world. Through the Holy Spirit, the “hand of God” is upon us and the Spirit is symbolic of the “finger” of God. In various ways the Holy Spirit manifests the power of God to accomplish the will of God. It is God’s Spirit, given by God that “proceeds from the Father” as a “heavenly gift” that believers should “receive,” be “filled with,” and be “in”. The Holy Spirit is something that can be “put on,” “put in,” and “put within.” It can be transferred from one person to another, is apportioned, and is divisible. The Holy Spirit “falls on” and is “poured out” as believers are “baptized with the Holy Spirit”. Believers are to “drink” and “taste” this “living water”. We are to speak and pray “in the Spirit” as it accomplishes many various works of God in our life. God’s presence is made manifest through the Holy Spirit as is comforts, counsels, and directs us. We must be careful not to rebel against, resist, grieve, quench or blasphemy God’s controlling influence.  The Holy Spirit can be personified in that reflects God’s personality and character although it is not literally a person.

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The Holy Spirit in Reference to Creation

The Holy Spirit is also an aspect of God pertaining to his controlling influence. By God’s word (Logos) and through God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, all things were made. This is how the original creation (first Adam) came into existence and this is how Jesus Christ (the last Adam) came into existence. 

Psalms 33:6 (ESV), By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Psalms 104:29-30 (ESV), When you send forth your Spirit, they are created

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

Genesis 2:7 (ESV), The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life

then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Job 33:4 (ESV), The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give me life.

The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give me life.

Luke 1:35 (ESV), The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

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Meaning of the Hebrew and Greek for Spirit

The word for spirit in Hebrew is ruach which means breath, wind, spirit. Similarly, the word Holy Spirit in the Greek comes from the combination of words pneuma hagion (πνεῦμα ἅγιον), which most literally means, “air in movement – that is sacred”.  The Holy Spirit (Pneuma) is most literally the breath or wind of God was used to create the universe and that God uses to interact with man.

Strong’s Dictionary

h7307. רוּחַ rûaḥ; from 7306; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): — air, anger, blast, breath, x cool, courage, mind, x quarter, x side, spirit((-ual)), tempest, x vain, ((whirl-))wind(-y).

g4151. πνεῦμα pneuma; from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit: — ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.

Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament

πνεῦμα, ατος, τό. (1) as derived from πνέω (blow), of the movement of air; (a) blowing, wind (probably JN 3.8a and HE 1.7); (b) breathing, breath (2TH 2.8; possibly MT 27.50 in the sense “he breathed his last”)

The correlation between the Spirit and God’s breath or wind is also  illustrated in the following verses:

Job 26:13 (ESV), Βy his wind the heavens were made fair

By his wind the heavens were made fair.

Job 32:8 (ESV), But it is the Spirit in man, the breath to the Almighty

But it is the Spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

John 3:8 (ESV), The wind blows – So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

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The Holy Spirit is God’s Controlling Influence

The Greek word for Spirit is pheuma. The use of this word in the New Testament and other early Christian writings is described in the foremost Greek-English Lexicon (BDAG) as follows:

(1) air in movement, blowing, breathing

(2) that which animates or gives life to the body, breath, (life-) spirit

(3) a part of human personality, spirit

(4) an independent noncorporeal being, in contract to a being that can be perceived by the physical senses, spirit

(5) God’s being as controlling influence, with a focus on association with humans, Spirit

God’s being as controlling influence, with a focus on association with humansis a key aspect to what the Holy Spirit is. That is, it is the extension of God’s being, transmitted from God, that interacts with and influences people. This understanding is supported by numerous Scriptural references:

2 Peter 1:21 (ESV), Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

John 3:34 (ESV), For he gives the Spirit without measure

For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

Exodus 31:3 (ESV),  With the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship

and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

Numbers 11:25 (ESV), Took some of the Spirit – put it on the seventy elders – the Spirit rested on them – they prophesied

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied

1 Samuel 10:6 (ESV), Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy –  for God is with you

Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you

Nehemiah 9:29-30 (ESV), Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets 

Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear…

Isaiah 59:21 (ESV), My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth

“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth…”

Acts 10:38 (ESV),  God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (ESV), No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God 

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

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The Holy Spirit is Symbolic of the “Hand” or “Finger” of God

The “Spirit of God” is analogous to the “hand” or “finger” of God. Just as a man’s hand and finger are subordinate to the will of a man, so the Spirit of God is subject to the will of God. A person is doing what is done by their own hands. Likewise, it is God Himself that is doing the work that is done by the extension of his hand and fingers.  Through the Holy Spirit, God’s will in put into action, performing that what he sends it to perform.

