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The Trinity

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Is God a Trinity... Part VI

Is the Holy Spirit a Separate Person or
The Manifestation Of The Divine Presence And Power Of The Father Himself

Carol Brooks

    Index To All Nine Sections


      Part I - Historical Background. Is the orthodox version of one God in three persons an unassailable and inviolable doctrine straight from the pages of Scripture? Not exactly! This incomprehensible doctrine was formally adopted in 381 AD as a defense against charges that Christians worshipped more than one God. It prevailed because it satisfied a number of requirements and gave the church a nice tidy solution. Yet, although unknown to the Scriptures, it somehow evolved into a litmus test for true faith.   

      Part II - Proof Texts.  Passages that supposedly "prove" the trinity.

      Part III - The Grammar. Can the grammar legitimately be used to support the idea that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity?

      Part IV - The Deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Bible very clearly shows that Christ is God AND ascribes Divinity to the Holy Spirit which leads to the question...

      Part V - Can God be more than one?

      You Are Here 001orange Part VI - What is The Holy Spirit? - A separate person, or the Divine presence and power of the Father Himself? 

      Part VII - The Cappadocian Fathers. The doctrine of the trinity that has remained virtually unchanged to this day found its roots in paganism not the Bible. This largely due to the part played by the Cappadocian Fathers - three ancient Greek philosophers and mystics.

      Part VIII - Begotten Vs. Proceeds. The Son is "begotten" of the Father and the Spirit "proceeds" from the Father. Different? Certainly! But not what The Cappadocian Fathers made it out to be

      Part IX - Summary and Conclusion


    Definition of Spirit

    One Spirit
    The Bible Clearly States there is Only One Spirit And
    Makes It Quite Clear That There is No Difference between The Spirit of The Father, The Spirit of Christ
    AND The Holy Spirit.

    The "Power" of The Most High

    Why Was The Holy Spirit Ignored in So Many Instances?
    (Jesus, Paul, and John all Apparently Forgot About 'Him')

    Other Examples of the Missing "Third Person".
    The Holy Spirit Doesn 't Have a Throne, Does Not Light The New Jerusalem, Is Never Prayed To or Worshipped
    And Is Left out of the Opening Salutations and Doxologies of The NT Books,

    Verses that Describe Actions Of The Holy Spirit Are Nothing but Anthropomorphisms

    Impersonal Descriptions and Attributes of The Holy Spirit
    A Being in it's own right Cannot be "poured out", given "without measure", or "quenched".
    Additionally no one can be "filled" with, "partake of" or be "baptized with"an independent entity

    Definition of Spirit
    The word "spirit" was translated from the Hebrew rach and the Greek pneuma, both of which literally mean "current of air", "breath" or "wind". (The word "ghost" is used in some older versions of the Bible because it comes from the Old English gast "soul, spirit, life, breath; good or bad spirit (angel, demon). It was the "usual West Germanic word for supernatural being" [01]

    However, the English word "spirit" itself carries a broad range of meaning. It is used for a supernatural being - an angel or demon that can be seen if it reveals itself. Every other meaning of the word "spirit" involves that which cannot be seen and is often used to denote the non-physical part of a person. For example "spirit" can mean...

      The essential nature of a person or group; the fundamental, emotional, and activating principle of a person; The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings as contrasted with his physical presence [02]

    The essential nature... the mind, will, and feelings of a person is what drives and motivates them. However, because this driving force is non-physical and invisible we do not see it, but can see the resulting actions. Just as we feel the effects of breath or wind which is invisible, we cannot see "spirit", but can see and feel what the spirit does.

      "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Gk. parakletos), that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit (Gk. pneuma) of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  (John 14:16-17 NASB)

    Which brings us to the fact that...

    The Bible Clearly States That There Is Only One Spirit...
    The Bible makes it very clear that there is only one Spirit.

      There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;  (Ephesians 4:4 NASB)

      Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:4 NASB)

      For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB)

    Yet it also tells us that

    A) The Spirit of God dwells in us

      But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  (Romans 8:11 NASB)

      Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB)

    B) The Holy Spirit dwells in us

      Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB)

      Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.  (2 Timothy 1:14 NASB)

    C) The Spirit of Christ dwells in us

      Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Galatians 4:6 NASB)

    Either, Paul got it wrong about there being only one Spirit and in reality there are three Spirits, OR the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same.

