The holy spirit is the
power of God
Spirit is the means by which God created the heavens and the earth, and it is also the means by which the Creation is sustained at the present time – see Genesis 1v1,2, Job 26v13;33v4;34v14,15,Psalm 104v30.
The spirit of God is everywhere, Psalm 139v1-12. When God wishes to use His spirit for a special purpose, it is termed His "holy (dedicated) spirit”, as distinct from His “free spirit”, Psalm 51v11,12. He used this power to bring about the birth of Jesus, Luke 1v35 - “the holy spirit..the power of the Highest”.
Cp the same description of “holy spirit” as “power” - Acts 1v5-8 and 10v38 - cp Luke 24v49. So “holy spirit” is the medium through which God reveals Himself.
This power is in His written word. The same word translated "power" in the above passages is also used in Romans 1v16 - “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…”. The English word ‘dynamo’ is from the Greek word ‘dunamis’ above.
If we want God’s power today we must believe the word of God, which has always been the only way to gain salvation - link to ‘Bible’. See the conclusion of this page concerning these spirit-given words.
Although spirit power may sometimes be spoken of as speaking or doing something, it is but the means employed. This becomes plain when we look at a passage like 1st Corinthians 2. On v13 we read - “the holy spirit teacheth”. However, this must be understood in harmony with v10 - “GOD hath revealed them unto us BY HIS SPIRIT”. Also cp v14 - “the natural man receiveth not the things of the SPIRIT OF GOD”.
A similar mode of expression is used in Job 38v35, and the meaning is obvious. No-one would portray “lightnings” as sentient beings! Link to ‘Bible’-page 3. Today we might use similar expressions - “the magazine stated” etc. Do not be misled by inherited pagan teachings.
These are simple scriptural facts, which can easily be understood by anyone. But when unscriptural ideas about “a third person in a trinity” are forced upon the narrative, it is no wonder that confusion is rife upon a sublime subject.
Let us be clear on this matter. There are no special capitals ‘h’ and ‘s’ in “holy spirit” in the original*. They were only inserted by biased translators believing in “the trinity”, a pagan doctrine which was only set in its present form after some centuries of argument.
(*see a similar doctrinal bias concerning 'satan' - link below)
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” - Romans 1v22, thus repeating the “mystery” of Babylon, which had its own “trinity”, though by different names! So here is one identification of the modern-day “church” with ancient Babylon (which means ‘confusion’).
"The trinity" is a “mystery”, say “ministers” today. The ancient “mystery” religion of Babylon is well-known ot historians. The Bible warns us against “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT” - Revelation 17v5.
See links to 'God'
The process of apostacy is traced out in
There are other uses of the word ‘spirit’. The original carries the idea of ‘breathe’, or ‘blow’. So it is used of breath, Genesis 6v17, Job 12v10 and Psalm 104v29. It therefore also can mean ‘life’, as in Ecclesiastes 8v8;12v7, Luke 23v46, Acts 7v59, or ‘aspect of mind’ as in Exodus 6v9, Psalm 51v10, Haggai 1v14, Mark 14v38, John 4v24, 1st Peter 3v4.
'Spirit' expresses the Hebrew 'ruwach' & the Greek 'pneuma', and both words carry the above meanings, as determined by the context. The word 'ruwach' is used of all creation in Genesis, link to 'soul'.
The purpose of the spirit gifts was to establish the early believers and spread the Gospel. Cp Acts 2, Hebrews 2v1-4. The most spectacular example was on the day of Pentecost, when the “power.. (of) the holy spirit” as predicted by Jesus in Acts 1v8 came upon the disciples, and the Gospel was preached in the native “tongue, wherein (they) were born”, of those who heard.
Various powers were given to endorse this early preaching. However, they were only temporary. Paul wrote three chapters concerning their proper use, 1st Corinthians 12-14. In ch.13 he prophesied that these “part(s)” of the spirit would “fail..cease..vanish away”, and this came to pass by the early 2nd century AD. (In OT times spirit power was given, & then it ceased). “Perfect” v10 signifies “complete” (Grk. ‘teleios’), prophesying of the matured assemblies - cp.v11, ch.2v6 ‘teleios’ Ephesians 4v13 ‘teleios’ (read v7-16), Hebrews 5v14 ‘teleios’ tr. “of full age” (read v11-14 & ch.6v1-3).
