The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead.
1 John 5:7
'For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.'
The Holy Spirit is mentioned together with God the Father and Jesus Christ in scripture. (Matthew 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
He is part of the Godhead mentioned in Acts 17:29
The Holy Spirit has several characteristics:
He is Holy.
One hundred times He is referred to as the Holy Spirit. There must be a reason why this adjective "Holy" is used to describe Him. It is because He is a Holy Being. He is called the Spirit of Holiness which is the very essence of His being.
'And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness...'
He is Spirit.
He is a Spirit and does not have a fleshly body or fleshly limitations. He can come and go like wind, and is like water, rain and fire.
He is a Person.
We know that the Holy Spirit is a Person and has all the elements of Personality. He has distinctive elements such as a mind, emotions and a will. He sees, hears, feels, speaks and makes decisions. He has intelligence, knowledge, reason and feelings. In all His plans and works there is precision and perfection.
The following scriptures clearly reveal His mind, emotions, will and actions.
'And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.'
'And for the love of the Spirit.'
'And walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.'
'Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.'
'While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.'
'Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.'
1 Corinthians 2:10
'For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.'
'He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;'
'But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.'
He is active.
Over one hundred and sixty passages in the Bible reveal the activities of the Holy Spirit and here are some of them:
'And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.'
'By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens;'
It is clear in the Bible, that the Holy Spirit had a significant role in the creation of the heavens and the earth. He was the co-creator of the Universe and helped to garnish and beautify it. He had a part in the creation of man.
'Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.'
'The spirit of God hath made me.'
The Holy Spirit works in the lives of men and women.
People receive special enduements, power and creative abilities from Him. Here is an example:
'And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel: And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.'
The Holy Spirit comes upon men.
He literally clothes them with His presence.
'But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon.'
1 Samuel 16:13
'And the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.'
The Holy Spirit rests upon men
'And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.'
The Holy Spirit moves men into action.
And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan.
The Holy Spirit comes into men.
'And Pharaoh said unto his servants, can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?'
'Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit.'
'But at the last Daniel came in before me in whom is the Spirit of the holy gods:'
There are ninety New Testament references to the Holy Spirit.
He is given sixteen titles that are divided into three groups:
Titles that express His relationship to God namely:
The Spirit of God
Voice of the Almighty
Breath of the Almighty
Titles that express His character namely:
Spirit of Power
Spirit of Life
Titles that express His operations in and through men:
Spirit of wisdom
Spirit of understanding
Spirit of power
Spirit of might
Spirit of knowledge
Spirit of the fear of the Lord
Spirit of grace
Spirit of supplication
Spirit of burning
There are also nine symbols of the Holy Spirit given in the Bible.
These symbols are:
The Holy Spirit reveals Himself in the life of Jesus, in seven ways:
- A Dove
'And he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove.'
'The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.'
'But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;'
(The Holy Spirit)
'He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit.'
- Rain and Showers
'He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.'
- A well of water
'But the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.'
- Tongues of fire
'And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.'
- Oil and anointing
'But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.'
'How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:'
- New Wine
'But new wine must be put into new bottles.'
'And be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit;'
The present day Ministry of the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit prophesied about Jesus before His birth.
1 Peter 1:11
'The Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ.'
- Jesus was physically born of the Holy Spirit.
'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
- Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit.
'How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost.'
- Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.
'In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit.'
- Jesus died by the Holy Spirit.
'Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself.'
- Jesus was resurrected, by the Holy Spirit.
'But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead.'
- Jesus gave commands to his disciples by the Holy Spirit.
'Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:'
The Holy Spirit continues to reveal Himself in this New Testament Church dispensation. It extends for two thousand years from Christ's ascension to His Second Coming.
This period is divided into seven church periods described in Revelation chapters two and three. Ephesus was symbolical of the first Apostolic Church and Laodicea of the last end time Church. The Holy Spirit manifests Himself as seven lamps. Each lamp represents one of the seven churches. The lamps are symbolical of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the church dispensation. This is the initial prophecy given for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:
'And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;'
When Peter spoke of their experience of receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he spoke of them only receiving a portion. He uses the word "of".
'And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit;'
They first Church received the first portion. (The former rain)
The last Church will receive the last portion. (The latter rain)
There are three different seven-fold manifestations of the Holy Spirit to each Church:
More specifically the Holy Spirit deals with each Christian in seven ways:
- As seven lamps
'And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.'
This refers to the perfect light of truth and revelation that the Holy Spirit brings.
- As seven horns
'Having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God.'
This refers to the perfect power and authority the Holy Spirit brings.
- As seven eyes
This refers to the perfect insight, knowledge and discernment the Holy Spirit brings.
An example is given of the Holy Spirit appointing Paul and Barnabas into Apostolic ministry.
- He reaches out to change sinful people into Christians.
He convicts them of sin and strives to bring them to salvation.
'And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.'
'And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.'
- The Holy Spirit causes our spiritual birth.
He does this by giving life to the seed of God's Word that is sown into our hearts. He causes this seed of the Word to come alive in us. It becomes a spiritual embryo and we are born again into Gods Kingdom.
'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'
I Peter 1:23
'Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."'
2 Corinthians 3:6
'For the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.'
- The Holy Spirit fills us with His presence, empowers us and seals us.
'Be filled with the Spirit.'
'But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:'
'In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.'
- The Holy Spirit fellowships with us.
2 Corinthians 13:14
'The communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.'
He walks and talks with us, teaches, helps and comforts us.
- He imparts the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit to us.
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:'
- He imparts the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit to us.
1 Corinthians 12:4-10
'Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; To another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:'
- He imparts any of the nine Ministries of the Holy Spirit to us as He chooses to use us in His Ministry Program.
1 Corinthians 12:13-28
'For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.'
'And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;'
He places Christians in their right order and position.
'The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.'
We should recognize, appreciate and reverence the Holy Spirit.
There are three things we should never do concerning the Holy Spirit:
Christians should always enjoy a very personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
- We should never sadden or disappoint the Holy Spirit.
'And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.'
- We should never hold back or resist the work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
'Quench not the Spirit.'
- We should never speak against the work or person of Holy Spirit.
'But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.'
Interesting Old Testament typology reveals this:
Eliezer was a servant of Abraham.(Genesis 24)
- Abraham was a type of God the Father.
- Isaac his son was a type of Jesus Christ Godís Son.
- Eliezer Abrahamís servant was a type of the Holy Spirit.
Abraham placed his child Isaac into the hands of Eliezer his servant, for care and tutoring.
This relationship continued until Isaac reached maturity at thirty years of age.
The Holy Spirit is described as our Spirit of adoption:
'But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.'
In Old Testament times, a child was placed under the tutoring and governing of the servant until the child's maturity. This was known as an adoption process and is very similar to the adoption of children today.
Similarly God the Father has given His children into the tender loving care of the Holy Spirit to help them, tutor them and govern their life.
'Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: That we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.'
In this adoption process the Holy Spirit does five things:
Would you like to have a fruitful and successful relationship with the Holy Spirit?
- He convicts us of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment.
'And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:'
- He teaches and guides us in all truth.
'Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:'
- He brings us to full spiritual maturity.
- He comforts us.
'And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.'
- He guarantees our inheritance.
Ephesians 1: 13
'In whom ye also trusted, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise... which is the earnest of our inheritance.'
Then yield yourself to His authority and do four things:
- Listen to what the Holy Spirit says to you.
'He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.'
- Pay attention to and meditate upon the things the Holy Spirit says to you.
'For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.'
- Be obedient and do what the Holy Spirit commands.
'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.'
- Live and walk in the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.'