    Besides which,

    Scripture Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Holy Spirit
    Isaiah 6:8-10 and Acts 28:25-27
    In chapter six, verse 1 Isaiah wrote that he saw "the Lord (Heb. adonay) sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted with the train of His robe filling the temple". Above Him stood the Seraphim with six wings (Vs. 2). In verse 4 he mentions that the temple was filled with smoke and the foundations trembled. 

    These majestic and impressive descriptions leave little room for doubt that the ancient prophet was speaking of the Father Himself. Then in verses 8-10 the prophet tells us us what happened next, 

      Then I heard the voice of the Lord (Heb. adonay), saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed." (Isaiah 6:8-10 NASB)

    However, in Acts 28, Paul attributed Isaiahs words to the Holy Spirit. Did he make a mistake or did he simply understand (as modern theologians seem not to) that the voice of the Holy Spirit IS the voice of the Lord. 

      "The Holy Spirit (Gk. pneuma) rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 'go to this people and say, "you will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them."' (Acts 28:25-27 NASB)


    The Mind/Spirit of the Lord
    In his letters to the Romans and Corinthians, Paul twice referred to the "mind of the Lord"

      Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (Gk. theos). How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? (Romans 11:33-34 NASB)

      For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NASB)

    The sense is, God is supreme... no one instructs or guides him. However, Paul was quoting Isaiah 40 which reads,

      Who has directed the Spirit (Heb. rach) of the Lord (Heb. Yahweh), or as His counselor has informed Him? (Isaiah 40:13 NASB)

    In other words, the Spirit of the Lord and the Mind of the Lord are one and the same thing.

    Speaking By Which Spirit?
    Considering that there is only one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4), Jesus could not have been speaking of two different Spirits in the following verse which means that the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are one and the same Being.

      Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:3 NASB)

    Who Would Tell The Disciples What To Say?
    Scriptural evidence that the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the divine presence and power of the Father Himself is found in Mark 13 and Matthew 10, when Jesus gives specific instructions to his apostles just before they were sent out into the world.. Notice the identical instructions in both verses.. (All Emphasis Added)

      "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit (Gk. pneuma). (Mark 13:11 NASB)

    The verse above doesn't say who the Holy Spirit is, only that He will tell them what to say. Notice however the parallel instructions in Matthew

      and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. "But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit (Gk. pneuma) of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:18-20 NASB)

    Again, bearing in mind that there is only one Spirit, these two verses provide strong evidence that the Holy Spirit is the Father's Spirit, not a third person in his own right.

    Who Was Jesus Conceived by?
    Time and time again, the Bible refers to God as Jesus' Father. In fact, Jesus Himself said God was his father.

      that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten (Gk. gennao) You.'  (Acts 13:33 NASB)

    However, Matthew 1:20 tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

      But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived (Gk. gennao) in her is of the Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 1:20 NASB)

    If the Father and the Holy Spirit were two separate Beings would it not stand to reason that Jesus had two fathers? Luke, however, makes it reasonably clear that the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary and the power of the Most High overshadowing her was one and the same event caused by one Being - the Father.

      The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power (Gk. dunamis) of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35 NASB)

    I am at a loss as to how when confronted with this type of evidence, people can still believe that God and the Holy Spirit are separate Persons.

    But there is more...

    Scripture Also Equates The Spirit of The Father With The Spirit of Christ
    The following verse should make it readily apparent that the Spirit of God the Father and the Spirit of Christ are the same Spirit which actually makes perfect sense, since Christ and the Father are one.

      However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9 NASB)

    In his second epistle, Peter said prophecies were made by men "moved by the Holy Spirit", but in his first letter he said "the Spirit of Christ within them" predicted Christ's sufferings and subsequent glories.

      no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21 NASB)

      As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (1 Peter 1:10-11 NASB)

    The Bible makes it clear that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are the same Spirit - and that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are the same Spirit. As already said, there is only one Spirit.