In every age, it is God's word, not spirit gifts, that gives salvation. The enduring virtues set out by Paul are “faith, hope, charity (love)” - 1st Corinthians 13v13 - this is the “more excellent way” - ch.12v31.
Only the Apostles had the power to pass on the gifts (cp Acts 8v12-19, Romans 1v11, 1st Timothy 4v14, 2nd Timothy 1v6). When they died, and those who had received the gifts from them also died, there was no-one left with these powers. Their purpose, for upbuilding and preaching, was fulfilled. We now live in the time spoken of when, as in the past, there is “a famine..of hearing the words of the LORD” - Amos 8v11..“ye shall not have a vision..there is no answer of God” - Micah 3v6,7.
New revelation & spirit powers have ceased, cp. Joel 2v21-32. This is the period between “the former” and “the latter rain(s)” of the spirit. Peter referred to “the former rain” in Acts 2v16-21, but significantly did not quote the last part of Joel 2v32 - “for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call”; for this blessed time is yet future. Only at this time will “the latter rain” be given to the redeemed.
Some, known as "Pentecostals", persist in teaching that they have the gift of “speaking in tongues”. Consider the following undeniable fact: the only “speak(ing) with other tongues” recorded in the Scriptures was speaking in the languages of the hearers (“And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Acts 2v4,8).
In direct opposition to the above, “Pentecostals” practise a unintelligible form of speech, laying emphasis on the word “unknown” which appears in 1st Corinthians 14v2,4,13,14,19,27. Such a bizarre & unscriptural practice is known as “glossolalia”, after the Greek word for ‘speech’ (‘glossa’), which is used in the chapter above.
However the word ‘unknown’ appears in italics, which means that no equivalent word appears in the original text. The insertion of this extra word therefore carries no weight, because it simply reflects the understanding of the translator, a fallible person, who may believe in error. And even if the word remains, as we will show hereunder, the “tongue” was not totally unknown, but it was not known to those who could not understand the foreign language being used - cp Genesis 11v6-9.
Two words, 'glossa' (= 'speech') & 'dialectos' (='language') are used interchangeably in Acts 2v4 ('glossa') and v8 ('dialectos'). Allso, 'glossa' is used of INTELLIGIBLE SPEECH in: Romans 14v11, Philippians 2v11, 1st John 3v18. Finally, 'glossa' refers to FOREIGN LANGUAGES in:
All utterances by the spirit were meant to be understood. Therefore Paul specifies that unless an interpreter was present, those able to speak any type of revelation in a foreign language tongue should remain silent. See 1st Corinthians 14v26-28 - “...But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the ecclesia, and let him speak to himself, and to God”.
Compare v33,40 -"God is not the author of confusion...Let all things be done decently and in order”.
Some have deluded themselves by assuming that even the speaker did not understand what he was saying! Cp 1st Corinthians 14v14. But such an interpretation would conflict with v4, which tells us that “he that speaketh in a tongue (“unknown” omitted - not in original text) edifieth himself”. See v15-17, 28. the only explanation possible is that v14 is a reference to the listener and not to the speaker. This is corroborated by verses 15 and 16..the one receiving the revelation has “understanding” but without an interpreter the hearer “understandeth not”.
In 1st Corinthians 14v21 there appear 2 quotations from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 28v11,12. The context is one of judgments upon the land of Israel & the city of Jerusalem, & God promises that He “will speak” “with another tongue” in that day of judgment. In Deuteronomy 28v49 we are told that this would be by “a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand”. History records that this was Rome. In the context of 1st Corinthians 14 we see that the “tongue” referred to was a foreign language. It is significant that “with another tongue” is also quoted in Acts 2v4.
It is convenient to twist Scripture in a vain endeavour to claim present possession of what were in fact the two least important of the gifts of the spirit - see 1st Corinthians 12v4-12,28-31. When God bore “witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the holy spirit” - Hebrews 2v4, “speaking in tongues” was only a part of the “former rain” of the spirit (see above). When the power of God is again revealed in the earth, there will be no doubt about its presence!
‘Spirit’ thus points us to the all-powerful Creator, and we are invited to “take the water of life freely” in believing the Gospel message & obeying it as set out in the Scriptures by baptism into Jesus Christ. “..holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy spirit”. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE”. Revelation 22v17, 2nd Peter 1v21, John 6v63.
(miracles & demons)