24. The Spirit of God in the New Testament

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

1 John 2:27

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Sanctuary

In the Bible, there are two Holy Spirits. The Spirit of Christ was the “Holy Spirit” of the Old Testament prophets.

The Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit that was first put on Christ and then poured out on the Day of Pentecost.

And as we mentioned in Chapter 8, the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God are both called the Holy Spirit for DIFFERENT reasons. The Spirit of Christ was called the Holy Spirit because the Spirit of Christ was sanctified “set apart” by God, as Jesus explained in John 10:36. The Spirit of God is called the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit of God sanctifies the Church, the Body of Christ. This is explained in the earliest manuscripts of the Greek text of Acts 1:5, which read, “you by the Spirit will be baptized Holy.”

In fact, the Greek words used to describe the Holy Spirit are quite often, το πνευμα το αγιον. This has a remarkable similarity to the expression τὸν σίκλον τὸν ἅγιον, “the shekel of the sanctuary.” The literal meaning of το πνευμα το αγιον, is “the Spirit of the Holy One,” or “the Spirit of the Sanctuary.”

The Hebrew word for “the sanctuary,” ha-qodhesh, without the article as qodhesh, was used in Daniel 9, where we read “seventy weeks are determined .. to anoint the Most Holy.” This expression without the article was used to describe the anointing of Aaron, and his sons, as a priesthood forever, in 1 Chronicles 23:13.

The Apostle Paul used the expression “Spirit of holiness” to describe the Holy Spirit on Christ in Romans 1:4, “declared to be the Son of God . . . according to the Spirit of holiness.”

Without a doubt, God Himself is holy, but the work of the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament is to sanctify the believers (John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 6:11). It is never Christ who sanctifies, but God. The Holy Spirit today is the Spirit that separates the true Church, the body of Christ, from other believers, “for by one Spirit, we have been baptized into one body”; (1 Corinthians 12:13) “if you receive a different spirit, you may well put up with it” (2 Corinthians 11:4).

The Greek expression Τό Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα,” in the nominative case, means “The Holy Spirit.” It was used first in Matthew 28:19, when Jesus told His disciples to “make Disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Τό Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα” is the only expression that clearly describes the one and only Holy Spirit.

From this time onwards, the phrase “Holy Spirit” referred only to the Spirit of God, except when describing the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of grace and truth

For the Law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:17

The Spirit of Christ, in the Old Testament, brought the Law. We read this in Zechariah:

Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 7:12

But Zechariah prophesied the Spirit of grace would be poured out on Jerusalem:

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, then they will look upon Me whom they pierced.

 Zechariah 12:10

Here, Christ, the Word, prophesied that He would pour out the Spirit of God on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:35.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. This was the promise given by God, in the book of Joel: “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28).

Peter quoted this verse on the Day of Pentecost, saying that it had been fulfilled.

We can also find the promise of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 32:15, 44:3 and Ezekiel 37:14 and many other passages.

The first person to receive the Spirit of God was Jesus Christ Himself. This is recorded in Matthew 3:16 and was prophesied in Isaiah 42:1. From the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, we read, “Behold, my servant, the Messiah, whom I bring, my chosen in whom one delights, my Word, I will put my Holy Spirit upon Him.”

Here, Jonathan contrasted the Spirit of Christ as the Word, with the Spirit of God. The Word was the Spirit of Christ, who was in the prophets (1 Peter 1:11).

Today, the Spirit of God Himself is received by the Church, and so we say, “now is the tabernacle of God with men” (Revelation 21:3). The Church is the New Jerusalem prophesied by Ezekiel.

Jesus said the Spirit of truth “will abide with you forever” (John 14:16). For the Spirit of truth is not just a “prophetic Spirit” as imagined by some. It is the Spirit of God Himself.

In the Book of Hosea, God told us He would be the promised Comforter:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness
And speak comfort to her.
“And it shall be in that Day,” says the LORD,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master.’

Hosea 2:14-16

When God said, “you will no longer call Me “My Master,” He meant that we would no longer call Him our Lord.

God is no longer our Lord, but our Comforter, who Paul called “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

“Spirit” was not yet given (John 7:38-39)

“The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He said in reference to the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for spirit (πνεῦμα) was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 7:38-39

The earliest manuscripts of John 7:39 read “spirit was not yet given.” Later copies changed this to “holy spirit.” The phrase “holy spirit” describes an anointing. Jesus was anointing by the spirit of God, but the holy spirit on Christ was different than the holy spirit that He poured out on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus was anointed by a “spirit of power,” like Micah (Micah 3:8), and a spirit of wisdom and understanding, as described in Isaiah 11:2. The Spirit of truth that would be poured out on the Day of Pentecost was a spirit of power, but it was also a “speaking spirit” like the “Word” in the Old Testament. It was described as “spirit” without the article, the same expression that was used to describe the anointing of the Spirit of Christ on David in Matthew 22:43, and Elijah in Luke 1:17.