    Who Supervised the Initial Spread Of The Church?
    Anyone who has read the book of Acts will know that after Pentecost the Holy Spirit pretty much directed the spread of the fledgling church, telling people where to go, who to speak to, what to say and, in some cases, warning the apostles not to travel to certain places. Here are several examples,

      Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." (Acts 8:29 NASB)

      While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. "But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself." (Acts 10:19-20 NASB)

      While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:2 NASB)

      So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. (Acts 13:4 NASB)

      For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials" (Acts 15:28 NASB)

      Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood". (Acts 20:28 NASB)

    But out of the blue comes one solitary verse in which Luke says "the Spirit of Jesus" did not permit Paul and Timothy to go to Bithynia. Yet the verse immediately preceding this one says the Holy Spirit forbade the apostles to preach the word in Asia.  Note that all the places mentioned were part of Asia - situated close to each other in the area south of the Black sea in what is present day Turkey.

      They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; (Acts 16:6-7 NASB)

    So what happened here? Did Jesus realize that the Holy Spirit had neglected to specifically forbid the apostles to go to Bithynia and took it on Himself to do so? Or did He simply decide to intervene this once?

    Although I admit to being just a tad tongue in cheek, the point is that there is only ONE Spirit. Luke simply used different wording to reflect the the direction and guidance given by the Holy Spirit.

    The "Power" of The Most High
    In our day, we often understand the English word "power" to mean having great influence or control over others. The expression "corridors of power" is a commonly used phrase that refers to the higher levels of government. However, "power" (Gk. dunamis) also means the ability or capacity to do something. Dunamis, was often used in the New Testament to indicate miraculous power that, by implication, means the miracle itself. It is, therefore, often translated "miracle". 

    Non-miraculous Ability: In the parable of the talents a man, who was about to go on a long journey, called his servants and "To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability (Gk. dunamis)... " (Matthew 25:15 NASB).

      The members of the church in Macedonia sent money to the poor Christians in Jerusalem according to their "ability" (Gk. dunamis) (2 Corinthians 8:3 NASB)

    Miraculous Ability: The Sadducees, who neither believed in the resurrection of the dead nor in angels and spirits, sought to challenge Jesus' position on the resurrection by putting a rather fanciful question to Him. Jesus responded by telling them that they neither understood the Scriptures "nor the power (Gk. dunamis) of God" (Matthew 22:29]. In other words, they did not believe God had the power (ability) to bring the dead back to life.

    Jesus and His disciples, began their ministries in the "power" of the Spirit.

      And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power (Gk. dunamis) of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.  (Luke 4:14 NASB)

    The same power that enabled both Christ and Paul to perform miracles works within us as well.

      Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power (Gk. dunamis) that works within us, (Ephesians 3:20 NASB)

    Which brings us to the question of what this power is.
    If the prophet Micah is to be believed, the Holy Spirit is the 'power'. He equated being filled with the Spirit of the Lord with being filled with God's power. Note how Young's Literal Translation renders this verse.

      On the other hand I am filled with power (Heb. kach) - With the Spirit (Heb. rach) of the Lord (Heb. Yahweh) - And with justice and courage to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:8 NASB)

    Just as Micah was filled with the power of the Spirit of the Lord that gave him courage to testify against the nation, the Holy Spirit was the power the disciples needed in order to become courageous preachers of the Gospel,

      but you will receive power (Gk. dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NASB)

    Even if one is not convinced that Micah 3:8 and Acts 1:8 show that the Holy Spirit and God's power are one and the same thing, there are many other verses in the Old Testament that unambiguously correlate God's power with His Spirit.. For example,

    Two Creators?
    The prophet Jeremiah said that the Lord had made the heavens and earth by His great "power",

      It is He who made the earth by His power (Heb. kach), Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12 NASB)

      'Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power (Heb. kach) and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,  (Jeremiah 32:17 NASB

    The prophet Isaiah also said the Lord created the heavens and the earth.

      For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the Lord , and there is none else.  (Isaiah 45:18 NASB)

    However, Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 104 tell us that the "Spirit" of God was intimately involved in creation

      The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit (Heb. rach) of God was moving over the surface of the waters.  (Genesis 1:2 NASB)

      You send forth Your Spirit (Heb. rach), they are created; And You renew the face of the ground. (Psalm 104:30 NASB)

    So either there were two creators OR they are one and the same Being.

    Why Was The Holy Spirit Ignored in So Many Instances?

