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Is the Holy Spirit a Distinct Person Apart from the Father and the Son?
Is the Holy Spirit just an essence, or power, or mind, or is He a real Person and Being? If the Bible proves that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person other than the Father and the Son, then it gives a great amount of weight to the possibility that the Holy Spirit can also be a God along with the Father and the Son. So does the Bible teach that the Holy Spirit is a Person?
What is a person?
“Any human being considered as a distinct entity or personality; an individual.” Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary.
And what is personality?
“Distinctive qualities or characteristics of a person....That which constitutes a person; personal existence.” Fund and Wagnall’s Dictionary.
So a person is one that has a personality whose distinctive qualities shows them to be an entity which differs from other beings. Now what would be some distinctive qualities or characteristics that would prove one to be a person or being? If they have a mind, can think for themselves, and can make decisions. If they can act for themselves; if they can speak for themselves; etc. All these things would clearly reveal their distinctive qualities which shows that they have their own personality and thus distinguishes them to be a person and being. And the same for the Holy Spirit!
Now there is no Bible text which plainly states in these words: “The Holy Spirit is a person”, but neither are there texts which state plainly state in this words: “The Father is a person”. Yet we can clearly see that the Bible declares that the Father can think, decide, act, and can speak for Himself. Thus we know that the Father has a distinct personality all his own and that He must indeed be a Person and Being. So if the Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit can think, decide, act and speak for Himself, then this would prove that He has a distinct personality all his own, and that the Holy Spirit must indeed be a Person and Being other than the Father and the Son.
Can the Holy Spirit Think for Itself and Make its Own Decisions?
--The Holy Spirit has a mind (see Romans 8:27).
--The Holy Spirit helped to settle questions during the Church Council at Jerusalem (see Acts 15:28).
--The Holy Spirit dispenses gifts to different individuals according as He wills (see 1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
--The Holy Spirit forbade some from going to preach in certain places (see Acts 16:6-7).
So we can see that the Holy Spirit has a mind, can think for Itself and can make Its own decisions. But can the Holy Spirit act for Itself?
Can the Holy Spirit Act for Itself?
--The Holy Spirit anointed Jesus and sent Him out to preach the gospel (see Luke 4:18-19); In fact, both
the Father and the Holy Spirit sent Jesus (see Isaiah 48:16).
--The Holy Spirit testifies or witnesses of Jesus (see John 15:26).
--The Holy Spirit leads God’s people (see Romans 8:14).
--The Holy Spirit teaches and causes us to remember the truth (John 14:26).
--The Holy Spirit comforts us as does Christ (John 14:16).
--The Holy Spirit strives with us (see Genesis 6:3).
--The Holy Spirit reproves us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (see John 16:8-11).
--The Holy Spirit instructs us (see Nehemiah 9:20).
So we can see that the Holy Spirit can act for Itself, and can bear Its own witness. But can the Holy Spirit speak for Itself?
Can the Holy Spirit Speak for Itself?
--The Holy Spirit speaks, guides, hears and shows (John 16:13-15).
--The Holy Spirit speaks, chooses, calls and sends forth (see Acts 13:1-4).
--The Holy Spirit gives messages to prophets and they declare: “Thus saith the Holy Ghost” (see Acts
So we can see that the Holy Spirit can indeed speak for Itself. Besides this, He can hear, He can guide, show, choose, calls and sends forth others. Now what other characteristics does the Bible reveal about the Holy Spirit which shows it to be a Person and Being other than God–the Father and God–the Son?
--The Holy Spirit has knowledge, and searches all things (see 1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
--The Holy Spirit sanctifies us (see Romans 15:16).
--The Holy Spirit holds communion with us (see 2 Corinthians 13:14); and so does Christ (see 1
--The Holy Spirit is the source of regeneration and renewal for salvation (see John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5).
--The Holy Spirit resurrects the faithful from the dead (see Romans 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18).
--The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible and moved upon the prophets to speak (see 2 Peter 1:21).
--The Holy Spirit is another Comforter other than Christ (see John 14:16).
--The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities (see Romans 8:26).
