Mail: Holy Spirit - A Person - Acts 5:3
Ken, let's face it: Jesus called the Holy Spirit a "he", not an it. This denotes personality. Not only that but Peter said that it is possible to Lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). You can only lie to a person. Jesus also taught for us to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The first two are persons and have names so it stand to reason that the third one is a person as well and also must be equal to the Father and Son. Don't you baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or have you changed the method of baptism to conform to your unscriptural ideas. Add to all the Scriptural support of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead, the fact that the historic Christian creeds support the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Were all the other Christians wrong?
Ken, notice that you have to twist the Scriptures by appealing to Greek or to early scholars (which by the way you never mention by name) and all sorts of manipulation of the clear meaning of the Scriptures. Why can't you simply accept the truth that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. As as far as claiming that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit "will be me" Jesus never said that. You know it. It is your interpretation of the passage where Jesus said, "I will come to you." (John 14:18) This could easily refer to his post resurrection appearance. Show me in the Scripture where Jesus plainly said that He was the Holy Spirit. You can't, because He never said it.
If you want more than an e-mail from me you will have to read some serious articles with Scriptural quotes (in context) and scholarly comments. I will answer a few of your comments to the best of my ability and direct you to some links. This question is not trivial: we either worship One God or we are polytheistic. By keeping the Godhead as One Being, we do not minimize the Holy Spirit of God. Rather, while our bodies are living by God's Spirit in all, we have a holy Spirit by having the total Mind of God -- Father, Son, Spirit -- to make our spiritual transfer into heaven a present reality which we will not be able to comprehend until we get out of our body and have it transformed.
Question 1: Ken, let's face it: Jesus (1) called the Holy Spirit a "he", not an it. This denotes personality.
Answer: Personification is a common feature of the ancient languages. I suggest that you check my page at:
My spirit is a "he" because it is my invisible self. Hear the scholars correct Rubel Shelly who promotes the "god family" concept of Tritheism. Gender in Greek is not gender in english. If I own a sword it is a HE, if my wife owns a sword it is a SHE: but S/he is not a person.
Question 2. Not only that but Peter said that it is possible to Lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). You can only lie to a person.
Answer: The Spirit of God is a Being (never, never a person or human!) because God is pure or Holy Spirit without physical qualities. For instance, by looking at the total context it is clear that lying to the invisible Spirit of God was lying to God Who is Spirit:
But 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? As 5:3
Whilest it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5:4
Then 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. Ac 5:4
Because the lie was in the human mind or spirit they lied to God's Spirit. When you lie in your spirit and if my spirit can detect or discern your lie then you are lying to MY spirit and therefore lying to me. They lied to God's Spirit (the spirit OF God) and therefore lied to God.
God is pure or Holy Spirit. Therefore, to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God is to lie to the Spirit of the Lord. Now, there are not three Spirits but One. If God has a Spirit, Jesus has a Spirit and Holy Spirit has a Spirit then this makes six, not three, gods.
We might say that God's omnipresence is not consistent with either one or three, but with infinity. God's omnipresence is consistent with one pneuma, a wind or breath that cannot be relegated to "one" or "three" locations, but everywhere.
Question 3. Jesus also taught for us to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The first two are persons and have names so it stand to reason that the third one is a person as well and also must be equal to the Father and Son. Don't you baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or have you changed the method of baptism to conform to your unscriptural ideas. Add to all the Scriptural support of the Holy Spirit as the thirdperson of the Godhead.
Answer: The passage you note says:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20
First: God has only one name which is Jesus, Joshua or Jehovah-Saves. Jesus is telling the apostles not to get confused about three PERSONS. For the human living in a physical world "full Deity" dwelled in Lord Jesus Christ.
Full invisible Deity
Jesus the Name of:
Jesus knew that and used the singular for name. It is not "in the names of" or "in the name of the father, the name of the Son and the name of the Spirit." There is only One name by which to be saved.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
In the name of sane consistency, when the apostate church began to baptize in THREE NAMES they baptized the person THREE TIMES.
God, through Isaiah, shows that Messiah will be called "Immanuel " or God with us. Then, God with us will be everything we think of as God:"
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Second: Father, is not a name but a description of a role. A man might be a father, son and guiding principle of his family without being a polygamist. The word Son is not a name and "Holy" is not the first name of a "person" named "Holy Ghost."
Third: Peter understood that God is One and has only One Name. Therefore, when he followed the command of Matthew 28:19 He commanded that they be baptized in the singular name of Jesus Christ:
The Biblical and historical churches obeyed the direct command of Christ so we hear Peter say:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
The apostate church leaders were not fools: they grasped the fact that if this is a baptismal formula and you baptize in the "name of" the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit then you logically were forced to baptize THREE TIMES: and so they did.
