Holy Ghost: Person or force?

Summary: This section, more than any other, may anger both sides of the isle; For, I shall endeavor to show that both Jehovah’s Witnesses and mainstream Protestants are correct. The HOLY GHOST (aka Holy Spirit) is both a person AND a force, such as electricity, wind, or fire. Both sides are “right.” Both sides are “wrong.”

Are we confused yet?

Our first clues - Words like “He,” “Him,” “It,” “Who,” and “Which” are BAD clues. See why:

Reading from the original Greek, both Revelations 18:9 and Romans 5:5 use the definite article “oJ,” in different forms (like: eat, eats, ate, eaten, eating, are all different forms of the same word). However, “oJ” is translated (into the King James Version) as “who” in Rev. 18:9 and “which” Rom. 5:5, implying the “Holy Ghost” is an impersonal force (like electricity or wind), while the “kings of the earth” are people, not things. Moreover (in John 14:17, 26, KJV) the Holy Ghost is referred to with human pronouns (such as “he” and “him”). FURTHERMORE, to really get things confusing, 1st Peter 1:11 inserts “it testified,” referring to the Spirit of Christ. (It is not relevant WHICH Spirit is spoken of, only that the text inserts a phrase that was not in the original language. See below for proof that it is the same Spirit; See very bottom for sources.)

Bottom line: Since the parts of speech here offer conflicting evidence, it is obvious that we can’t use these parts of speech alone to uncover whether the Holy Spirit is a person or merely a force. (Or both?!) Example: “She had a baby, and she bought it a little dress and bow tie.” The baby is referred to as “it,” but the baby is a person, not a thing or a force. See also the original Greek in an Interlinear Bible for key verses.

TRANSLATION: We can safely ignore a whole slew of scriptures that use “HE,” “HIM,” and “IT,” etc., which greatly simplifies things.

HIM - “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.” (John 14:17, KJV)

HE - “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26, KJV)

IT - “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1st Peter 1:11, KJV)

WHICH - "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5, KJV)

WHOM - “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26, KJV) “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:32, KJV)

QUESTION: “So, is the Holy Ghost a person or a mere force like electricity & wind?”

We must LOOK at the context to discover meaning:

The Holy Ghost BEARS RECORD (bears witness)

6This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1 John 5:6-8, King James Version, here and below, unless otherwise noted)

Note: The Holy Spirit may “be one” with the Father in being God, but this verse does not show it, since the phrase to “be one” is used in John 17:20-21, and yet does not refer to Jesus’ followers as being Gods, worthy of worship: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:20-21)

The Holy Ghost SPEAKS:

“…Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation…” (Hebrews 3:7-8)

The Holy Ghost TEACHES:

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:13)

The Holy Ghost SPEAKS some more. (Bear with me: It gets better below, with the Holy Spirit demonstrating all kinds of emotions)

25And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet [Isaiah 6:8-10] unto our fathers,

26Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

27For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

28Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. (Acts 28:25-29)

Source for the above quote by Paul:

8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (Isaiah 6:8-10)

The Holy Ghost SPEAKS some more.

“And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” (Acts 21:11)

This is some people’s knowledge level of the Holy Ghost here:

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Acts 19:2)

The Holy Spirit forbids a group from preaching. (Does a mere force, like wind, forbid an action? Maybe.)

“6Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit [NU-Text adds of Jesus] did not permit them.” (Acts 16:6-7, New King James Version)

It seemed good to this electrical, wind, or spiritual source? I think not!

28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:28-29)

For a “force,” this Spirit sure is talkative!

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

Can you lie to (or tempt) the wind or an electric force?

“3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?…9Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.” (Acts 5:3,9) (Note: There is only “one Spirit”; See below for proof that the Spirit of the Lord is the Holy Spirit.)

The Holy Ghost is sent in Jesus’ name, that is, as Jesus’ legal representative to people on earth. Is a mere force or wind a legal representative?

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

Can you blaspheme (revile, slander, defame) a mere force, such as the wind or electricity? Can you slander or revile a fire? Can a mere force (like a television or radio) teach you? (I don’t know the answers to these questions at this time. Do you?)

10And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

11And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

12For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

(Luke 12:10-12)

28Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. (Mark 3:28-29)

Note: If you are worried whether you have committed this unpardonable, unforgivable, and fatal sin, then this is proof that you have not -since you are still convicted by the Holy Spirit of your sins. Those whose hearts are hardened can not be so convicted. They are like dead people in this manner.

