The Holy Spirit: He, not It! - Part 1

    11/18/23By: General James Green-    

During the 1970’s there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was called the “Charismatic movement,” i.e., Baptism in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues; see 1 Cor. 12:1-11 where the spiritual gifts are listed, tongues being one of them, v.10.

This experience spread like wildfire. It crossed denominational boundary lines. The big question then asked, “Have you received the baptism of (or in) the Holy Ghost (or Spirit)?” This same question was asked in the early Ecclesia; “Paul passed through the upper regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples and said to them, ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed (i.e., were converted and became a Christian)?’” -Acts 19:1

What we see is that the baptism in the Holy Ghost was/is a separate experience than the salvation experience. Let me state that some may receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost at salvation, as did my wife (Dec-6-1971). I received it several months later, after I was saved on the same day as her. We were at a prayer meeting with several other Christian ladies who had this experience. They laid hands on me, and I too was filled and spoke for the first time in my heavenly language.

But back to Paul’s story; “They said to him, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit (Ghost).’” They were only baptized in water, as Paul states in Heb. 19:34; he tells us about water baptism unto repentance. They had been baptized under John’s baptism, but Paul baptized them in Jesus’ name (v.5). Then v.6 says, “when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues...”-v.6

At salvation we do receive the Holy Spirit, but not the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Book of Acts

This is what the Baptism is all about – Holy Ghost power to perform miracles etc. by and thru the Holy Ghost. Read Acts 1:1-5. The “promise of the Father-v.4- was referring to the “Baptism” in the Holy Ghost, not salvation, for the disciples were already Christian believers. Jesus told them that they would be “baptized with (or in) the Holy Spirit...” - v.5

The disciples needed this Holy Ghost POWER – v.8 - to be Jesus’ witnesses. The same experience is for us today. So many have never been filled, hence, lacking power! This is not to say that they are not born again, but they are not filled.

Jesus Filled

Even Jesus – the sinless Son of God – was filled with the Holy Ghost (see Lk.4:1: “Jesus, being FILLED with the Holy Spirit...” After He was led into the wilderness – by the Holy Spirit -, after His satanic ordeal with Satan, v.14 says, “Jesus returned in the power of the (Holy) Spirit to Galilee.”


The “power” to witness and live our life the way Christ did in intimate relationship with Our Heavenly Father comes by and thru the Holy Spirit. The Baptism helps us in our walk: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness..., but the Spirit “HIMSELF” (not “it”) marks intercession for us...” -Rom. 8:26. [note: the Nestle-Aland Gk. New Testament (N) and the United Bible Societies 3rd edition (u) i.e., “NU-Text,” leaves out “for us” in v.26 -NKJV].

Scriptural Basis for “Baptism”

First off, John the Baptist mentions the “baptism:” “I indeed baptize you with water... but He who is coming... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” -Mt. 3:11 [note: some translations also omit “with fire”] After this, we find Jesus being baptized by John, vv.13-17, where also we read about the symbol, e.g. “dove,” alighting upon Jesus: “...the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the (Holy) Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him,” v.16.

In this picture, we hear the Father’s voice, the Holy Spirit in dove form, and Jesus = the tri-unity/trinity.


Luke records Jesus’ Words: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news... to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Lk. 4:18,19

Acts 10:38

Tells us... “How God (the Father) anointed Jesus (the Son) with the (Holy Spirit) and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God (Father) was with Him (Son).”

Unlike these money-grabbing ministers –who claim they have the Holy Ghost – Jesus never took up $ offerings so as to increase His fancy lifestyle. He didn’t use the Holy Ghost to promote His ministry as do these modern-day Church-ites do.

The Gift!

Luke 11:11-13 references the giving of the Holy Spirit. Verse 13 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to you children, now much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” This shows us that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is separate from the gift of salvation.

I’ve already quoted Acts 1:4,5. Most translations use the word “Promise,” but the NIV uses the word “gift.” In Acts 2:1-4 we read about the coming of the Holy Spirit: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Verse 2 uses the words “mighty rushing wind” (MEV) to describe the Holy Spirit. Verse 3 describes “tongues of fire” and v. 4 says “...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” [tongues: Greek, “Glōssa," a language unacquired].

Mark 16:17 tells us that “tongues” is a “sign.” Let me read this text literally: “And these signs will follow those who believe” = the way most translations read, but the way the lit. Gk. reads is, “...those who HAVE believed,” i.e. the ones receiving the Holy Spirit are believers already.

Streams of Living Waters

John 7:37-39 records Jesus’ Words, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink, whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Jesus meant the Holy Spirit. This was spoken before the Holy Spirit was poured out. V. 38 says, “ the Scripture has said.” What Scripture was Jesus referring to here? Isaiah 44:3 says, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants...” Isa. 28:11 also says, “For with stammering lips and another tongue (Holy Ghost gift) He will speak to this people...”

Paul says in 1Cor. 14:1 that we should desire spiritual gifts: both “tongues” and prophecy in “tongues” are gifts. He quotes from Isa. 28:11,12 in his discourse in 1 Cor. 14:21: “In the law it is written: (with men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people...” All these texts testify about the Holy Ghost that was to be poured out/and was poured out... with evidence of speaking in tongues (and other Spirit gifts as well).