Ezekiel 1:3 (ESV), The hand of the LORD was upon him

the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there

Ezekiel 3:14 (ESV), The Spirit – the hand of the LORD being strong upon me

The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the LORD being strong upon me.

Ezekiel 37:1 (ESV), The Hand of the LORD was upon me – in the Spirit

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.

2 Kings 3:15-16 (ESV), The hand of the LORD came upon him

But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him. And he said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I will make this dry streambed full of pools.’

Matthew 12:28 (ESV), By the Spirit of God that I cast out demons

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you”

Luke 11:20 (ESV), By the finger of God that I cast out demons

“But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

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The Holy Spirit Manifests the Power of God

The terms power and spirit are often used interchangeably since God performs his mighty works through his Spirit and by his power.  It is not quite accurate to say Holy Spirit is the power of God, but rather people receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. The power of God, as demonstrated by miraculous works in people, is generally realized through a process that first involves infilling of Holy Spirit and then the subsequent the work of power or divine inspiration. By the Holy Spirit, the controlling influence of God, we can interact with the power and mind of God.  according to Jude 1:20, the power of God comes from the Holy Spirit, which says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit”. Accordingly Praying in the Holy Spirit is the means by which we interact with God to receive his anointing and empowerment – God’s controlling influence.  Several some examples are as follows:

Judges 14:5-6 (ESV), The Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him – he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat

Judges 15:14 (ESV), Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him – and his bonds melted off his hands

When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands.

Luke 1:35 (ESV), Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

Acts 1:8 (ESV), You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 2:4 (ESV), They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 4:31 (ESV), The were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 10:38 (ESV), God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Romans 15:19 (ESV), By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God

By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ

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The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit Given to People that proceeds from the Father

Numerous scriptural witnesses make it clear that Holy Spirit, is a gift from God that proceeds from the Father. There is a distinction to be made between the “Giver” God and the “Gift” that comes from God, the Holy Spirit – God’s controlling influence. 

1 Thessalonians 4:8 (ESV), God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you

Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

John 15:26 (ESV), Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father

Acts 2:33 (ESV), Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit

“Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.”

Acts 5:32 (ESV), The Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him

“And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Acts 15:8 (ESV), God – giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us

And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,

Acts 10:38 (ESV) – God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Hebrews 2:4 (ESV), God also bore witness by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will

while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

1 John 3:24 (ESV), The Spirit whom he has given us

Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

1 John 4:13 (ESV), God – he has given us of his Spirit

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

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The Holy Spirit is Something to be “Received” (as a Gift)

Scriptural references that attest to Holy Spirit as being something to be received:

Acts 1:4-5 (ESV), wait for the promise of the Father you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

Acts 2:38 (ESV), You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14-19 (ESV), They received the Holy Spirit – the Spirit was given

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:22 (ESV), Receive the Holy Spirit

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13 (ESV), The promised Holy Spirit

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

Hebrews 6:4 (ESV), Tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit is Something to Be “Filled With”

Scriptural references that attest to Holy Spirit as being something to be “Filled With”:

Luke 1:15 (ESV), Filled with the Holy Spirit

for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:41 (ESV), Filled with the Holy Spirit

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,

Luke 1:67 (ESV), Filled with the Holy Spirit

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying.”

Acts 4:8 (ESV), Filled with the Holy Spirit

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders

Acts 4:31 (ESV), Filled with the Holy Spirit

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 7:55 (ESV), Full of the Holy Spirit

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Acts 9:17 (ESV), Be filled with the Holy Spirit

So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 11:24 (ESV), Full of the Holy Spirit

for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:18 (ESV), Be filled with the Spirit

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit

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The Holy Spirit is Something to be “In”

We be “in” the spirit when operating in power, speaking under divine inspiration, and in prayer.  Rather than being “someone” we pray to or worship, the Holy spirit is “something” we pray and operate “in”. There are no references that the Holy Spirit is someone that should be prayed or worshiped. Rather the Holy Spirit is something we should operate “in”. True worshippers shall worship the Father “in” Spirit and truth.

Mark 12:36 (ESV), In the Holy Spirit

David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’.