    Did Jesus Forget About The Holy Spirit?
    Jesus consistently spoke of the relationship between God the Father and Himself. He called God His Father, making Himself equal with God (John 5:17-18). He told the Jews that He and the Father "were one" (John 10:30], said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father and He was in the Father, and the Father is was in Him  (John 14:9-10). But not once did He make a similar statement about Himself and the Holy Spirit. Nor did He ever pray (or even talk to) the Holy Spirit as He did His Father (Matthew 26:39].

    Note particularly that when Jesus said... "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (John 14:23 NASB). However, He only mentions Himself and The Father without even a passing reference to the Holy Spirit.

    And there are plenty of other verses in which He did exactly the same thing...

      But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me." (John 8:16-18 NASB)

      If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."  (John 14:7 NASB)

      Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14:10 NASB)

      Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, (John 17:1 NASB)

      I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. (John 17:11 NASB)

      that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  (John 17:21 NASB)

    Would He really have so completely ignored the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit was the third person of the trinity?

    Did Paul Forget About The Holy Spirit?
    If God were a Trinity one would imagine that Paul, who laid the greater part of the theological foundation of the early church, would have taught this concept. However, he did no such thing. Much to the contrary he consistently and repeatedly tied the Father and Son together with no mention of the Holy Spirit.

    Was this a gross oversight on the part of the apostle, or are we simply refusing to see what was behind what he wrote? For example, in the book of Titus, Paul very distinctly said he was (Emphasis added).

      "...a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, (Titus 1:1 NASB)

    Surely this would have been a slap in the face if the Spirit were indeed an entity coequal with God the Father and Christ. In his letter to the Corinthians, once again completely ignoring the Holy Spirit, Paul made an even more insulting statement when he spoke of one God and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, with no mention of the Holy Spirit.

      yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.  (1 Corinthians 8:6 NASB)

    Also note how Paul explicitly connected the Father and Son with no reference to the Holy Spirit. For example...

      First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, (Romans 1:8-9 NASB)

      giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14 NASB)

      Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB)

      Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NASB)

    In fact, in the books of Romans alone, there are some 22 instances where God the Father and Jesus Christ are tied together in the same sentence. For example Paul says we "exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (5:11), we are alive to God through Christ (6:11), he gives thanks to God through Jesus Christ (7:25), and says he, in Christ, found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God (15:17).

    However, there is a distinct difference in how the Holy Spirit is referred to.

    Paul talks about the Holy Spirit who was given to us (5:5), "putting to death the deeds of the body" by the Spirit (8:13), being led by the Spirit (8:14). and the power and love of the Spirit (15:13, 19, 15:30). In reference to the law, Paul contrasts serving "in newness of the Spirit" vs. the "oldness of the letter" (:6).

    What Paul never does is tie the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together, as he does Father and Son alone. In fact, 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the only place in Paul's writings that he mentions the Holy Spirit in the same verse as the Father and Son. But, even here, he says that our fellowship is of the Holy Spirit, not with the Holy Spirit, making the point that God's Spirit is the unifying agent that brings us together in fellowship, not only with one another, but with the Father and Son.

    Did John Forget About The Holy Spirit?
    John very clearly stated who our fellowship is with the Father and Son, with nary a word about fellowship with the Holy Spirit - which would have been an unforgivable oversight had there been a 'third person' of a trinity.

      "Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3]

    Not only that, but John makes no mention of seeing the Holy Spirit in his visions recorded in the book of Revelation.

    Other Examples of the Missing "Third Person"
    The Holy Spirit Doesn't Have a Throne
    John's description of the throne of God is more than telling. He speaks of "the throne of God", "God who sits on the throne", "the Lamb in the center of the throne", "the throne of God and of the Lamb" etc. but not once does he speak of the Holy Spirit's throne.

      "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:15-17 NASB)

      Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, (Revelation 22:1 NASB)

      There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; (Revelation 22:3 NASB)

    Although both God and the Lamb are mentioned in the following quote along with a great multitude standing before the throne, the Holy Spirit is conspicuously absent.

      After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9-10 NASB)

    Come to think of it ...

    The Holy Spirit Is Missing From Other Visions of God's Throne...
    In Acts 7:55-56, which describes the martyrdom of Stephen, we read that he "gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'" He saw God the Father and Jesus the Son, but no Holy Spirit.

