This article is Part 2 of What Holy Spirit Is
Read Part 1 Here: What Holy Spirit Really Is
Hopefully you've read Part 1 before going on to read this article. Otherwise you might feel lost because lots of related info is covered in Part 1.
So now we are going to take a look at couple of the tougher verses. We can’t go through all of them in this article for time’s sake. But we cover more verses in the study titled "Holy Spirit Bible Verses Explained".
Those who say the holy spirit is a third person like to lean into John 14:26. They say it is something only a person would do (a force or thing does not). They say it proves that He teaches you things about God and yourself. But as we'll soon discover that is not accurate according to scripture.
John 14:26 reads, “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (KJV)
That’s from the King James Version, and it looks like the holy spirit it a who. But it’s actually a mess of a translation. The New International Version gets it a little better. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (NIV)
Let’s compare the two: Reading the King James version it looks like the holy spirit it a who. The NIV shows the holy spirit as a what. The NIV leaves out the added text “[which is] the Holy Ghost” and leaves out the word “he” just before “will teach you all things”.
Looking at some of the most important words in this verse:
Is the Greek word parakletos meaning advocate. Properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment. Parakletos is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e. someone giving evidence that stands up for you in court. Comforter is the wrong word to use and councilor doesn’t quit give the full impact. Advocate might be a better choice.
These words do not appear in the Greek text and should therefore be omitted from the English translation.
He will teach:
There is a word omitted in the NIV. The word translated as “he” in the KJV is the Greek word ekeinos (ek-i'-nos). It means “that”, or “that one there”, “that thing”, “same” or “selfsame”. It’s male dominative like “los” in Spanish used to assign male gender to an object. This is very common in many languages. Not so common in English. Although we do assign gender to cars and boats and nobody seems to be confused over whether the car is a what or a who.
I think this word was left out of the NIV for reasons of readability. However it does lower the full impact of the meaning of the verse.
A literal translation of John 14:26 would read: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, that selfsame thing will teach you all and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Some people assert the (gift of) Holy Spirit is a with intellect because 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (NASV)
This verse is an allegory. It’s a physical representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; it’s a figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. How else can things of the spirit be explained in physical terms that we humans can understand?
We know that pneuma means wind, or breath of God. The example used here is like a wind blowing through your home. The wind searches out every nook and cranny as high pressure seeks out the yielding low pressure areas. Eventually, all accessible areas are filled with the wind.
An analogy is the similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based. Water searches out all places for it to flow into. Not because it’s alive or has a will of its own, or because it’s a person but just because that is the nature of what water is and what water does.
Same thing with holy spirit, it flows and it fills. “…for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” You see now how the full meaning of those few Greek words are lost in the English translation? What a wonderful illustration of the nature of holy spirit using wind as the analogy. It's descriptive, poetic, beautiful, it’s short and to the point and it’s perfect... In the Greek.
Now that we have a solid foundation of some word study under us, I want to share with you the revelation God gave to me when I asked Him to define what exactly holy spirit is.
Are you ready for it? Here it is:
“My spirit, in Greek known as pneuma hagion, is my essence, that which I am or have. It is not easy to convey in words all that I am so I will make it simple for people to best understand.
I am. I am he who is from the beginning. I am he who will be forever. There is no way to describe or for you to comprehend anymore than that of which I truly am as I reside in and out of space / time as people know it to exist, Time is temporal, I am not. I am he who gives life and sustains.
As I figuratively live and breathe, this life force and breathing is my holy spirit, pneuma hagion, or breath of God. As your breath carries life so does mine. It’s an analogy. As your breath carries words, so does mine. As your breath carries knowledge, likewise does mine. As knowledge sets in it grows wisdom.
Holy Spirit is conceptual. Just like your essence can be translated and absorbed by another, your thoughts, feelings, that which is you can be interpreted, felt and understood by another, so is the same for me.
But more so with me. Your life force, your essence is small and yet your influence can be large. There is great power in small vessels. I am God. My essence fills all space. My power is all powerful and everlasting. If your vessel be small yet wield great power, how much more can I?”
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Expounding on a few of the key points:
1) Holy spirit is God’s essence. Essence is the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features. Synonyms for essence are: substance, spirit, lifeblood, heart, principle, soul and core.
2) It’s not easy for God to convey in words all that He is so He “dumbs it down” or simplifies it for us. I’m sure the larger scope is not seen.
3) God is from the beginning and is forever. Also known as eternal. He can live inside and outside of space and time as we know it.
4) Holy spirit is better translated as “breath of God”. This is an analogy because obviously God does not physically breathe. When we speak our breath carries words and knowledge. As does His when He speaks.
5) Holy Spirit is conceptual. Just like your essence can be translated and absorbed by another, your thoughts, your feelings, that which is you can be interpreted, felt and understood by another, so is the same for God.
6) But it’s more so with God. Our life force and essence is small and finite yet our influence can be large. God’s essence fills all space. He is all powerful, infinite and everlasting. If we can do a whole lot with the little essence we have, think how much more God can do with His.
7) God’s spirit is like the wind. You can’t stop the wind. You can block part of it, but it just flows around the blockage. And the wind will flow into any opening no matter how small and eventually fill that space. You can also catch part of the wind in a sail and use some of its power, as long as you are going in the same direction as the wind is traveling.
This is why God says it’s not easy to convey in words all that He is. We have no point of reference. It’s too big for our little corporeal minds to grasp. He makes a spiritual concept simple for us to understand by using physical examples in analogy.
By understanding the expanded meaning of pneuma hagion, which is holy spirit or the breath of God, along with 1 Corinthians 2:10 where it says, “for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God”.
This wonderful analogy of how wind searches for places to flow into, a wind that carries with it knowledge, wisdom and power, THIS gives us something with which to begin to understand what is the true nature of God’s great gift to us… That gift is His essence.
God be with you.
Closing Prayer: Lord God, THE Holy Spirit, our Father in heaven, we thank you for revealing to us in your word what holy spirit is. And we thank you this day for the added revelation to deepen our understanding. Today we feel closer to you than ever before. We pray that your wind fills our sails and that your essence flows though our very soul searching all places to fill. All power and glory be to you Father. We pray this in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.
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