Jesus also told that “the Spirit” of Christ that would be poured out in our hearts was also a spirit that had not been given yet. The Spirit of Christ in the prophets was an “anointing” and a speaking spirit. It also was different than the Spirit of Christ that was received when Jesus was glorified.

God “glorified” Christ when He made Him the Lord. When Christ became the Lord, the Spirit of God became the “speaker” for Christ, “the Spirit” who is now “the Lord.”

The Spirit of God is not another “Person”

The Beginning of the Belief in a Third Person

In Chapter 8, we described the confusion of the early Church regarding the concept of manifest in the flesh. Many could not understand how the Holy Spirit in John the Baptist could also be the Spirit of Christ, who was manifest in the Son of man. They began to believe that the Holy Spirit poured out on the Day of Pentecost was the Holy Spirit in the prophets. Finally, they interpreted Jesus’ instruction to baptize, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19) as the identification of a third person, called the Holy Spirit.

By 150, Justin Martyr wrote to the Roman Senate, calling the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: first, second, and third place: “we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove.”1

Justin Martyr’s “proof” did not come from the Bible, but from the writings of Plato, which he explained in Chapter 60 of his First Apology. Justin Martyr believed the Spirit of Prophecy was one of the created Spirits who came into being through the speaking of the Word in Genesis 1:2. This belief was echoed by Origen in 229.

The Spirit of God proceeds from the Father

“the Spirit of truth which (ὃ) proceeds (ἐκπορεύεται) from the Father”

John 15:26

Jesus told us that the Spirit of God proceeds from the Father, using the Greek word ἐκπορεύεται.

The word ἐκπορεύεται appears eight times in the New Testament, and there are three uses of this word in the Book of Revelation that really help us understand its meaning:

  • Out of their mouths proceed fire (Rev 9:17)
  • fire flows out of their mouth (Rev 11:5)
  • From His mouth comes a sharp sword (Rev 19:15)

The most striking picture of the Spirit of God proceeding from the Father is found in Daniel 7:10, where we see “a river of fire flowing and coming out before” the Ancient of Days. From here, the Spirit of God was described as a “river” and as “fire” throughout the New Testament. Daniel 7:10–13 is probably the only Old Testament passage that shows us the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, after the Day of Pentecost.

This Spirit of God is not a “birthed” Spirit; it is not another being. And it does not appear in the form of Angels like the Spirit of Christ.

The Greek Grammar was misunderstood by Western Churches

We have avoided the word “He” in describing the Spirit of truth. The personal pronouns that appear in John 14–16 are deceiving. They are only a function of the Greek language. Greek, like French and the Latin languages, require all pronouns to have a gender, and “He” appears only because the Greek word for comforter is masculine. If you read these same verses in the Concordant Literal Version of 1926, you will find that all of these verses use the pronoun “it” when referring to the Spirit of God.

There are also a few cases, such as Romans 8:16, and Romans 8:26, where the Greek calls for “the Spirit itself,” as appeared in the original King James, but modern translators have substituted “the Spirit Himself.” The irony is that these verses are speaking of the Spirit of Christ and not the Spirit of God. But even though the Spirit of Christ is a “person,” the Greek does not use the personal pronoun, “He.”

It is admitted by Trinitarian theologians today, that the Greek grammar in the New Testament does not support the idea that the Holy Spirit is a person.2

This confusion of the Greek grammar began when the Bible was translated into Latin and read by the Western Churches. But it is not only grammar that leads us to believe that the Spirit of God is “a person.” The Spirit of God is described with personal “attributes.”

The Anointing that “teaches you” all things

The Spirit of God speaks revelations through people, as explained in 1 Corinthians 14:30, “if anything is revealed to another who sits by.”

In Acts 13:2  we read, “and the Holy Spirit said….” Here, we can only presume the Holy Spirit spoke by revelation through a person. We see a clear example of this in Acts 15:28, where the Apostles attribute the revelation of James in verses 13 to 21, to the speaking of the Holy Spirit.

This speaking of the Spirit of God was explained in Matthew 10:20,

For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

In the English text, the personification of the Spirit of God seems to begin in John 14:26, “He will teach,” and John 15:26, “He will testify.” However, the masculine pronoun “He” is necessary for the Greek word “Helper” that immediately preceded. It is a masculine noun. Like French, and other languages, all nouns are either masculine or feminine, or even neutral, and the pronouns that refer to these nouns must also be masculine or feminine, or neutral.