    In Daniel's vision of heaven he saw God the Father (the "Ancient of Days"), millions of beings attending Him, and "One like a Son of Man" given an everlasting kingdom. Curiously absent from the vision is the third person of a supposedly triune God .

       (9) "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.  (10)  "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.  ... "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. (14) "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:9-10, 14 NASB)

    Many verses tell us that after His ascension into Heaven Jesus, the Lamb of God, sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He remains

      Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64 NASB)

    Wouldn't the co-equal third person of the trinity merit a spot, perhaps on the Father's other side and wouldn't you imagine it would be mentioned somewhere in Scripture.

    The Holy Spirit is Not The Temple and Does Not Light The New Jerusalem
    It is also striking that the third person of the trinity plays no part in lighting (whether literally or figuratively) God's New Jerusalem.  

      I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. (Revelation 21:22-24 NASB)

    The Holy Spirit Is Never Prayed To or Worshipped.
    Prayer is a consistent theme of the New Testament. Jesus spent much time in prayer (Luke 6:12 NASB) and taught His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6). Prayer was a huge part of the spiritual life of the early church (Acts 12:5, Romans 10:1, 2 Corinthians 9:14, Philippians 4:6 etc.). Paul strongly advised the Colossians to devote themselves to prayer (4:2), and instructed the Thessalonians to "pray without ceasing; (5:17). This is hardly surprising since James told us that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  (James 5:16).

    While it is true that most prayer was addressed to God the Father, there is one notable exception. Just as Stephen was about to die, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55]. His last words were a prayer specifically directed at the Messiah... "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (Acts 7:59). However, there is not a single prayer directed to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

    Similarly although the instructions to worship the Father are crystal clear...

      And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." (Revelation 14:7 NASB)

      But he *said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God."  (Revelation 22:9 NASB)

      the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  (Revelation 4:10 NASB)

    And God Himself says the angels should worship the Lord Jesus Christ..

      And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "and let all the angels of God worship Him"  (Hebrews 1:6 NASB)

    There isn't a single verse which speaks of worshipping the Holy Spirit.

    The Opening Salutation of Most of The New Testament Books
    Adding insult to injury, in most of his letters Paul greets the person or individual concerned in the name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, never once mentioning the Holy Spirit. (I counted fourteen occurrences (See Footnote I). And Paul wasn't the only one, James and Jude did so as well. As did Peter and John in each of their second letters.

      James: James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. (James 1:1 NASB)

      Jude: Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:  (Jude 1:1 NASB)

      Peter: Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:1-2 NASB)

      John: Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 1:3 NASB)

    The Doxologies

    As said in an article by H A Barnes in Believer's Magazine

      In the New Testament a doxology is a short, unique, and spontaneous ascription of praise to God. They never follow a set pattern, but usually come after the mention of a divine name and they usually end with the phrase "for ever (and ever). Amen". Doxologies appear unexpectedly within, or more expectedly at the end, of the epistles. Their final "Amen" gives the readers an opportunity to show their agreement through their responding "Amens". [03]

    Here is one example,

    For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (Romans 1:25 NASB)

    There are approximately eighteen doxologies in the New Testament books... ten by Paul, three by Peter, one by Jude, one by the author of Hebrews, and three by John in Revelation (one was written by him, while the other two were statements made by the angels and all created things that John noted) . (See Footnote II) (James is the only NT author who did not include a doxology in his epistle).

    What About Verses That Describe Actions Of The Holy Spirit?
    There are passages of Scripture that attribute actions, activity and even emotions to the Holy Spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit was involved in

      Creation... The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit (Heb. rach) of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 NASB)

      The Incarnation... Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 NASB)

      The Resurrection... But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  (Romans 8:11 NASB)

    And depicted as being capable of

      Speaking .. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "today if you hear His voice, (Hebrews 3:7 NASB)

      Reasoning ... "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: (Acts 15:28 NASB)

      Feeling .. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 NASB)

    Like countless other theologians, Patrick Zukeran of Probe Ministries comes to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit has to be a person, because it has the characteristics of a person In his words...

      The Holy Spirit is also a separate person, and He is also called God. First, let us understand, the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. He is a person and has the characteristics of a person. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), He speaks (Acts 13:2), and He can be lied to (Act 5:3-4). In Acts 5:3-4 the Holy Spirit is called God, "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?...You have not lied to men, but to God.'"  So we see clearly that there are three persons in the Bible, and all three are called God. [04]

    The problem with this statement is that the Bible often attributes human characteristics to inanimate things also called ...

