The Full Deity of the Holy Spirit
Here are some additional considerations about the Person of the Holy Spirit that clearly indicate that He is a coequal member of hashilush HaKodesh (the “Holy Trinity”), and therefore is none other than God Himself:
- Triadic Formulas in the Scriptures.
Certain passages discuss the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as coequal. For example, Paul puts the Spirit, the Lord, and God in grammatically parallel constructions (1 Cor. 12:4-6) and closes a letter with a three-part prayer: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Cor. 13:14). Peter begins a letter with this three-part formula: "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood" (1 Peter 1:2). The baptismal formula has an even stronger implication of echdut (unity) -- "in the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). The Father, Son, and Spirit share a common Name, indicating common essence and equality.
- Word Exchanges: Holy Spirit is identified as YHVH.
In Exodus 17.7 we read: “And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested YHVH saying, "Is YHVH among us or not?" In the New Testament we read, “So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did” (Heb 3.7-9 ). Further light comes from Isaiah 63.10: “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.” Clearly the Holy Spirit is equated with the God of the Israelites.
Compare these verses:
- 2 Sam 23:1ff: "These are the last words of David: "The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel's singer of songs: "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God.’"
- Isaiah 6.9: "He said, "Go and tell this people: "`Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'"
- Acts 28.25: "They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: "`Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."
Compare these verses:
The Holy Spirit is explicitly called God.
- Gen 18.10,14: "Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."
- Gen 21.1: "Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised."
- Romans 4.20-21: "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."
- Gal 4.29: "At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit."
Acts 5:3 records that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit; but verse 4 says that Ananias lied to God. This indicates that "the Holy Spirit" and "God" are exchangeable and thus that the Holy Spirit is God.
The Spirit of God is indeed God Himself... In Acts 13:2 "The Holy Spirit said, `Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Here the Holy Spirit speaks on behalf of God, as God.
Compare where the phrase "temples of God," and "temples of the Holy Spirit" are equated.
- 1 Cor 3:16: “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?”
- 1 Cor 6.19: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
- 2 Cor 6.16: “For we are the temple of the living God.”
A temple, of course, is a habitation for YHVH, not a habitation for an impersonal power. When Paul writes "temple of the Holy Spirit," he implies that the Holy Spirit is God.
Like Begets Like.
Paul further wrote: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3.17,18).
Notice that this passage explicitly identifies YHVH with the Ruach HaKodesh.
Yeshua was begotten by the Father (John 1:14) but Mary was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35), thus indicating that the Spirit of YHVH and YHVH are One (the full divinity of the Son (Col. 1:19) implies the full divinity of the Begetter).
The Holy Spirit makes personal intercession for us: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 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 8:26-7) This role of the Holy Spirit is similar to the Intercessory work of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach as our High Priest (Hebrews 7:25).
The Ruach HaKodesh gives gifts and special abilities to the church (1 Cor. 12:11). Compare this with Ephesians 4:8, where it is written that Yeshua gave gifts to men.
The Agent of God’s Love.
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5.5). Note that the Holy Spirit is the "agent" of the very love of the Father! How could this make any sense at all if He were not Himself at one with the Father?
Only God can be blasphemed, yet it is clearly stated that it is possible to blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31).
Personality of the Holy Spirit.
Yeshua called the Ruach HaKodesh called the “Helper” or “Comforter,” indicating His personal involvement in our daily struggles (John 14:16; 14:26; 16:7). In addition, the personality of the Holy Spirit is shown through the study of the following:
- He speaks: 2 Samuel 23:2; Acts 8:29; Revelation 2:7; etc.
- He prays: Romans 8:26
- He guides: Romans 8:14; John 16:13
- He calls and commissions: Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28
- He commands: Acts 8:29
- He indwells believers: John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19
- He teaches: John 14:26; 1 John 2:27
- He reproves: John 16:8
- He sends: Acts 13:4
- He empowers: Acts 1:8, 2 Peter 1:21
- He testifies: John 15:26,27; John 16:13,14
- He can be vexed: Isaiah 63:10
- He can be grieved: Ephesians 4:30
- He can be lied to: Acts 5:3
- He can be quenched: 1 Thessalonians 5:19
- He can be blasphemed: Matthew 12:31
- He can be revered: Psalm 51:11
- He gives gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:27:28
- He convicts of sin: John 16:7
- He intercedes: Romans 8:26:27