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of September 1998
Next up-date: October 1st 1998 (God willing).
Is the Holy Spirit
a Person, or just the influence of God?
I had never even given this matter a thought until I was asked the question!
It seemed so straight forward that at first I thought the questioner was joking but once I realised he was not, then I looked for the evidence for him. And here it is:
Jesus said, John 14:15-17
"If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you".
"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".
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment..."
Jesus obviously thought of Him as a Person, one who had been with Him at the creation of the world as referred to in Genesis 1:2. He is only mentioned a few times in the Old Testament because Jesus was the main Person acting as God in those times. But, as we have just read, after Jesus went back to heaven as the Son of man in a human body, the Spirit was sent to the earth as the Comforter.
A pharaoh of Egypt recognised His presence in one of God's followers:
"And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?"
He taught the exodus group in the wilderness:
"You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them, and withheld not Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years did You sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not".
The first king of Israel was led by Him:
1 Samuel 10:10
"And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them".
He moved prophets such as Ezekiel around the world:
"Afterwards the Spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me".
"Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God: Your Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness".
Just as Jesus spoke of His Father and showed us what He is like, so the Spirit does for Jesus now that He is not here.
"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 show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it to you".
Put briefly, His position is:-
The Father thinks the thought
The Son speaks the thought
The Spirit activates the thought
The Holy Spirit, as we know Him, is the equal of Jesus Christ and is capable of taking His place here on earth as a Comforter and Guide. It is His job to show us Jesus as He really is, and to give us glimpses into future events that we may warn others of the impending fate of the world. John 16:13-14.
He is the third Person in the group that makes up the God-head. He has the ability to make the spoken word into a reality, and give the Christian the power to live the Christian life. He works now as a Comforter and Teacher because Jesus Christ is no longer the active One on earth. We know little about Him because He prefers to speak of Jesus and the Father. John 16:13-15.
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