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Reference: Holy Spirit, The


In the New Testament used in the KJV In the Old Testament "the Holy Spirit" (Ps 51:11; Isa 63:10-11). The Hebrew ruwach, and Greek pneuma, is the same for both "Spirit" and "Spirit." His personality is proved by attributes and acts being attributed to Him peculiarly. Ge 1:2, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" at creation, as distinct from the Word's operation (Ge 1:3). He "strove with man" before the flood (Ge 6:3). He "came upon" Saul (1Sa 10:10) and "upon David," and then "the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul" (1Sa 16:13-14). David prays "take not Thy Holy Spirit from me" (Ps 51:11). Israel "vexed God's Holy Spirit," though He had "put His Holy Spirit within" Moses, Israel's leader, and "the Spirit of Jehovah" had "caused Israel to rest" in the promised land after his wilderness wanderings (Isa 63:11-12,14).

He is invoked in prayer to revive Israel long dead spiritually and politically (Eze 37:9): "Come, O Life breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." Song 4:16, the Heavenly Bridegroom calls for (Joh 14:16) the Holy Spirit first as the" N. wind" to "awake," i.e. arise strongly as a Reprover (Joh 16:8-11), then like the S. wind to "come" gently as the Comforter (Joh 14:16). He first clears away the mists of gloom, error, unbelief, and sin, which intercept the light of the Sun of righteousness; then He infuses spiritual warmth, causing the "spices" (i.e. graces) to "flow out" (2Co 4:6). The coming renewal or "regeneration" of the earth shall be through God's "sending forth His creating Spirit" (Ps 104:30; Isa 32:15). The restorations after the flood, and on a smaller scale every spring after winter's deadness, are an earnest of it (Mt 19:28; Re 21:5).

At the opening of New Testament it is written respecting our Lord's body "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1:20); and to Mary herself the angel said, "the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee" (Lu 1:35). His personal agency is marked by His "descending in a bodily shape like a dove" upon Christ at His baptism (Lu 3:22; Joh 1:32-33). His office is distinguished from that of Christ, and yet identified with it: "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you ANOTHER Comforter ... the Spirit of truth .... I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." The Father "sends the Holy Spirit the Comforter in Christ's name," (i.e. representing Christ: Christ absent in the flesh, that He may be more than ever present in Spirit): Joh 14:16-18,26. The Father gives, promises, and sends Him, but is not sent.

The Son must go that He may come (Joh 16:7-14), so that "it is expedient" for the church that Christ should go away, in order that Christ's finished work may be applied to the soul by the Holy Spirit (Joh 7:39). "He shall receive ... take of Mine, and show it unto you." The Son "sends" forth "the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father" (Joh 15:26). The Constantinopolitan Council (A.D. 381) therefore added to the Nicene Creed "who proceedeth from the Father." The western churches added "and from the Son," which Scripture sanctions, though originally inserted by Reccared, king of a portion of Spain, A.D. 589, at the third council of Toledo; opposed by Leo III., bishop of Rome; accepted by Pope Nicholas I.; but always rejected by the eastern churches. His Godhead, distinct personality, and oneness with the Father and the Son, are implied in the baptismal formula enjoined by Christ (Mt 28:19).

As Christ intercedes for us in heaven, so the Holy Spirit intercedes in us on earth, "for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Ro 8:26); thus He "helpeth our infirmities," and is the Paraclete in both senses, as Intercessor and Comforter. He calls and qualifies ministers for their work. Ac 13:1-2, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." He makes them "overseers over the flock" (Ac 20:28). He "hears," "speaks," "teaches," "guides into all truth," "glorifies Christ," "receives of Christ's things," namely, from the Father and Son, "and shows them," "brings all Christ's words to His people's remembrance," "shows things to come," "knoweth the things of God," "searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God," and "reveals them" to the Spirit taught (1Co 2:9-15); therefore is divine.

Ananias' "lying" to Him is called "lying unto God" (Ac 5:3-4,9), and "tempting (putting to the proof) the Spirit of the Lord." "Where He is, there is liberty" (2Co 3:17). The writers of Holy Scripture "spoke as they were moved by the Holy, Spirit," "not by the will of man" (2Pe 1:21). "The Spirit of Jehovah spoke by David" (2Sa 23:2), and "God testified against Israel by His Spirit in His prophets," and "gave His good Spirit to instruct them" (Ne 9:30,20). The sin against Him is unpardonable, whereas sin against the Son is pardonable; because the former is against Him who alone can make the Son's work effectual to each soul (Mt 12:31-32). "Except a man be born of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:5). "God sends," in the case of His sons by adoption, "the Spirit of His Son into their hearts crying, Abba, Father" (Ga 4:6; Ro 8:15,17).

They are "led by the Spirit of God" who "beareth witness with their spirit, that they are the children of God." "After they have believed, they are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the (final) redemption of the purchased possession" (Eph 1:13-14; also 2Co 1:21-22). The sanctification of believers is His especial work (2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2). We are warned not to "grieve" or "quench" Him (Eph 4:30; 1Th 5:19). Between Christ's ascension and return continues the dispensation of the Spirit; the true church is now "the temple of the Holy Spirit," in which believers are "living stones" "builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2:22); "living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit" (Ga 5:25); "by one Spirit baptized into one body ... and made to drink into one Spirit," for "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (1Co 12:3,13; 6:19; 3:16-17; 2Co 3:8; Ac 19:1-5).

All the various spiritual gifts and graces "that one and the selfsame Spirit worketh, dividing to every man severally as He will" (1Co 12:11; Ga 5:22). In Old Testament the law was in the foreground, the Holy Spirit less prominent; in New Testament the Holy Spirit is prominent, the law in the background. Jesus was anointed with the Spirit without measure; we receive a measure out "of His fullness" (Joh 1:16; 3:34). Jesus by His unction became Messiah or Christ (Isa 61:1). We receive a share of this "unction," whereby "we know all things" needful for salvation (1Jo 2:20).

The full outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel and on the nations is yet future (Isa 44:3; 36:22; Zec 12:10; Joe 2:28), of which the earnest was given on Pentecost (Ac 2:16,21); the law of God, which is love, being written on the heart, instead of on stone as the Decalogue (Jer 31:33-34; Heb 8:8,12; 10:16-17; 2Co 3:3). The triune benediction puts the Holy Spirit on a level with the Father and the Son, one God. So Re 1:4-5, where "the Seven Spirits before God's throne," coming between God "who is, was, and is to come," and Jesus Christ, can only mean the ONE sevenfold divine Spirit (Isa 11:2-3).

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