But even with this understanding, it is still very difficult for English readers to understand how John 16:13 does not “speak of” a person,

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Even though we are told that the pronoun “He,” goes back to the word “Helper” in verse 7, it appears to us in every aspect, that the Holy Spirit is acting as “a person.”

How do we understand this?

The answer is in 1 John 2:27.

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

Here, the teacher and speaker is called “the anointing.”

The Concordant Literal Version first published in 1926 ignored the Greek masculine pronouns for “counsellor.” John 16:13 reads,

Yet whenever that may be coming — the spirit of truth –it will be guiding you into all the truth, for it will not be speaking from itself, but whatsoever it should be hearing will it be speaking, and of what is coming will it be informing you. (CV)3

The anointing of the Spirit of God was actually described with feminine pronouns in Isaiah 11:2.

The Spirit of the Lord she-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.

The Hebrew feminine pronouns in Isaiah tell us that the Holy Spirit on Christ was not a “person” but an “anointing.” When referring to the Spirit of YHVH as God Himself, as in Isaiah 40:13, masculine pronouns are used.

Paul compared the Spirit of God to the Spirit of a Person

Many believe that because the Spirit of God has a will, it is another person. But in fact, the spirit of a person represents their will, as Jesus said; “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Our spirit, like the Spirit of God, has a will and a desire, but that does not make our spirit “another person.”

A person’s spirit can also be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), or insulted as the writer of Hebrews explains in Hebrews 10:29. Many versions translate Hebrews 10:29 as, “and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.”

The Apostle Paul explained that the Spirit of God is like the spirit of a man in 1 Corinthians 2:10 –12:

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

Paul concluded by saying, “For ‘who has known the mind (νοῦν) of the LORD that he may instruct Him’ [Isaiah 40:13]? But we have ‘the mind (νοῦν) of Christ’” (Philippians 2:5).

The verse Paul quoted from Isaiah reads, “who has directed the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit4)?”

This clearly proves that the mind of the Spirit of God and God are the same, since Paul has substituted “LORD” for “Spirit of the LORD.” We can also see this in Acts 5:3–4.

In Greek mythology, there is a dog called “Cerberus” who guards the gates of Hades. Hercules tried to subdue Cerberus at the gates (his twelfth labor). Cerberus is a three-headed dog, with three brains and three distinct states of consciousness.

God is not like this. God has only “one mind,” one center of consciousness.

The Spirit of truth was sent by Christ

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth which (ὃ) proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26).

The Spirit of God proceeded from God and was poured out by Christ (Acts 2:17, 33). It was the Lord who added to the Church (Acts 2:47), by baptizing the believers with the Spirit of God. As John the Baptist said, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).

 The Spirit of God speaks the words of Christ

The Spirit of God is very active in the work of salvation. The Spirit of God, like the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament, only speaks what it hears:

Yet whenever that may be coming — the spirit of truth –it will be guiding you into all the truth, for it will not be speaking from itself, but whatsoever it should be hearing will it be speaking, and of what is coming will it be informing you.

(John 16:13). Concordant Literal Version

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of Christ was the one we saw and heard. Today, the Spirit of truth is the Spirit of God we “feel” and “hear” speaking the words of Christ. In Acts 2:4, we are told that the disciples spoke in other tongues as “the Spirit” (Christ) gave “utterance” (the same word used to describe Peter’s “declaration” in verse 14).

Let us prove this with an example in the New Testament.

In Acts 13:2, we know the Spirit of God is speaking for Christ, the Spirit of Christ: “As they (certain prophets and teachers) ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”

The Spirit of God speaks only “whatever it hears.” The Holy Spirit speaks Christ’s reply to His disciples, just as the Spirit of Christ spoke the words of God in the Old Testament.

Old Testament

God was the LORD

New Testament

Christ is the Lord

The above diagram shows the relationship of Christ and God in the Old Testament and New Testament.

The word “Kurios” for Lord is only used for Christ after His resurrection, and before the LORD’s Day.

In the LORD’s Day, the relationship of Christ and God will be as it was in the Old Testament.

God distributes Spiritual Gifts through the Holy Spirit

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul explained that God distributes spiritual gifts to the members of the Body of Christ. In verses 18 to 30, he emphasized that God distributes these gifts. This is especially clear in 1 Corinthians 12:28,

God has appointed in the Church…gifts of healings, helps, administration, various kinds of tongues.

In 1 Corinthians 12:11, the subject of the phrase “distributing (gifts) to each one as He/it wills” may be “God” from verse 6; or “the Spirit of God” in verse 11. And as we mentioned earlier, a person’s spirit represents his will, so either interpretation would be logical.