Isa. 33:19 also mentions “...of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand,” He was talking about an unintelligible speech, which Paul describes as ones’ personal/spiritual prayer tongue: “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries (see Acts 2:4; 10:46) “Spirit prophecy” (1Cor. 14:1) is for listeners, it is spoken in a learned language as it can first be spoken in unlearned tongues and then interpreted in a learned language, hence “ another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretations of tongues.” -1Cor. 12:10. So, we have personal tongues whereby we communicate with God –who knows what we’re saying and we’ve got a gift that can interpret a spirit tongue: one is for congregations, the other is for our private use in prayer, not for the use in a Congregation.

John describes the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of truth,” Jn. 14:16, 17. John 20:22 says “... Receive the Holy Spirit.” There would be no need in saying this at salvation for one receives the Holy Spirit but not the baptism experience.

Acts 8:14-17, we find the Holy Spirit being mentioned “...they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus (water baptism). Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they RECEIVED the Holy Spirit.”

Who is the Holy Spirit?

He (not “it”) is part of the Trinity i.e. Tri-unity. He is fully God, Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipresent, has a will and can speak, His ministry is to bear witness of the Father/Son (Jn. 15:26).

In the Hebrew language (Old Testament) He is called the “Spirit,” “rûach”/ roo’-aka, which means Breath/Wind; in Greek (New Testament) He is called “Pneuma”/Pnyoo’-mah, i.e. the Breath of God.”

Some mistakenly think that the Holy Spirit or Ghost is a mere “force,” a “thing,” he is a divine “Person.”

3 in 1=3 in Oneness

Paul writes: “Do you not know that your (our) body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who IS IN YOU, when you have received from God, and that you are not your own?” -1Cor 6:19.

In Scripture we find several names by which the Holy Spirit is called:

Eternal Spirit: Heb. 9:14

God: Acts 5:34

Spirit of Truth: Jn. 15:26

Lord: 2Cor. 3:18

Spirit: 1Cor. 2:10

Spirit of God: 1Cor. 3:16

His Attributes:

Eternal: Heb. 9:14

He Speaks: Acts 8:29; 13:2

He is Omnipotent: Lk. 1:35

He is Omnipresent: Ps. 139:7-10

He Loves: Rom. 15:30

He has a Will: 1Cor. 12:11

His Symbols:

A Dove: Mt. 3:16

Wind: Acts 2:1-4

Fire: Acts 2:3

Living Water: Jn. 7:38,39; 1Cor. 12:13

We Can Sin Against Him:

Blasphemy: Mt. 12:31

Quenching: 1Thes. 5:19

Resisting: Acts 7:51

Grieving: Eph. 4:30

Insulting: Heb. 10:29

Lying: Acts 5:3

Holy Spirit Power in Christ’s Life:

Conceived of: Mt. 1:18,20

Baptism: Mt. 3:16

Led by: Lk. 4:1

Filled with power: Lk. 4:14,18

Jesus Raised From dead: Rom.8:11

The Real “Gift Giver”

(not Santa!)

1 Cor. 12:7-11 puts forth spiritual gifts; The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to bear fruit which develops in us Christ-like character; Gal. 5:22-23, But too many develop a “Churchy” character like that of the “religious” scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23. Jesus was not pleased in them whatsoever. He called them hypocrites, blind guides, Fools, Serpents, i.e. brood of vipers!

One With the Son

The Holy Spirit has always worked with the Son as ONE:

Matthew 1:20 tells us that the Holy Spirit will be the Father of Jesus as He is conceived by the Holy Spirit, i.e. literally be begotten!

He was with the Son/Son-of-God in His earthly ministry as Lk.4:1 and 18 tells us. He was with the Son till the END of His earthly life as Heb.9:14 tells us: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who thru the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God...”

Jesus’ last earthly Words, were, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” After this, “He breathed His last.” -Lk. 23:46.

John 19:30 records this: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His Spirit [note: some translations have the word “Ghost” in place of “Spirit”]

Holy Spirit Qualities

The Holy Spirit, being God also, loves: “...thru the Lord Jesus Christ and thru the love of the Spirit...” -Rom. 15:30

The Holy Spirit is intelligent: “But God has revealed them (“things in v. 9) to us by His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things. Yes, the deep things of God.” -1Cor. 2:10.

Ephesians 4:30 tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, because He too has emotions, as Jesus and the Father has emotions. We’ll never know the emotions the Holy Spirit felt when Jesus was crucified: “And Jesus, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, He gave up the Ghost.”-Mt. 27:50 [“Ghost” or “Spirit” = “pnēuma" = vital principle, Holy Spirit, Life]

Scriptures to Study:

Jn. 15:26 = Holy Spirit tells the truth;

16:13 = ll guides us;

16:8 = ll convinces us;

Rom. 8:26,27 = ll prays for us;

Acts. 13:2 = ll commands us.

Not New but Old!

The Holy Spirit was new to the New Testament Ekklesia, but He had been around since the beginning of time: “In the beginning ...” -Gen. 1:1; “In the beginning...” -Jn. 1:1

Actually, the tri-unity had no beginning – they've always existed. Only in time do we learn about them.

It was the Holy Spirit that moved upon the face of the water and was the ACTIVE agent in all Creation. Jesus was/is the Word (Logos) and the Holy Spirit was/is the Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the Word of God, i.e. Words of the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

It is the Holy Spirit that regenerated my dead spirit: “And you (I, we, us) were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world and according to the prince of the power of the air (i.e. spirit world), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience...” -Eph. 2:1,2.

Satan is called the “prince of the spirit world,” whereas Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Jesus is also called “wonderful Counselor,” “mighty God,” “Eternal Father” (of time).

Jesus states in Jn. 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We must be born again: Jn. 3:3,5.

 We would like to hear from you!