Jesus didn't represent a third member of the God family as the teacher and abiding counsellor but said:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt 28:20
When the Spirit guided Paul into all truth, He said: "I am Jesus of Nazareth."
Fourth: This procedure was followed in all Biblical examples and in early church history. When people baptized in a triune name they baptized three times! The Biblical practice of using Jesus as the name of Father, Son and Spirit was permitted by the Catholics for perhaps a thousand years.
Fifth: I have no control over what others do. I personally would not lift one hand to heaven, place the other on the hand of the candidate and pronounce a formula. Contrary to this, practices among others at this time, namely the Nazarites or proselytes to Judaism, had the candidate personally say something (for Christians) like: "I take the name of Jesus Christ."
Question 4: Why can't you simply accept the truth that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead?
Answer: First, I would have to blaspheme to call God a person. A person is a human with arms, legs and a mouth. A spirit does not have these body parts even though God explains Himself in anthromorphic terms. I am a body person, a soul person and a spirit person but I am not triplets.
Second, If full Deity dwelled in Jesus Christ there is no Deity left over for a second or third "person." Father and Son have Spirit (Rom 8) but not another god alongside them. All of the mysteries of Father and Christ (Spirit anointed) are bound up in one, singular name: Jesus. All comfort of God and His Fatherhood of all things is hidden as a mystery. That mystery and comfort is bound up in Christ as the man Jesus. Those who are baptized into the "name of" Father, Son and Spirit "receive or take on the name of Christ Jesus as the Lord" of this world.
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, Col 2:2NKJV
Full invisible Deity
Mystery of God:
Christ as Son
The Mystery of God is in Father and Son or Christ: the Holy Spirit is never seen as a "person" and never has any familial or affectionate relationship in the Godhead.
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Colossians 2:6
Thomas said to Jesus: "My Lord and my God."
Spirit as defined by both Hebrew and Greek is not a separate person but the mental disposition or true nature of that person or Divine Being.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12
When Peter defined baptism in his epistle instead of "the gift of the Holy Spirit" he said that this is where we "ask God for a clear conscience." That means a clear consciousness or a co-perception so that we can understand fully.
I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? 2 Corinthians 12:18
The One and only God (Deut 6) was personally imaged or viewable in "a body prepared for me." He was justified in the Spirit when His Spirit Being resurrected the physical body to prove that He was the One God walking among them explaining His Spirit nature or Mind:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
The trinity of three separate persons of the Godhead can mean nothing less than three co-equal gods. This was not part of the early creeds but was slowly added by Catholic scholars to really mean "Father, Mother and Son" in that order.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:8
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9
If full Deity or full Godhead dwelled in the body of Jesus Christ then how much Deity is left over?
Question 5: As as far as claiming that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit "will be me" Jesus never said that. You know it. It is your interpretation of the passage where Jesus said, "I will come to you." (John 14:18) (6) This could easily refer to his post resurrection appearance. (7) Show me in the Scripture where Jesus plainly said that He was the Holy Spirit. You can't, because He never said it.
Answer: I hope that you will dwell on this passage until you hear Jesus saying what he wants to say without filtering it through the lens of Catholic polytheism. Jesus began by saying:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another (not heteros or different) Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16
God or man speaking or even praying to himself is a very common thing in Scripture. We don't have space to discuss this here except to say that where there was nothing greater "God swore by Himself" Hebrews 6:13.
You have agreed that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "you know him." Know Him who? They knew Lord Jesus Christ. He dwelleth with you. Who? The Spirit of truth dwelled with them:
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
Was this "raw" Holy Spirit without flesh and blood? No. The Spirit Father was still with Him and in him:
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:39
God was self-limited in the "body prepared for me" name Jesus. When the man Jesus was honored by ascending to Heaven He returned in a spirit form which can fill the whole universe.
Jesus as the Word and the apostles revealed the message God wanted us to have but our NATURAL MAN cannot grasp the spiritual content. Only at baptism does God give us a new mind and removes the scales from our eyes. (2 Cor 3)
However, that Word is very shallow to those who have not abandoned their physical senses and turned to Christ as Master Teacher.