    Anthropomorphism, which is attribution of human form, characteristics, emotions, motives, and actions to non-living things, is an ancient literary tradition. And the Bible is no different. The Old Testament speaks of non-living things crying out for vindication, shouting/singing for joy, clapping their hands, lamenting etc., none of which is, obviously, to be taken literally

      He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.  (Genesis 4:10 NASB)

      The meadows are clothed with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing. (Psalm 65:13 NASB)

      Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy (Psalm 96:11-12 NASB)

      Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy (Psalm 98:8 NASB)

      Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.' (Isaiah 14:8 NASB)

      Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.  (Habakkuk 2:11 NASB)

    Similarly, the New Testament depicts wisdom as having children, creation groaning, righteousness speaking, water and blood testifying, etc.. etc.

      Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children." (Luke 7:35 NASB)

      For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:22 NASB)

      But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "do not say in your heart, 'who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down),  (Romans 10:6 NASB)

      For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 John 5:7-8 NASB)

    We never take Paul's statement that 'creation groans' to mean creation is a living being. So when he writes that the Holy Spirit feels grief, why do we necessarily assume that these emotions have to mean the Holy Spirit is a person especially in light of all the evidence against.

    In Summary - Ascribing activity or other human characteristics to the Holy Spirit does not mean the
    Holy Spirit is a distinct person.

    We need to return for a moment, to the definition of the English word "spirit" often used to denote the non-physical part of a person, ie. the mind, will, and feelings. In the case of God, if the Holy Spirit is indeed His essential nature then any 'human' characteristics attributed to the Holy Spirit is perfectly natural. It also makes perfect sense that Acts 5:3-4 says lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God.

      But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts 5:3-4 NASB)

    In other words,  the Bible is simply referring to God's Spirit when it says the Holy Spirit thinks, reasons and feels. Gods essence, His mind, His will, and His feelings - all an integral part of Him. And, although we may not understand how this works, when the Holy Spirit is said to have done something, it is God using His Spirit as the agency, or power, through which He works.

    Besides which, the Bible describes the Holy Spirit in ways that cannot possibly indicate a person.

    Impersonal Descriptions and Attributes of The Holy Spirit
    Not only is the Holy Spirit consistently represented by inanimate objects as the Father and Jesus never are...

      Tongues of Fire
      And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  (Acts 2:2-3 NASB)

      Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39 NASB)

      A Pledge or Earnest
      who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2 Corinthians 1:22 NASB)

    ... But the Spirit is spoken of in many ways that do not support the idea that a person is being spoken about.

      A Divine person cannot be quenched, as when Paul told the Thessalonians "Do not quench (Gk. sbennumi ) the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NASB). Note: Sbennumi literally means to extinguish. It occurs only eight times in the New Testament usually in connection with fire. See, for example, Matthew 12:20, Ephesians 6:16, Hebrews 11:34. Thus it is no wonder that Paul used it of the Holy Spirit seen as "tongues as of fire" on Pentecost. Acts 2:3)

      Baptized With
      Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit, which would be odd if the Spirit were a person.

        As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11 NASB)

      Filled With
      Additionally, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how people can drink/partake of a person, or be filled with a person. If the Holy Spirit is a separate being, either He abides in a person, or not. The amount cannot vary.

        For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, (Hebrews 6:4 NASB)

        And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

        And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  (Ephesians 5:18 NASB)

      Stirred Up
      Also I am not sure how, as Paul told Timothy, you can rekindle, or "stir up" a Divine Being, unless of course this Being (like the Genie in a bottle) is asleep and needs shaking awake.

        For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh ("stir up" in the KJV) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 NASB)

      Poured Out - Old Testament
      The Hebrew word shphak (poured) is used over 100 times for inanimate or abstract objects in the Old Testament. For example, blood (Leviticus 4:30, Jeremiah 22:17 etc.), ashes (1 Kings 13:3), wrath (Psalms 79:6, Ezekiel 20:13 etc).