--The Holy Spirit can be tempted and lied to (see Acts 5:3, 9).
–The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed and sinned against (see Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10; Matthew 12:31).
--The Holy Spirit is another Intercessor other than Christ (see Romans 8:26); The Spirit intercedes for us
through prayer, while Christ intercedes for us through His precious blood, merits and righteousness.
All of these things show conclusively that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person and Being, and that He has His own work to perform in the plan of Redemption, other than the Father and the Son.
Since the Bible has proven that the Holy Spirit is a Person and Being Himself, other than the Father and the Son, He also must be able to assume form and shape.
The Holy Spirit assumed the form and shape resembling a dove (Matthew 3:16, Isaiah 11:2, Luke 3:22, John 1:32). He assumed the form and shape resembling flaming tongues (Acts 2:2-4). He literally picked up servants of God from one area and then carried them to a different area in order to continue the spreading of the truth (see Acts 8:39-40; Ezekiel 3:14-15). The Holy Spirit even assumed the form of an angel with a writers inkhorn by His side--whose job it is to seal the servants of the Lord (see Ephesians 4:30), and then after His sealing work is finished, He reports back to the Lord (see Ezekiel 9:1-11).
One of the most convincing areas in the whole Bible that proves that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person and Being is in regards to Melchisedec.
Paul declares about Melchisedec, that he was the king of Salem, King of Righteousness, King of peace, priest of the most High God, who was “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (See Hebrews 7:1-4, 17-22).
Now Melchisedec was not Christ, because Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec. And Melchisedec was not the Father, because no human has seen the Father and lived other than Jesus (see John 6:46; 1 John 4:12). In fact, Melchisedec could not have been any human being, because the Bible states that he was without father, without mother, without descent, without either beginning of days nor end of life! So who but the Holy Spirit could have been Melchisedec?
Thus, if you will believe it, the Holy Spirit also assumed human form on this earth and represented God to that generation, appearing and speaking to many as Melchisedec--the King of Salem, the King of Peace, the King of Righteousness, the priest of the most high God who also intercedes for us other than Christ!
We have clearly seen that the Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person and Being other than the Father and the Son; that the Holy Spirit has a distinctive personality all his own; and that He has assumed various forms–including angelic and human, throughout the history of this earth.
It should then be clear that the Father is not the Holy Spirit, but He uses the Holy Spirit to represent and bring Himself to us. Thus the Father sends the Holy Spirit, calling it His Spirit--or the Spirit of the Father; but the Father is not the Holy Spirit.
It should also be clear that Christ is not the Holy Spirit either, but the Holy Spirit represents Christ to us. Thus Christ can send the Holy Spirit--His representative--calling it His Spirit, or the Spirit of Christ; but Jesus is not the Holy Spirit. In fact, Christ had the Holy Spirit given to Him (see Luke 4:18-19)!
So Jesus is not the Holy Spirit, but needed to have the Holy Spirit given to Him in order to be our perfect example while on this earth. And since Jesus lost His omnipresence by taking humanity, He must now use the omnipresence of the Person of the Holy Spirit in order to meet with His people on earth. Thus through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit, Christ would be set free from the limiting affects of humanity, and thus could be present and represent Himself at all times and in all places among His people.
The Holy Spirit is also not an angel or another name for the work of the angels. Neither was the Holy Spirit only in existence since Christ became human, because from the very beginning of the work of redemption He had been moving upon men's hearts–reproving them “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Neither is the Holy Spirit just a power, or force, or essence, or mind of God–the Father, but is a living Person and Being with Its own personality. The Holy Spirit bears Its own witness, gives Its own comfort to us in Christ's place, and acts in His stead. The Holy Spirit Itself teaches and enlightens us by using Its own mind. It puts forth Its highest energies in working for our salvation by taking the words of Christ and infusing these words of life into our hearts. So you can clearly see that the Holy Spirit is as much a Person as God–the Father and Jesus Christ are Persons.
This fact of truth now clears the way for the possibility that the Holy Spirit might also be a God other than God–the Father and God–the Son. So does the Bible declare that the Holy Spirit is a God Himself?