What Is The Proof That The Holy Spirit Is God And Divine – Spiritual Reading.
The deity of the Holy Spirit:
We take up first the question of the Deity of the Holy Spirit. The fact that the Holy Spirit is a person does not prove that He is divine. There are spirits who are persons but who are not God. There are five distinct lines of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit is God.
1. The first line of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit is that each of the four distinctively Divine attributes are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
There are four distinctively divine attributes; that is to say, there are four attributes which God alone possesses, and any person who has these attributes must therefore be God. The four distinctively divine attributes are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and eternity.
A. First of all, omnipotence is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, for example, in Luke 1:35: “And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most high shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God.” This passage plainly declares that the Holy Spirit has the power of the Most High, that He is omnipotent.
B. In the next place, omniscience is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. This is done, for example, in I Corinthians 2:10, 11: “But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the Spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.”
Here we are distinctly told that the Holy Spirit searcheth all things and knoweth all things, even the deep things of God. We find the same thought again in John 14:26: “But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.”
Here we are distinctly told that the Holy Spirit teaches all things, and therefore must know all things. This is stated even more explicitly in John 16:12-13: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth.” In all these passages it is either directly declared or unmistakably implied that the Holy Spirit knows all things, that He is omniscient.
C. In the third place, omnipresence is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We find this in Psalms 139:7-10: “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 Sheol, 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.” Here we are told in the most explicit and unmistakable way that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is everywhere; that there is no place in heaven, earth or hades whither we can go from His presence.
D. Eternity is also ascribed to the Holy Spirit. This we find in Hebrews 9:14, where we read: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Here we find the words “the Eternal Spirit” just as elsewhere we find the words “the Eternal God” [(e.g., Deut. 33:27): Putting these different passages together, we see clearly that each of the four distinctively divine attributes, the four attributes that no one but God possesses, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
2. The second line of proof of the true Deity of the Holy Spirit is found in the fact that three distinctively divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit—that is to say, the Holy Spirit is said to do three things which God alone can do.
A. The first of these distinctively divine works that are ascribed to the Holy Spirit is the work which we always think of first when we think of God and His work—that is to say, the work of creation. We find creation ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Job 33:4: “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty giveth me life.” We find the same thing implied in Psalms 104:30: “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground.” In these two passages creation, the most distinctively divine of all works, is ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
B. The impartation of life is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. This we find, for example, in John 6:63: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” We find the same thing again in 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.”
In this passage we have not merely impartation of life to the spirit of man, but the impartation of life to the body in the resurrection of the body ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Man’s creation and the impartation of life to man are ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit in the first book in the Bible, where we read in Genesis 2:7: “And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Here we are told that man was created and became a living soul through God’s breathing into him the breath of life. This clearly implies that it was through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit is the breath of God going out in a personal way.
C. The third divine work ascribed to the Holy Spirit is the authorship of divine prophecies. We find this, for example, in II Peter 1:21: “For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.” Here we are distinctly told that it was through the operation of the Holy Spirit that men were made the mouthpiece of God and uttered God’s truth.
We find this same thought also in the Old Testament in II Samuel 23:2, 3: “The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me.” In this passage, also, the authorship of God’s prophecies is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Taking these passages together, we [see that three distinctively divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
3. The third line of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit is found in the fact that passages which refer to Jehovah in the Old Testament are taken to refer to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
There are numerous instances of this, not as numerous as in the case of Jesus Christ, the Son, and yet enough to make it perfectly clear that the Holy Spirit occupies the same place in New Testament thought which Jehovah occupies in Old Testament thought.
A. A striking illustration of this is found in Isaiah 6:8-10; cf. Acts 28:25-27. In Isaiah 6:8-10, we read: “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, here am I; send me. And he said, go, and tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed.”
