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Holy spirit is not a 3rd person in a Trinity --- it is the mind, power & essence of God

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

A Trinity doctrine states there are 3 persons yet 1 God: there is a Father and a Son, with the 3rd person being the person of the Holy Spirit. However, the Bible truth of the matter is that nowhere in the pages of Scripture is there a teaching that God consists of 3 persons, but instead it is proclaimed everywhere that there is only one God and only one person who is God, and this one person has a son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When the term Holy Spirit is not used as another name for God similar to the Most High (see article: ‘Metonymy of Holy Spirit’), the Bible tells us that God’s spirit or His holy spirit is the power, essence and mind of God. The spirit of God is not a separate or 3rd person apart from God, but it is a thing. Most often it is portrayed as the mind or presence of God, and also the power of God which He exerts to fulfill His will. It is this power God gives to us upon baptism and the laying on of hands that empowers and equips us to know Him and to serve Him – and to be molded into the children of God and be able to imitate His son Jesus.

In this article, we will go through what the Bible says God’s holy spirit really is.

 

 

 

 

1. Holy spirit is the mind and influence of God

 

The spirit of a person is the same thing as saying it is that person’s mind or mental disposition. Because of this, it means virtually the same thing as the person himself. If I was to say I am troubled in spirit, it means that I am troubled inside – “something is bothering me”. Someone’s spirit does not mean there is another person being spoken of, but it is another way to say the person himself.

 

Here are some examples of spirit meaning God’s (or a person’s) mind:

 

Genesis 6:

3     And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh;

     yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."     (NKJV)

 

Isaiah 63:

10     But they rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy,

      and himself fought against them.     (ASV)

 

Luke 12:

17   And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'

18   So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.

19   And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '  

     (NKJV)

 

John 13:

21   When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said,

     "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me."     (NASB)

 

1 Corinthians 2:

11   For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?

     Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.   (NASB)

 

Comment:

No one can say the spirit of a man means another person, except the man himself. Why then

would we say the spirit of God means another person – a 3rd person in a triune godhead?

 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:

19  Do not quench the Spirit…..

 

Comment:

If holy spirit was a separate person from God or 1 of 3 in a Trinity, how can it be quenched? Is a Trinity doctrine saying that God can be quenched? The reference to the spirit is not to a person, but the influence of God upon a person.

 

 

2 Timothy 1:

7   For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.   (NKJV)

 

 

 

 

2. Holy spirit is the power and essence of God

 

The holy spirit of God or God’s spirit usually represents the power or essence of God. It is what God uses to perform His will. This power is a thing and not a separate person in a triune godhead. It is the exertion of God’s might and is also given to God’s chosen people to empower them and change them.

 

Here are some examples of spirit meaning the power and essence of God:

 

Judges 14:

5     So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah.

     Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him.

6     And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat,

     though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.     (NKJV)

 

1 Samuel 10:

6     "Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily,

      and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man.   (NASB)

 

Psalm 139:

7     Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?     (NKJV)

 

 

In Luke 24, the Lord Jesus tells His disciples to wait for power from heaven:

 

Luke 24:

49   "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you;

      but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."   (NASB)

 

The power Luke 24:49 refers to is God’s spirit as Acts 1 shows:

 

Acts 1:

8     but you will receive power 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."     (NASB)

 

 

 

God’s holy spirit is the power of God which is often portrayed in the Bible as something God distributes as a gift.

 

In the Old Testament, this power comes upon people as God chooses and He can distribute and redistribute it at His will:

 

Numbers 11

16   The LORD therefore said to Moses, "Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel,

     whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting,

     and let them take their stand there with you.

17   "Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you,

     and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.

 

25   Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him;

     and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders.

     And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.

26   But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad.

     And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent),

     and they prophesied in the camp.

27   So a young man ran and told Moses and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."

28   Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, "Moses, my lord, restrain them."

29   But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets,

     that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!"   (NASB)

 

 

In the New Testament, God’s holy spirit is given to those who are baptized in the Lord Jesus’ name and have the laying of hands upon them.

 

Acts 2:

38   Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

     and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   (NASB)

 

Acts 8:

17   Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18   And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

19   saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."   (NKJV)

 

Acts 10:

44   While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

45   And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter,

     because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

46   For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,

47   "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

48   And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.   (NKJV)

 

1 Timothy 4:

14   Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.  

     (NKJV)

 

 

 

Who is the Lord Jesus’ father?

 

The Bible makes it very clear that the holy spirit of God is not a 3rd person in a triune godhead when we are told about who the father of the Lord Jesus is. In Matthew 1 the Bible states the holy child conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit:

 

Matthew 1:

20   But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

     "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  

     (NKJV)

 

 

We know that the Father is the one who is Jesus' father (Jesus always prays to the Father and we are told repeatedly who His Father is), but here it looks like the Holy Spirit is really Jesus' father. 

 

There are only three things ‘Holy Spirit’can mean:

 

1. The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in a Trinity.

2. The Holy Spirit is just a metonym or title for God

3. The holy spirit is the power of God.

 

It cannot mean the first where the Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in a Trinity, because it would mean the Holy Spirit is the father of the Lord Jesus Christ and not our Heavenly Father. Of course, this contradicts the Bible and is false.

 

So is it the second or third choice? Luke 1:35 provides the answer:

 

Luke 1:

35   And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

     and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also,

     that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.   (NKJV)

 

Luke 1:35 connects holy spirit as the power of the Most High.  So holy spirit must be the power of God through which God gets things done. 

 

 

 

The spirit of God is the essence of God which is used as the vehicle to dwell within us

 

In Romans 8, the apostle Paul speaks of both a spirit of God and a spirit of Christ:

 

Romans 8:

9     But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

     Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10   And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,

     he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.   (AKJV)

 

 

In verse 9 there is both a spirit of God and a spirit of Christ that is mentioned.