Romans 9:1 (ESV), In the Holy Spirit

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit,

1 Corinthians 12:3 (ESV), In the Spirit of God

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit

1 Thessalonians 1:5 (ESV), In the Holy Spirit

because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake

Ephesians 6:18 (ESV), In the Spirit

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints

John 4:23 (ESV), The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

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The Holy Spirit Is Transferrable, is Apportioned and Divisible

Several Bible references attest to the Spirit being likened to a substance that is transferrable, can be apportioned, and is divisible. Peter on the day of Pentecost, reads “saith God: of my Spirit I will pour out” (Acts 2:17, Tyndale) and 1 John 4:13 indicates that God has “given us of his Spirit”. Understood literally, the Greek means, “some of” or “part of” – indicating a share or portion. Accordingly, we understand that the Spirit of God is something that can be distributed among many.

Numbers 11:17 (ESV), Take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them

And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.

Numbers 11:25 (ESV), Took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied…

2 Kings 2:9-10 (ESV), Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me

2 Kings 2:15-16 (ESV), The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha

Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. And they said to him, “Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. It may be that the Spirit of the LORD has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley”

Acts 2:1-4 (ESV), Divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them – all filled with the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:17 (Tyndale), Of my Spirit I pour out on all people

It shall be in the last days, saith God: of my Spirit I pour out on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 2:17 (KJV), I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams

Acts 2:17 (ASV), I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh

And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams:

Acts 2:17 (NASB), THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND

‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

1 John 4:13 (ESV), He has given us of his Spirit

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

Hebrews 2:4 (ESV), Gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will

while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

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The Holy Spirit is Something that is “Put on” or “Put Within”, “Falls Upon”, or is “Poured Out”

Many scriptural references demonstrate that the Holy Spirit to something that can be “put on”, can “fall upon”, and can be “poured out”. Some Scriptural references describe the Holy Spirit to something that can beput on,” “put within,” or “put upon.”

Numbers 11:25 (ESV), Took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Numbers 11:27-29 (ESV), That the LORD would put his Spirit on them

And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”

Isaiah 42:1 (ESV), I have put my Spirit upon him

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations

Ezekiel 36:27 (ESV), I will put my Spirit within you

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules

Scriptural references that liken the Holy Spirit to something that “falls on” or “descends upon” and “remains”:

Luke 3:21-22 (ESV), The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 4:18 (ESV), The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed

John 1:33 (ESV), He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain

I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

Acts 2:1-4 (ESV), And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 10:44 (ESV), Holy Spirit fell on all

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.

Acts 11:15 (ESV), The Holy Spirit fell on them

As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

Scriptural references that describe the Holy Spirit to something that is “poured out”:

Isaiah 32:15 (ESV), the Spirit is poured upon us from on high

until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

Isaiah 44:3 (ESV), I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Ezekiel 39:29 (ESV), I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel

And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”

Joel 2:28-29 (ESV), I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

Acts 2:17  (Tyndale), Of my Spirit I pour out on all people

It shall be in the last days, saith God: of my Spirit I pour out on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 10:44 (ESV), Holy Spirit was poured out

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentile.

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The Holy Spirit is “Baptized With” and is “Living Water” that We Can “Drink”

The word baptize means to dip or immerse. Numerous Scriptural references indicate Holy Spirit is something believers can be baptized, in contrast to water baptism. Receiving the Spirit is analogous to being born again. Receiving the Spirit is analogous to being born again. In contrast to ordinary water, the Spirit is living water that we can partake of and drink. This spirit is to flow out of our heart as rivers of living water:

Luke 3:16 (ESV), He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Acts 1:5 (ESV), You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 2:38 (ESV), You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 11:15-16 (ESV), You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

John 1:33 (ESV), He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit

I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

John 3:5-8 (ESV), Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 4:10 (ESV), Living water

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

John 7:37-39 (ESV), Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV), In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 (ESV), Do not get drunk with wine – but be filled with the Spirit

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

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The Holy Spirit Accomplishes Many Works of God

The Holy Spirit is referred to as the “Spirit of truth (John 14:17) and in various ways represents influence or power. The “spirit of the world” can be contrasted with the “spirit which is of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). These competing influences are at work in the world. Each is an influence emanating from a source that produces various attitudes, behaviors, or “fruit”. The Holy Spirit directs people toward God’s will being his “breath,” “wind,” “hand,” or “finger”. The many works accomplished through God’s controlling influence are described in these verses:

Luke 4:1 (ESV), Was led by the Spirit in the wilderness

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.