Here we are distinctly told it is the “Lord,” and the context shows that the Lord is the Lord Jehovah who is speaking, but when we turn to Acts 28:25-27, we read these words: “And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed after that Paul had spoken one word, well spake the Holy Spirit through Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers” (notice that in the passage in Isaiah we are told it is the Lord Jehovah who spoke, and here we are told by Paul that it is the Holy Spirit who spake through the prophet), “saying, go thou unto this people, and say, by hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should turn again, and I should heal them.”
In the one place, the place in the Old Testament, we are told that the Lord Jehovah is the speaker; in the other place, in the New Testament, we are told that the Holy Spirit is the speaker; that is to say, the Holy Spirit occupies the place in New Testament thought that the Lord Jehovah occupies in Old Testament thought.
It is noticeable that this same passage in another place is applied to Jesus Christ (John 12:39-41). May it not be that in the threefold “Holy” in the seraphic cry recorded in this chapter in Isaiah (Isaiah 6:3) we have a hint of the tri-personality of Jehovah of Hosts, and hence the propriety of the threefold application of the vision?
B. Another illustration of a statement, which in the Old Testament is given as referring to Jehovah, being applied to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, is found by a comparison of Exodus 16:7 with Hebrews 3:7-9. In Exodus 16:7 we read: “And in the morning, then shall ye see the glory of Jehovah; for that he heareth your murmurings against Jehovah: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?”
Here we are told that the murmuring and provocation of the children of Israel in the wilderness were against Jehovah, but in Hebrews 3:7-9, we read: “Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, to-day if ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, like as in the day of the trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried me by proving me, and saw my works forty years.”
In this New Testament passage we are told that it was the Holy Spirit that they provoked in the wilderness, making it clear that the Holy Spirit occupies here in New Testament thought the position Jehovah occupied in Old Testament thought in Exodus 16:7.
To sum up the passages under this head, we see that statements which in the Old Testament distinctly name the Lord, God or Jehovah, as their subject, are applied to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. That is to say, the Holy Spirit occupies the position of Deity in New Testament thought.
4. The fourth way in which the Deity of the Holy Spirit is clearly taught in the New Testament is that the name of the Holy Spirit is coupled with that of God the Father in a way that it would be impossible for a reverent and thoughtful mind to couple the name of any finite being with that of Deity.
There are numerous illustrations of this. Three will answer for our present purpose.
A. We read, for example, in I Corinthians 12:4-6: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all.” In this passage we see the name of the Holy Spirit coupled with that of God and of the Lord in a way in which it would be impossible for an intelligent worshipper of God to couple the name of any finite being with that of the Deity.
B. We see the same thing again in Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” If the Holy Spirit is not God, it would be shocking to couple His name in this way with that of God, the Father, and of the Lord Jesus, His Son.
C. Another striking illustration of this is found in II Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” Here the name of the Holy Spirit is coupled on a ground of equality with that of the Father and of the Son. In all these passages, the name of the Holy Spirit is coupled with that of God in a way in which it would be impossible for a reverent, thoughtful mind to couple the name of any finite being with that of Deity.
5. The fifth and last, and, if possible, more decisive way in which the Deity of the Holy Spirit is taught in the Bible is that the Holy Spirit in so many words is called God.
This we find in Acts 5:3, 4: “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, did it not remain thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” In the third verse we are distinctly told that it was to the Holy Spirit to Whom Ananias lied, and in the fourth verse we are told that it was to God that Ananias lied. Putting the two statements together, it is evident that the Holy Spirit is God.
To sum up all that we have said under the head of the Deity of the Holy Spirit, we see that by the ascription of all the distinctively divine attributes, and several distinctively divine works, by referring statements which in the Old Testament distinctly named Jehovah, the Lord or God, as their subject, to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, by coupling the name of the Holy Spirit with that of God in a way in which it would be impossible to couple the name of any finite being with that of Deity, by calling the Holy Spirit “God,” in all these unmistakable ways God in His Word distinctly proclaims that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.
It is absolutely impossible for any one to go to the Bible to find out what it actually teaches, and not merely to twist and distort it to fit into his own preconceived notions, and come to any other conclusion but that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, that He is God.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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