The Holy Spirit of God is mentioned at the beginning of our Bible and the end. In Genesis 1:2 He was there at creation, moving on the face of the waters. In Revelation 22:17, the Holy Spirit joins the Bride of Christ, inviting God's people to come join Them in heaven.
Is He God? Is the Spirit a Person? The Spirit has not assumed a body. God the Father never become incarnate either. Only God the Son became man and dwelt among us.
Here are some of the many mentions in Scripture of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is truly God!
Notice the Trinity in the following passages:
1 Peter 1:2. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-6. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”
Ephesians 2:18. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Matthew 28:19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
2 Corinthians 13:14. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
The Holy Spirit is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is eternal according to Hebrews 9:14, “Christ through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.”
He is also omnipotent, or all-powerful. Job 26:13. “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
Psalm 104:30. “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” Job 33:4. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”
He is omniscient, or all-knowing. Isaiah 11:1-2. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”
He is omnipresent. Psalm 139:7-12. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me, Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
The Holy Spirit was involved in the conception of Christ. Luke 1:35. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Christ promised the Holy Spirit would have a ministry of testifying about Him. John 15:26 “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.” Also, 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. 14: He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
The Holy Spirit raised our Lord's body from the grave, and He will someday raise the believer. Romans 8:11. "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 dwelleth in you.."
The Holy Spirit’s has been at work through the ages before Pentecost, during this Church Age, and will be during the Millennial Reign of Christ, and throughout eternity.
During Old Testament times, and even during our Lord’s earthly life, the Spirit came for a specific purpose and then He withdrew when that purpose was fulfilled.
At times He came ON certain believers. Othniel, Judges 3:10. "And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel." Also Samson in Judges 13:25.
He sometimes came on unregenerate men to fulfill certain things and then departed from them. Balaam, [Numbers 24:2] King Saul, [1 Samuel 11:6] and Caiaphas, [John 11:49-52].
The Holy Spirit’s indwelling wasn't permanent in David's time. He prayed: Psalm 51:11 “Take not Thy holy spirit from me.” This was proper for that dispensation but you can't apply it to a backslidden believer in this dispensation.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to indwell all believers permanently. In John 14:17, Jesus said; “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” indicating a difference between the Spirit’s relation to believers before and after Pentecost. When He spoke this, the Holy Spirit was with them. After the resurrection, The Holy Spirit would dwell in them.
The Holy Spirit's work is pictured in the Old Testament. Noah’s dove searched for a place to rest on a wasted world. This pictures the Holy Spirit's search for Someone to redeem a lost world for approximately 4,000 years until Christ appeared.
The Holy Spirit is pictured in the dove's descent on the Lord at His baptism in Luke 3:22: "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
He also has a ministry concerning the church. There are illustrations in the Old testament picturing the church, the Bride of Christ, which is the work of the Holy Spirit. Abraham sent his servant to obtain a bride for his son Isaac, and to escort that bride [Rebekah] to the waiting bridegroom. The Holy Spirit was sent to obtain the church out of all nations, a “Rebekah” [bride] for the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." That "one body" is the church, the Bride of Christ.
The Holy spirit will have a ministry during the Thousand Year reign. At the beginning of the Millennium (not at the close, however) every living soul will have previously been born again and Joel 2:28 will be completely fulfilled. Joel 2:28. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh." Isaiah 60:21. “Thy people also shall be all righteous.” No unsaved will enter this reign, but some rebellious ones will be born during those years.
The Holy Spirit will bring the Old Testament saints to share in Christ's earthly reign. Look at Ezekiel's account of the "dry bones." Ezekiel 37:9-10 & 13-14. “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. . . . And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my SPIRIT in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”
The Holy Spirit is a Person. Personal influence is required to speak, teach, and quicken. The Lord Jesus, while in His human form, referred to the Spirit in a personal way as “another Comforter.” Our Lord would return to heaven to be our heavenly Intercessor while the Holy Spirit would abide with us forever.
The Holy Spirit has a personality that, just like man, consists of intellect, emotion, and will. By the intellect we know, by the emotions we feel, and by the will we do.
The Holy Spirit's intellect. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
There are two spirits here: the spirit of man, (v. 11, first part) and the Holy Spirit. The human spirit makes us intelligent in human affairs, but the unsaved man can't understand divine things, simply because he lacks the divine Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to understand divine things like the fact that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in an eternal inheritance. Romans 8:16. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
The Holy Spirit has emotions. Ephesians 4:30. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” He also loves. Romans 5:5. "Moreover, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
But He also warns. In the early missionary journeys, the Holy Spirit warned them not to proceed. Acts 16:6-7. "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, 7: After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not."
He will lead. Romans 8:14. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Galatians 5:18. “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
He sanctifies [sets believers apart from others] and justifies [just as if I had never sinned]. 1 Corinthians 6:11. “Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
He bears testimony that the believer is forgiven through the one offering of Christ on the cross. Hebrews 10:14-15. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15: Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us."
He is our Advocate. An advocate looks after the interests of others. Our Lord Jesus is the believer’s Advocate in heaven today while the Holy Spirit is our Advocate on earth.