The same Holy Spirit which dwelled with them and Whom they knew, was in visible form until the Ascension so that Jesus speaking to them was the Holy Spirit speaking but not yet given so that He could be in them:
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: Acts1:2
Jesus was fully human but He was fully God because He is the only One ever Incarnated. He discounted His own flesh and emphasized that the words He spoke were Spirit and Life Words:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Shall be in you, when? Jesus didn't say that a separated Holy Spirit would be in them but the same Spirit Whom they knew and walked with day by day:
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. John 14:20
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 14:23
The events of Pentecost were the signs eventially given to all major groups that Jesus was the Messiah the Incarnate God in human form. Speaking in tongues was a SIGN to validate the authority of the Apostles.
If jesus was just speaking of coming back for a short spell it would not be much of a comfort would it?
After His resurrection, Jesus was still flesh and blood. He could eat fish and Thomas could feel the wound in his side. He would say "a sprit hath not flesh and bones" (Lu 24:39) and Thomas would say "my Lord and my God" (John 20:28) He could not be in them in a literal sense because He was still flesh.
Again, He made it clear that the "another comforter" would be Himself:
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18
Post-Pentecost, He would not be a Comforter of a different sort but of another kind living in them. Jesus did not promise a third person to be with the assembly and He would be the power:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew18:20
In the name of our Lord (Deity) Jesus (Son of man) Christ (Spirit Anointed), when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 5:4
Question 6 : Add to all the Scriptural support of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead, the fact that the historic Christian creeds support the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Were all the other Christians wrong?
Answer: No, they were not all wrong because they did not say what they are claimed to have said. Most of them make sure that their understanding of Trinity (Not a Bible term) does not mean that there are three Beings. Three personae means three ways of manifesting One God. We know of no one prior to H. Leo Boles in the Gospel Advocate who ever saw God as a "family" or committee of three persons in an ORDERED rank. None of the church fathers move beyond seeing God as eternal ONE and when God operates we see Father, Son and Spirit just as when I operate my body, soul and spirit are ALWAYS involved. When you SEPARATE God's Spirit from Him is He dead like we would be?
You can see several scholars stretched over history by clicking here:
The Nicene Creed does not agree with your assumption. It reads:
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
- of one Being with the Father;
- through him all things were made.
- For us and for our salvation
- he came down from heaven,
- was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
- and became truly human.
- For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
- he suffered death and was buried.
- On the third day he rose again
- in accordance with the Scriptures;
- he ascended into heaven
- and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
- and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Thus also the declaration that "the Son is consubstantial with the Father" having been discussed,
it was agreed that this must not be understood in a corporeal sense,
or in any way analogous to mortal creatures;
inasmuch as it is neither by division of substance,
Not even this is understandable without listening to the participants and objectors trying to correct the language. No one ever taught that the Godhead was separated into three 'persons' as we understand the word. See the documents on Nicea.
Tertullian is credited (or blamed) with inventing the idea of the Trinity which is the Latin trinitas. However, he said that God existed in three personae (masks in drama) which is not related to three persons. He never allowed God to be more than one substance.
He found a way from the Bible which rejected the idea that God was simply acting in three roles one at a time. This was the view of the modalistic Monarchians.
"We do indeed believe that there is only one God, but we believe that under this dispensation, or, as we say, oikonomia, there is also a Son of this one only God, his Word, who proceeded from him and through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made. . . . We believe he was sent down by the Father, in accord with his own promise, the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father and the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. . . . this rule of faith has been present since the beginning of the Gospel, before even the earlier heretics"
"And at the same time the mystery of the oikonomia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity. Placed in order, the Three are the Father, Son, and Spirit.
They are three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in Being, but in form; not in power, but in kind; of one Being, however, and one condition and one power, because he is one God of whom degrees and forms and kinds are taken into account in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Against Praxeas 2).
The Apostle's Creed is a shorter version.
One commentator notes:
"Because the Holy Spirit is none other than God who came to us in Jesus, Christians from earliest centuries have not hesitated to confess in the Apostles Creed."
In conclusion, Tom, the doctrine of the Trinity of Three "Persons" is like a three-legged stool: knock one of the many "proofs" out and the stool collapses back to where it was pre-Tertullian with One God manifested much like our own nature (body, soul, spirit) but Whose singular name is Jesus Christ, Lord and God. Because He is God, and God is pure or Holy Spirit then He is Holy Spirit manifesting Himself to our spirit. He can never be yours until you turn to the Lord as the Only God of the universe (2 Corinthians 3:16).
I have found no church "father" who ever sees the Godhead divided among "persons" and indeed they all warn against it as heresy. The most common image very much like the Bible is that an act begins with a Thought, is expressed in Word and then put into Action. God thinks, blows breath (spirit) out between His lips (double edged sword) and expresses Himself in Word and Action.
We should not make this into a literal, physical image of God who has ever been and will be "Behold our God is ONE God."