    However, a Being divine or otherwise cannot be 'poured out' the Old Testament tells us the Spirit of God was

      "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord God.  (Ezekiel 39:29 NASB)

      "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.  (Joel 2:28 NASB)

      "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication...   (Zechariah 12:10 NASB)

      Poured Out - New Testament
      The New Testament also tells us that the Holy Spirit was be given as a gift that was "poured out" or given "without measure".

        All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. (Acts 10:45 NASB)

        "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34 NASB)

      In Acts 2, Peter quoted the prophet Joel (2:28-29), saying

        'and it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'that I will pour forth (Gk. ekcheo) of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth (Gk. ekcheo) of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18 NASB)

      Wine (Matthew 9:17 etc.), Christ's blood (Mark 14:24 etc.) and the vials held by the angels (Revelation 16:2 etc.) are all poured out something that is impossible with a person or even a Divine Being. Note that neither Christ nor the Father are ever referred to this way. If the Holy Spirit is the essential nature of God Himself, then having it "poured out", given "without measure", or "quenched" makes perfect sense. As does being "filled" with, "partake of" or be "baptized with" the Spirit .

    In Psalm 51:1 King David was confessing his sin and implored God,

      Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10-11 NASB)

    If the Holy Spirit were a distinct person with a mind and consciousness of its own, why did David ask the Lord not to take the Holy Spirit away when he could have addressed the Holy Spirit directly saying something like "Holy Spirit, do not leave me"?

    Perhaps because David knew that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God Himself and God can give the gift of His Spirit, or take it away.

    So if the Holy Spirit cannot be Biblically shown to be the 'Third Person of the Trinity" where in the world did that idea originate? If we look closely into the formation of the doctrine and the people who were behind it we will run headlong into three Greek philosophers and very Catholic mystics...

    Continue On To Part VII - The Cappadocian Fathers. Three theologians from Cappadocia jointly known as the Cappadocian fathers, gave definitive shape to the doctrine of the Trinity. The problem is that not only were all three trained Greek philosophers but they were greatly influenced by the writings of Origen known for introducing Greek ideas into Christianity. In fact, Gregory of Nyssa applied Origen's line of reasoning to the trinity claiming we would have no content for our thoughts about Father, Son, and Spirit, if we did not find an outline of their nature within ourselves. In other words, the key to the Trinity is in our triple nature ... our minds or reasoning, our word, and our souls.

    If that isn't enough all three of the men were Catholic mystics. Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus actually pioneered the rules of monastic life, compiling what became known as "the Rule of St. Basil".  HERE

    Footnote I - Greetings in The NT Epistles

      1. to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7 NASB)

      2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3 NASB)

      3. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:2 NASB)

      4. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, (Galatians 1:3 NASB)

      5. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:2 NASB)

      6. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2 NASB)

      7. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.  (Colossians 1:2 NASB)

      8. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. (1 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB)

      9. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  (2 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB)

      10. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NASB)

      11. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Philemon 1:3 NASB)

      12. To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  (1 Timothy 1:2 NASB)

      13. To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  (2 Timothy 1:2 NASB)

      14. To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.  (Titus 1:4 NASB) {PLACE IN TEXT}

    Footnote II - The Doxologies
    Although the doxologies themselves are short I have, in some cases, included the preceding verses which show who the praise is being directed to. Note that not one of them is directed to the Holy Spirit.

      a) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (Romans 1:25 NASB)

      b) whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.  (Romans 9:5 NASB)

      c) For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:34-36 NASB)

      d) Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 16:25-27 NASB)

      e) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5 NASB)

      f) Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB)

      g) Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20 NASB)

      h) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17 NASB)

      i) that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14-16 NASB)

      j) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18 NASB)

      k) Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 NASB)

      l) Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11 NASB)

      m) After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11 NASB)

      n) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 NASB)

      o) Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NASB)

      p) and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father-- to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6 NASB)

      q) And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." (Revelation 5:13 NASB)

      r) saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 7:12 NASB) {PLACE IN TEXT}

    End Notes
    [01] Online Etymology Dictionary. © 2001-2013 Douglas Harper http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ghost

    [02] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spirit

    [03] H A Barnes, Bromborough The Doxologies of the New Testament Epistles. http://www.believersmagazine.com/bm.php?i=20080611

    [04] Patrick Zukeran. Jehovah's Witnesses and the Trinity. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/jw-trin.html


    The Trinity Part V - Can God Be More Than One?