In beginning this study on the Holy Spirit, it’s assumed that you’ve already gone through the previous studies: “Who is God?”, “The Son of God” and “Two Divine Beings.” These are foundational to this study, so if you haven’t read them already, I encourage you to do so now.
If you have studied them then you saw that the Bible teaches that there is one true God (the Father) and one Lord Jesus (the Son) who is God because He is the Son of God. You also saw numerous examples where the Bible references two Divine Beings involved with our creation and salvation, such as:
- “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him,” 1 Corinthians 8:6.
- “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Proverbs 30:4.
- “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son,” 2 John 1:9.
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.
In all these verses and the many more in the previous studies, we clearly see that there are two Divine Beings and two only. But the Bible also clearly states that there is a Holy Spirit, so who or what is the Spirit? Let’s take a look at some Bible verses.
This first verse is probably the primary verse used to support a third God, the Comforter, but is that what it’s really saying?
”And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you,” John 14:16-18.
Now, let’s break it down. Jesus has just revealed to His disciples that He’s going to be leaving them and going to His Father in heaven. The disciples are concerned so Jesus is trying to comfort them. This Comforter to be given is to abide with us forever. Jesus then calls the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. In John 14:6, Jesus declared Himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life.” So if Jesus is the truth, than the Spirit of truth could also be called the Spirit of Jesus. Is this too big a leap in logic? Let’s go on.
Jesus then tells the disciples that they already know the Comforter for He dwells with them now but will be in them. So a good question to ask is, who was currently dwelling with them? Jesus, of course. But the amazing thing was that instead of just being with them, He would be even closer. He would be in them. Then to remove all doubt, Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” Did Jesus say a third Being would come to them or did He say “I will come” to them? He said He would come. Praise the Lord! And it gets even clearer.
“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you,” John 14:20. Who would be in them? Jesus said “I in you.” Then He goes on to explain further.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him,” John 14:21. Did you catch that? Jesus said He would manifest Himself to them. The disciples got it too but not completely. They understood it was Jesus that would come to them, but they couldn’t understand how He could come to them and not the world. So Judas asked, “Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him,” John 14:22-23.
So again, Jesus did not talk about a third Being that would come to them, but that two Beings, the Father and Son, would come to them. How do They come to us? Through Their Spirit.
Now let’s look at this a little closer. The word translated as Comforter in John 14:16 is “parakletos” #G3875 in Strong’s Concordance, and it’s translated in the Bible as intercessor, consoler, advocate, and comforter. It’s also used in the verse: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” 1 John 2:1. It’s the same word, but here it’s translated advocate instead of comforter. But don’t miss who the Bible declares the parakletos to be. The Parakletos is Jesus Christ!
Can this be true? Let’s look at other scriptures.
“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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you,” Romans 8:9-11.
Notice how Paul interchanges the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Then Paul says, “if Christ be in you.” So how is Christ in us? Through His Spirit. This is starting to make sense! Then Paul goes on that, “if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you.” So who raised Jesus from the dead? Galatians 1:1 says, “God the Father, who raised him (Jesus) from the dead.” And again we read, “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities,” Acts 3:26. So “the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” is the Spirit of the Father!
But also notice in the last verse that “God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you.” So after Jesus’ resurrection, the Father sends His Son to bless us in turning us away from our sins. How does God send Him? Through their Spirit. Consider these other verses:
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father,” Galatians 4:6.
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit,” 1 John 4:13.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” Ephesians 3:16.-17.
“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:19.
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:27,29.
“To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood,” Galatians 1:16.
So in wrapping up this study, we have seen that there are two Divine Beings (the Father and Son) who come to us through Their Spirit. This is why sometimes the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of God and sometimes the Spirit of Jesus, but it is the same Spirit. Notice how Jesus puts it, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me,” John 17:23. The Father is in the Son, through His Spirit, and the Son is in us, through His Spirit. Another way to put it is, the Spirit flows from the Father through the Son to us.
At the end of the Bible, in a world created new, John saw, “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,” Revelation 22:1. The throne is of two Beings, God and the Lamb, but from the throne flows water, Their Spirit.