More Holy Ghost talking…

“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 13:11)

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his [Jesus’] hand.” (John 3:35)

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

(Matthew 12:31-32)

Notes: Jesus is GOD, since all power is given Him: He is omnipotent. Also, there is one name for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, showing they are the same person, or at least have the same “last name.” Jesus is omnipresent (with you until the end of the world, no matter your location), so we see again that Jesus is GOD. Again, we confront slander or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but it only refers to “sin” against people, so I say this is not a certain indicator. -- But it gets better below!

Can a mere force of energy “strive” and plead a cause, like a lawyer?

* “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

* Note: The Hebrew word, “!yd” (a verb transliterated as “Diyn,” TWOT entry: 426 ), means “to judge, contend, plead, to plead a cause, to contend, strive, to be at strife, quarrel.” While is also can include “abide” (as the Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read), it is not something that a mere “force” or “power” can do. The AMPLIFIED Bible captures more accurately the Original Hebrew:

* “Then the Lord said, My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man, for he also is flesh; but his days shall yet be 120 years.” (Genesis 6:3, Amplified Bible)

Can we vex or grieve a mere wind or electric current?

“But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.” (Isaiah 63:10)

“But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned to become their enemy and Himself fought against them.” (Isaiah 63:10, Amplified Bible)

MORE: Can we grieve a mere wind or electric current? I think not!

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

A talkative “force,” this Spirit is!

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God…He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death…And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 2:7,11,17,etc.)

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13)

A solemn warning. Let’s take heed:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1st John 4:1)

*** ~~~-à KEY CONCEPT - THERE IS ONE SPIRIT: ß -~~~ ***

The Spirit of Christ is crying out and testifying; There are NOT a whole lot of “spirits” running around (See e.g., Ephesians 4:4; 2:18 below), so this apparently refers to the Holy Spirit. “Testified of Christ?” Not something a mere electric force or wind would do, eh?

“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1st Peter 1:11)

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;” (Ephesians 4:4)

“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

There is ONE Spirit (see above), and here is more on Him / It:

15But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18But 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 3:15-18)

Force or no force, the Spirit is ETERNAL, so He (or It) is very GOD, worthy of worship. Mere created beings are NOT eternal, dear reader. (See e.g., John 1:1,3,14.)

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

“1In the beginning was the Word…3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,3,14)

(Note: ALL Things were made by Jesus, no all “other” things, so Jesus is Creator, thus God too.)

More good info from a speaking and talking Spirit.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1st Timothy 4:1)

Here is the first time we find proof that the Holy Spirit is a force, like fire, wind, or electricity.

Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

“Do not put out the Spirit's fire;” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 (New International Version)

Note: God can do anything, and, as one good example, we see: The Holy Spirit is both person and force. This is not unlike the other research on this site which shows Jesus to be both God and man. Ironic! (God’s humor.)

The Spirit both has will and intent AND pleads a case like a good lawyer! (Does a mere electric force, or fire or wind do this?)

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)

“And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.” (Romans 8:27, Amplified Bible)

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:…the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:16,26)

More talkative Holy Spirit:

Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.” (Acts 11:12, New King James Version)

“While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” (Acts 10:19)

Wow! This spirit speaks, guides, and hears what is told to Him / It: Only a person can do all this; An electric force or wind can’t hear what you say to it, like some dumb idol or false god.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

The Spirit testifies - Note that the Comforter is the Spirit of Truth: Same Person / Force:

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

Interesting, but inconclusive, verses:

“So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.” (Ezekiel 43:5)

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” (Luke 4:1)

Commentary: The wise men were led by a star, and others were led by a person, so these verses don’t distinguish whether the Holy Spirit is a person or a force -or both. You can be “full of” God -and “full of” force and energy. Interesting, but inconclusive, eh?

The Spirit was talkative, even in the Old Testament: Remember there is still only ONE Spirit (See above)

“And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.” (Ezekiel 11:5)

“Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.” (Ezekiel 3:24)

“And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.” (2 Chronicles 24:20)

1Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

2The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (2 Samuel 23:1-2)

Reminder: The “Spirit” mentioned in all these verses in “one [and the same] Spirit,” as shown above.

Wow: The Holy Spirit is the CREATOR. (Only God can be Creator: All else is merely the created beings and things.)

The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (Job 33:4)

* Note: Remembering from the discussion earlier that there is only “one spirit,” this refers to the SAME Spirit…as below:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” (Gen. 1:1, 26)

In the beginning was the WordAll things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word [e.g., JESUS] was made flesh [i.e., JESUS is creator too], and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 3, 14)

Conclusion: Both Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit are CREATOR GOD. Hmm…

Mood setter verse: *** Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [or “remain in”] man forever, for he is mortal [or “corrupt“]; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3, New International Version)

** Other sources:

Revelations 18:9 translates “oiJ,” a form of “oJ,” as “who.”