Luke 4:18-19 (ESV), The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Acts 10:38 (ESV),  God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

1 Corinthians 2:9-13 (ESV), These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV), Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (ESV), For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

Romans 8:13-14 (ESV), For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Romans 8:27 (ESV), The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 14:17 (ESV), Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:16 (ESV), Sanctified by the Holy Spirit

to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:19 (ESV), The power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God

by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ

Galatians 5:22-25 (ESV), The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness …

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:18-22 (ESV), You also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit

For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

1 Peter 1:2 (ESV), The sanctification of the Spirit

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Titus 3:5 (ESV), By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit Can be Rebelled Against, Resisted, Lied To, Grieved, Quenched and Blasphemed Against

When someone is rebelling against or despising God’s controlling influence, which is associated with God’s presence, that person can be said to be grieving, resisting, or quenching his Spirit:

Isaiah 63:10 (ESV), They rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit

But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.

Acts 5:3 (ESV), Lie to the Holy Spirit

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

Acts 7:51 (ESV), You always resist the Holy Spirit

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

Ephesians 4:30 (ESV), Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV), Do not quench the Spirit

Do not quench the Spirit

Psalms 51:11 (ESV), Take not your Holy Spirit from me

Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Luke 12:10-12 (ESV), The one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is attributing the works of God to some other entity such as a demon or an unclean spirit. This is falsely attributing what is holy to what is unclean. 

Mark 3:22-30 (ESV), Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

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The Holy Spirit Makes God Personal but Is Not Literally a Person

The numerous scriptural witnesses in the sections above attest that the Holy Spirit is a Gift that originates from God, and that it is something that someone can receive, be filled with, be in, put on, and be baptized with and that it is something that is transferable and can be apportioned. This all indicates the Holy Spirit is God’s Controlling influence rather than a personal being associated with God.  Although the Holy Spirit makes God personal, it reflects the Father’s character, and it accomplishes the will of God, the Holy Spirit itself is not a personal being. The language used in scripture relating to the Holy Spirit disqualifies the idea that the Spirit of God is literally a person that is also distinguishable from the Father. Scripture attests that the Holy Spirit is something rather than someone.

The Greek word for “spirit” (peneuma) is neuter indicating it as an impersonal abstract noun. Other nouns referring to the functions of the Holy Spirit are sometimes in the masculine gender. Greek, like many other languages including Spanish, French, German, Latin, and Hebrew assigns a gender to nouns although they do not refer to a living being. A Greek grammar rule is that the gender of any associated pronouns must match the noun. For example, a lamp would be considered a “he” in the Greek although a lamp is obviously not living being or person. The gendering of nouns and pronouns often leads to some confusion with respect translating passages related to the Holy Spirit, especially with respect to the function of the Holy Spirit as an “Intervention” (parakletos) often translated as “Helper,” “Comforter,” “Counselor,” or “Intercessor.”

New Testament translators, carrying a Trinitarian bias, generally use masculine pronouns such as “he,” “him,” “who,” or “whom” that should be translated as “it,” “its,” “itself,” and “which” for pronouns that are in reference to the Holy Spirit. Translated correctly, the case for identifying the Holy Spirit as a distinct person from the Father is nearly absent. The understanding of foundational Christian theology cannot depend on a few pronouns, but rather should be founded upon the balance of Scripture and the weight of the biblical evidence presented in the above sections.

The Holy Spirit is best understood as something that believers receive. Considering that the Holy Spirit is God’s controlling influence, it not only reflects the mind and character of God but is an extension of God’s presence that comforts us and gives revelation and “speaks” to us. A clue that it is the Spirit doesn’t speak from itself, is in John 16:12 which says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, …it will not speak on its own authority, but whatever it hears it will speak.” Although poetic personification might be employed in reference to the Comforter/Helper, this is a figurative expression. The Holy Spirit can be personified in that it represents God’s nature and character – not because Holy Spirit itself is literally a person. Through God’s controlling influence, the Holy Spirit gives commands, forbids, indicates, says, or otherwise directs man.

Acts 1:2 (ESV), He had given commands through the Holy Spirit 

until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Acts 16:6 (ESV), Having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

Acts 20:28 (ESV), The Holy Spirit has made you overseers

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God…

Acts 28:25 (ESV), The Holy Spirit was right in saying

And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet

Hebrews 3:7-8 (ESV), As the Holy Spirit says

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness

Hebrews 9:8 (ESV), The Holy Spirit indicates

By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing

Hebrews 10:15 (ESV), The Holy Spirit also bears witness

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying

1 Peter 1:12 (ESV), Preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven

It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look

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