Wrested Scriptures

The Trinity

   of the Spirit
  Genesis 1:26
  Isaiah 9:6
  Matthew 1:23
  Matthew 28:19
  John 1:1-3
  John 3:13
  John 5:23
  John 6:33,38,51
  John 6:62
  John 8:23
  John 8:58
  John 10:17,18
  John 10:30
  John 14:9
  John 17:5
  John 20:28
  Romans 9:5
  Philippians 2:6
  Col. 1:15,16
  Eph. 4:8-10
  Hebrews 1:2
  Hebrews 1:8
  Hebrews 1:10-12
  Hebrews 7:3
  Hebrews 10:5
  1 John 4:3
  1 John 5:20
  Revelation 3:14

British Israel
of Christ

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The Personality of the Holy Spirit

Preliminary Points
  1. No attempt is made on this site to consider each of the passages wrested in an effort by trinitarians to prove that the Holy Spirit is a person with the Godhead. To do so would result in many repetitious solutions. Instead, a list of the evidence against the trinitarian position is tabulated.

  2. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. (Luke 1:35). Consequently, what the Holy Spirit does is really what God is doing. For example, the "Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit . . . shall teach you all things" (John 14:26) means simply: "God shall teach you all things through his divine power." Similarly, although the Scriptures cannot literally "say" anything, it is written: "For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh." (Rom. 9:17). God said this, and His human penman, guided by Holy Spirit power, reliably recorded it. In this quotation there is a merging of what "God says" with what "Scripture says". Likewise, the Holy Spirit is said to "speak", "bear witness", and to be a "comforter" when in actuality it is God doing the speaking, bearing witness and comforting, by his power - the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit . . . he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

John 15:26
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

John 16:13, 14
"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 shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."

Acts 5:3
"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"

Acts 5:9
". . . How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?"

Acts 5:32
"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him."

Acts 8:16
"(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)"

Acts 10:19

"While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold three men seek thee."

Acts 13:2
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."

Acts 15:28
"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things."

Acts 16:6
"Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia."

1 Corinthians 12:11
"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."

Hebrews 3:7
"Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit saith, To day if ye will hear his voice . . .")

On the basis of these passages trinitarians argue that the Holy Spirit is a co-equal and co-eternal Person within the Godhead.
  1. The Holy Spirit can be shown to be a power by a careful comparison of the following passages:
    1. Gen. 1:1, 2 - "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." But other references to creation attribute the work to God's power. Consider the following:
      1. "I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power . . ." (Jer. 27:5).
      2. "He hath made the earth by his power . . ." (Jer. 51:15 cf. 10:12).
      3. "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath {Heb. "ruach", spirit} of his mouth . . ." (Psa. 33:6). The latter is understandable if the Holy Spirit is a power, but the language is inappropriate if, in fact, the Holy Spirit is a mighty, omnipotent, and omniscient Personage within the Godhead.
    2. Heb. 6:4, 5 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come . . ." The Holy Spirit is associated with the "powers of the world to come."
    3. Luke 1:5 - " . . . The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee . . ." The parallel structure indicates that the "Holy Spirit" is equivalent to "power of the Highest".
    4. Isaiah 11:2 - "The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him . . ." This is interpreted in the New Testament to be "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power". (Acts 10:38).

  2. It was the power of the Highest which "overshadowed" Mary. (Luke 1:35). But if the Holy Spirit were a Person within the Godhead, then the Holy Spirit, and not the Father, is the real father of Jesus.

  3. Jesus breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22). This language is understandable if a power were conveyed, but inappropriate if the Holy Spirit were a divine Person.

  4. Similarly, the Holy Spirit was transmitted by the laying on of hands. (Acts 8:17-19). Was this the transmission of a divine Personage within the Godhead?

  5. The Holy Spirit was given "without measure" to Jesus. (John 3:34). "Without measure" is an appropriate description of Holy Spirit power, but it is not the kind of language ordinarily associated with a person. (Cf. Acts 10:44, "The Holy Spirit fell upon them which heard the word". Also Acts 2:17, "I will pour out of my Spirit".)

  6. God sent the Holy Spirit to anoint Jesus. (Matt. 3:16; Luke 4:18). Is it credible that "God the Father" sent "God the Holy Spirit" to anoint "God the Son" with "God the Holy Spirit"?

  7. In 17 epistles opening with an invocation of grace and peace, in only one is the Holy Spirit referred to, and then as the means of sanctification,1 and not the source of grace. Why the invocation to God and Christ, and not to the Holy Spirit, if the latter were a Personage within the Godhead? Similarly, in the 11 occurrences of thanksgiving or blessing which follow the invocations in the epistles, not one contains any mention of the Holy Spirit.

  8. The divine order is set out in 1 Cor. 11:3. "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." Why is there no mention of the Holy Spirit if he were a person?

  9. Jesus gave commandments by the Holy Spirit, (e.g. Acts 1:1, 2) Was this one "co-equal" commanding another "co-equal"?

  10. Although it is stated that the Holy Spirit (i.e., the "Comforter") would make his abode in the disciples, (John 14:16, 17), this does not necessarily imply the personality of the Holy Spirit, since both the Father and the Son (in the same context) were also to make their abode in the disciples. (John 14:23). Clearly then, God and his Son would abide through the Holy Spirit power. As Jesus said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." (John 15:26).

  11. The Holy Spirit appeared as a "dove", (Matt. 3:16), as "cloven tongues of fire", (Acts 2:3), and was accompanied by the sound of a rushing mighty wind, (Acts 2:2). If the Holy Spirit were a Person, why are the theophanies so unlike those of the Father? (Exod. 33:18-23; 34:5-7).

  12. Why is the Holy Spirit not shown as sitting on God's throne? (See Rev. 7:10 - "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Also Acts 7:55, 56) Why no mention of the Holy Spirit?

  13. The personality of the Holy Spirit is sometimes inferred from Luke 12:10 - "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven." But this passage proves too much. Orthodox trinitarians claim that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son2, but their interpretation of this passage places the Holy Spirit above the Father and the Son, since it is a greater offence to sin against the Holy Spirit, than against either the Father or the Son.

  14. The word "spirit" (pneuma) in the Greek text is neuter in gender, and does not therefore, in itself, denote personality. This point can be illustrated in the text of Acts 8:16: " . . . who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of the, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (R.S.V.) The immediate antecedent to the pronoun is "spirit" which is neuter in gender, hence the neuter pronoun. Many other translations give "it" rather than "he" (as does the A.V.). See for example: N.W.T., Diaglott, Rotherham's, The Emphasized Bible.

  1. 1 Peter 1:2. Return

  2. The Athanasian Creed reads as follows: " . . . But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal . . . But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal." Reproduced in Percy White, The Doctrine of The Trinity: Analytically Examined and Refuted, (London: "The Dawn" Book Supply, 1937), pp. 49, 50. Return