When Christ was on earth He was the disciple's Advocate. The Holy Spirit became the believer's Advocate permanently when Christ went back to heaven. [John 14, 15, and 16]
The Scriptures are His product. 2 Peter 1:21. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
The Holy Spirit’s ministry is mainly toward believers; but He is also concerned with the unbeliever. John 16:7-11. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9: Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
Reprove means “convict.” He reproves of sin “because they believe not on Me.” This is the only sin that condemns one to hell.
Of Righteousness. The sinner who believes will become righteous before God through Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:21. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Of Judgment. Satan has been judged at the cross; his whole empire is under God's judgment. Satan and all non-believers will share the Lake of Fire in God's final judgment.
The Holy Spirit also regenerates the sinner. John 3:3. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The Spirit of God is the agent and the Word of God is the instrument. When the sinner accepts the Holy Spirit's testimony of the Word concerning the Lord Jesus the result is regeneration, called the new birth. Titus 3:5. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
The Holy Spirit is also the Restrainer of evil forces. 2 Thessalonians 2:7. "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."
The Holy Spirit, dwelling in and working through the believer, restrains Satan's working in this world and holds Satan and his powers to the limits God has set for this age.
The Great Tribulation and the judgments of Revelation 6-19 won't come on the world until the Holy Spirit's work of gathering a people for Christ's bride is completed.
In one instance, God's judgment was restrained for one righteous person. God restrained His angel from administering judgment on Sodom as long as Lot was there. Lot was a believer who was terribly backslidden, but the angel expressly said, “I cannot do anything till thou be come thither.” Genesis 19:22.
As long as the Holy Spirit and the Church are in this world, apostasy and Satan’s works can't take complete control. When Christ returns for His Church this restraint will be removed, and the Great Tribulation, called "Jacob's Trouble" will begin.
The Holy Spirit anoints and seals every believer. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, 22: Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
We are owned and sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit. The believer is bought with the precious blood of Christ and belongs to Him. We are sealed for God's purposes by the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us. Ephesians 1:13. "ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." The Holy Spirit’s seal guarantees the believer's eternal security!
The Earnest of the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:5. "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." Ephesians 1:14. " Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession."
Earnest means good faith, the promise to fulfill something. Abraham’s servant gave Rebekah, Isaac's bride-to-be, jewels and raiment (Genesis 24:53). The jewels and raiment were the earnest of what she would receive when she became Isaac’s wife.
Joseph sent wagon loads of the good things of Egypt to his father, Jacob (Genesis 45:21-28). Those were the earnest of what Jacob would receive when he reached Egypt.
Israel’s spies returned from Canaan to Kadesh-Barnea with the grapes of Eshcol (Numbers 13:24-27). The grapes of Eshcol were the earnest of what the Israelites would have when they entered Canaan. These were the earnest of more and better things to come.
In the New Testament, earnest is used in connection with the believer's promised future of more and better things to come with God.
The Comforter witnesses TO us, WITH us, and IN us.
To Us. Hebrews 10:14. “By one offering He (Christ) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, whereof the Holy Ghost is a witness to us:"
With Us. Romans 8:16. "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God.”
In Us. 1 John 5:10. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself.”
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray and provides access to the Father through Christ. The believer has two Intercessors: Christ in heaven and the Holy Spirit here on earth. We have access to God the Father in prayer through Christ and we access that fellowship and prayer with God with the help of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:18. “Through Him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
God wants to hear even our feeblest groan in prayer. That's why the Holy Spirit helps us to make our needs and even our innermost feelings known, and precious, to God. Romans 8:26, 27. “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what to pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27: And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the Will of God.” We're to pray in supplication to God's will. Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." These are some of the most encouraging words in the Bible.
The Baptism of the Spirit. Spirit baptism is a one time experience for every believer and is the instant union with Christ and with the body of Christ at the very moment of salvation. It is peculiar to the church age only. 1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” It is not the same as water baptism. Water baptism is a physical act performed after salvation. Spirit baptism is automatic. Every believer experiences Spirit baptism. Not every believer has the opportunity to experience water baptism but is none the less saved.
We are instructed not to do certain things against the Holy Spirit of God.
Grieve not. Ephesians 4:30. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,"
Quench not. 1 Thessalonians 5:19. "Quench not the Spirit." To quench the Spirit is to hinder or prevent Him in His work. When Abraham's servant was sent to obtain a bride for Isaac, the servant said, "Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master” Genesis 24:56. Abraham's servant is a picture of the Holy Spirit who came to call the Church out of the world to be the Bride of Christ.
Every Christian is commanded to be filled with the Spirit. Baptism, sealing, indwelling and regenerating of the Spirit all occur simultaneously and permanently when a person believes in Christ, but the filling of the Spirit can take place many times. Ephesians 5:18. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" We will be filled with the Holy Spirit when we allow our mind, heart, and will to be occupied with and controlled by the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23: Meekness, temperance,"
These are just a partial list of the benefits and workings of the Holy Spirit. As you read your Bible, take note of the very frequent mention of the "Spirit" throughout Scripture. He is an equal member of the Trinity. He dwells in the believer. He is truly God.