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,(Revelations 18:9, KJV)

Kai; {CONJ, And, even indeed} klauvsousin {V-FAI-3P, mourn, weep, lament, and bewail} kai; {CONJ, and even indeed} kovyontai {V-FDI-3P, beat one’s breast for grief} ejpj {PREP upon or on} aujth;n {P-ASF, themselves} oiJ {T-NPM, Strong's Number: 3588, who, that, or this, etc.} basilei'ß {N-NPM kings and leaders} th'ß {T-GSF, who, that, or this. etc.} gh'ß {N-GSF, land, country, or the earth as a whole} oiJ {T-NPM, who, that, or this, etc.} metj {PREP, with, after, behind} aujth'ß {P-GSF, herself} porneuvsanteß {V-AAP-NPM, is prostituted to unlawful lust and sexual intercourse, idolatry, worship, and/or (pornographic) fornication} kai; {CONJ, and even indeed} strhniavsanteß, {V-AAP-NPM, to be wanton, to live luxuriously} o&tan {CONJ, as soon as} blevpwsin {V-PAS-3P, to see and discern} to;n {T-ASM, who, that, or this, etc.} kapno;n {N-ASM, smoke} th'ß {T-GSF, who or that, etc.} purwvsewß {N-GSF, fiery burning} aujth'ß, {P-GSF, they, themselves}” (Revelations 18:9, Original Greek)

Romans 5:5 translates “tou’,” a form of “oJ,” as “which.”

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.(Romans 5:5, KJV)

hJ {T-NSF, Who, that, or this, etc.} de; {CONJ, But moreover} ejlpi;ß {N-NSF, hope and expectation of good} ouj {PRT, not} kataiscuvnei, {V-PAI-3S, dishonor, disgrace, or make ashamed} o&ti {CONJ, since and because} hJ {T-NSF, Who, that, or this, etc.} ajgavph {N-NSF, brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence} tou' {T-GSN, Who, that, or this, etc.} qeou' {N-GSM, the only and true God} ejkkevcutai {V-RPI-3S, to pour out, shed forth} ejn {PREP, in, by, with etc.} tai'ß {T-DPF, Who, that, or this, etc.} kardivaiß {N-DPF, heart “cardio” and soul, center of innermost being} hJmw'n {P-1GP, our, we, us} dia; {PREP, through and by the means of} pneuvmatoß {N-GSN, spirit, as in pneumatic, pneumonia, air, etc.} aJgivou {A-GSN, most holy} tou' {T-GSN, Strong's Number: 3588, Who, that, or this, etc.} doqevntoß {V-APP-GSN, given or granted} hJmi'n, {P-1DP, us, we, our}” (Romans 5:5, Original Greek)

1st Peter 1:11 inserts “when it testified,” even though the phrase was not in the original Greek.

Searching what *, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow *.” (1st Peter 1:11, KJV)

ejraunw'nteß {V-PAP-NPM, Searching and examining} eijß {PREP, into and among} tivna {I-ASM, for, into, and among} h^ {PRT, either, or, than} poi'on {I-ASM, of what sort or nature} kairo;n {N-ASM, measure of time} ejdhvlou {V-IAI-3S, indicated and signified} to; {T-NSN, Who, that, or this, etc.} ejn {PREP, in, by, with etc.} aujtoi'ß {P-DPM, himself, as in autobiography, autonomic, automated, etc.} pneu'ma {N-NSN, spirit, as in pneumatic, pneumonia, air, etc.} Xristou' {N-GSM, Christ, literally, “anointed”} promarturovmenon {V-PNP-NSN} ta; {T-APN, Who, that, or this, etc.} eijß {PREP, into and among} Xristo;n {N-ASM, Christ, literally, “anointed”} paqhvmata {N-APN, enduring, affliction, suffering, } kai; {CONJ, And, even indeed} ta;ß {T-APF, this, that, these, etc.} meta; {PREP, with, after, behind} tau'ta {D-APN, these} dovxaß {splendor, dignity, brightness, glory, and majesty}:” (1st Peter 1:11, Original Greek)

“Searching and examining into and among either what or what measure of time indicated and signified the anointed Christ’s Spirit, who or which was enduring suffering and affliction, and even indeed this majestic glory that should follow afterwards.” (1st Peter 1:11, literally transliterated from the Greek into 2006 American English)

CONCLUSION: If it is not clear that the Holy Spirit is both PERSON and FORCE, then just slowly re-read this section here several times, until it becomes clear.

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