So according to Trinity doctrine logic, should there really be a “quadrinity” then, instead of a trinity? Should there not be a Holy Spirit of God, and also a Holy Spirit of Christ? If no, why not? If God who is a spirit and has a separate spirit person, why cannot His equal son also have a separate spirit person?

 

In verse 11, we are told it is God's spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and dwells in us.

However, we all know it is God who raised Him and this is mentioned dozens of times in the Bible. We also know that God dwells within us as we are the temple.

 

The truth of the matter is that the Bible is telling us that the holy spirit of God is not a 3rd person in a godhead, but it is the power and essence of both God and Christ. The spirit of God is the vehicle in which God uses to fulfill His will and empower us and dwell within us.

 

 

 

 

3. It is never described as a person, but only as inanimate things or animals

 

 

 

Fire and wind:

 

Acts 2:

1     When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

2     And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3     And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

4     And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.  

     (NASB)

 

 

 

Poured out like water:

 

Isaiah 44:

1       Yet hear me now, O Jacob My servant, And Israel whom I have chosen.

2       Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you:

       ' Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

3       For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,

       And My blessing on your offspring;

4       They will spring up among the grass Like willows by the watercourses.'   (NKJV)

 

Acts 2:

16   but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17   'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour forth 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;

18   Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.    

     (from Joel 2:28-29, NASB)

 

Acts 2:

33    Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,

      He poured out this which you now see and hear.     (NKJV)

 

Acts 10:

45    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.   (NASB)

 

Titus 3:

5     (not by works that are in righteousness that we did but according to His kindness,)

     He did save us, through a bathing of regeneration, and a renewing of the Holy Spirit,

6     which He poured upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour,     (YLT)

 

 

 

Poured out like oil:

 

Oil is what is poured upon the head of God’s chosen, such as a king. Pouring oil is also used for healing purposes.

 

Luke 4:

17   And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18   " The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19   To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."         (from Isaiah 61:1-2, NKJV)

 

 

 

Like a bird:

 

Matthew 3:

16   When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him,

     and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.   (NKJV)

 

 

 

Jesus breathes “the Holy Spirit” onto His disciples.

 

If “the Holy Spirit” was indeed a person of the Trinity, what is the Lord Jesus doing here – breathing “him” out?

 

John 20:

21   So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

22   And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.   (NKJV)

 

One has to question if the Holy Spirit is indeed a 3rd person of the godhead, then how and why would he be breathed out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus.  This is not metaphorical language, either, since it actually did leave the Lord’s mouth.  Being breathed out signifies that the holy spirit is actually a thing.  The original Greek does not have the article ‘the’ preceding the words holy spirit nor does it use capital letters, so it should actually read, “Receive holy spirit.”   And remember, the Greek word for spirit is ‘pneuma’, which is usually “breath”.

 

Only one relatively well-known English Bible has this correctly translated and it is Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible:

 

John 20:

21 Jesus, therefore, said unto them, again,––Peace be unto you! Just as, my Father, sent me forth, I, also, send you.
22 And, this, saying, he breathed strongly, and saith unto them––Receive ye Holy Spirit:––     (EMP)

 

 

 

A marriage deposit/guarantee:

 

The Bible also states that the holy spirit of God is given to believers as a deposit or guarantee. This alone indicates it is a thing. However, it is the meaning of what this pledge is that proves undeniably that God’s spirit is a thing He uses and gives, and is not a 3rd person of a Trinity.

 

In ancient Israel wedding custom, the bridegroom leaves for some time to prepare a place for his bride in his father’s property (John 14:2-3), and the bride must wait for his return when it is ready. Before he leaves, the bridegroom gives his betrothed a gift as a token of love and remembrance (almost like an engagement ring/gift) to “bide the time” until his return.

 

As the bride of Christ, we are given God’s holy spirit. It is a thing, a gift, we are given to hold us until He returns. When our groom departs to return later, He does NOT give us another person to be with us. Such an idea does not make any sense (giving another person?) and completely destroys God’s master plan of our salvation as unmistakably defined as a father who looks forward to his son’s wedding to a pure and loving bride. True, there are only three persons in this wedding, but it is not a Trinitarian God. The three are: Our Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ and we, the Bride of Christ.

 

It is just a pledge/earnest now, but when the Lord Jesus returns, that is when we will be changed and be with Him forever.

 

2 Corinthians 1:

22   who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.   (NASB)

 

Ephesians 1:

12   That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13   In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:

     in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14   Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.   (AKJV)

 

 

Please also see articles: ‘Bride of Christ’ and ‘Holy Spirit is missing in heaven’.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

What is the testimony of the Bible?

Does the Bible teach us that God has anointed God with God?

 

Acts 10:

38   how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,……     (NKJV)

 

 

No, it does not, but this is what a Trinity doctrine tries to make us believe.

 

The evidence in the Bible shows that the Bible testimony is this:

The Bible tells us that the holy spirit of God is not a 3rd person in a triune godhead, but it is the mind, power and essence of God.

 

With this power, Mary carries the Lord Jesus in her womb and God raises His son from the dead. With this power, God empowers His chosen people both in the Old and the New Testaments. With this power, God dwells within us as a deposit waiting until His son’s return.

With this power, we are changed now to become more like Christ and one day will be changed forever to be like Him in nature as well.

 

God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24) and for us to love Him with all our mind, heart and strength (Mark 12:28-30). This can only be done if we know who He really is. It begins with knowing there is only God and His son Jesus Christ. There is no Holy Spirit 3rd person.