The third person singular of the Greek allows either interpretation, allowing either the masculine or neutral gender to be used. However, the grammar and the meaning of 1 Corinthians 12:11 is identical to Hebrews 2:4:

“God also testifying . . . by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

Literally, this reads “καὶ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου μερισμοῖς κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ θέλησιν,” – “And Holy Spirit distributions according to His will.”

God distributes spiritual gifts through His Spirit, as Paul explains from verses 8 -11,

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He/it wills.

1 Corinthians 12:11

In this passage, “the Spirit” in verses 4 to 8 refers to the Holy Spirit that Paul introduced in verse 3.

Who can receive the Spirit of truth and what is the evidence of it?

  • The Spirit of truth is normally given by the laying on of hands, by someone who has the Holy Spirit, and the power to bestow it on others, see Acts 8:17-18, 9:17, 19:6, and Hebrews 6:1-2. The initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Jews in Acts 2, and the Gentiles in Acts 10, was the Bible’s only exception to this.
  • The Holy Spirit is only received by those who keep God’s commandments, see Acts 5:32, Revelation 12:17, 14:12.
  • When Jesus returns, He will say to those who did not do God’s will, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23). These can neither receive the Spirit of God, nor the Spirit of Christ.
  • The Apostle John said, “test the spirits . . . ; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). He tells us how to test the spirits to see if they are of God. “He who knows God hears us (follows the Apostles’ teachings); he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (v. 6).
  • Jesus said, “if anyone loves Me, He will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make our home with him” (John 14:23). The condition of being baptized by the Spirit of truth, and receiving the Spirit of Christ, is obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Only those who obey the Gospel of Christ receive the Spirit of truth. The Apostle Paul wrote, “if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:4;  1 John 4:1-6)
  • This was the Spirit of which Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
  • Jesus described the evidence of the receiving the Spirit of God: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). This statement has a figurative and literal meaning of course, because after the Apostolic age, the evidence of the Spirit of Christ was not accompanied by the sound that was emitted from the tongue when the Spirit of God was received.
  • The evidence of receiving the Spirit of truth can be both “seen and heard” (Acts 2:33) for there is a comforting movement of the Spirit in one’s body.
  • Receiving the Spirit of truth is evidenced by the tongue emitting sound, laleo glossa (Acts 10:46).  The expression “laleo glossa” literally means “tongue emit sound.” This expression is only in the Bible, and does not appear in Greek literature. It does not mean “other languages.” The experience of “laleo glossa” should not be confused with the spiritual gift of “other tongues” (heteros glossa), described in 1 Corinthians 12:10,28-29. In the Book of Acts, gifts of other tongues, and prophecy were imparted by the Spirit of God when believers received the Holy Spirit. However, we should note that these gifts are imparted by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God was taken from the Church in 193. From this time, a false experience of speaking in tongues, called Montanism, began. We discuss this further in Chapter 29, “the Spirit of the Antichrist.” Therefore, in describing the Spirit of the Antichrist, John wrote,

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

1 John 2:26-27, NASB

  • As late as 180, Irenaeus, in “against Heresies,” wrote that spiritual tongues were the evidence of receiving the Spirit of God. We discuss this in Chapter 29.

How do we know the Spirit of truth was not given until the Day of Pentecost?

In Chapter 8, we discussed the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament. The Jews understand that the Holy Spirit in the prophets was “the Word,” who we call “the Spirit of Christ.”  However, some have rightly pointed out that the Spirit of God as the Spirit of the breath of life, is in all creatures, and was breathed over the waters in Genesis 1:2. Therefore, Paul tells us that God is “over all and in all and through all” (Ephesians 4:6).

The Spirit of truth is an “anointing” from God that was given on the Day of Pentecost. It sanctifies the Church of God, meaning it separates the Body of Christ from other believers.

  • John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit of Christ, like the prophets of old, but he did not receive the Spirit of God, whom Jesus said would abide with us forever. For this reason, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John (Matthew 11:11).
  • Jesus said, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7).
  • Before Jesus ascended, He breathed into them, saying, “receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). But was this the Spirit of truth, or His Own Spirit? It could not have been the Spirit of truth. After this He told them to wait for the “Promise of the Father which you have heard from Me” (Acts 1:4-5).
  • The Spirit of truth was the Spirit Jesus promised to His disciples in John 14:16: “I will pray to the Father and He will give you another Helper that may abide with you forever.”
  • The disciples were not “baptized” into the body of Christ by “the Spirit of truth,” until the Day of Pentecost, as Jesus said, “but you with the Spirit shall be baptized Holy not many days from now.” 5
  • In Acts 2:33, we read, “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” In other words, Jesus did not receive the promised Spirit of truth to pour out until the Day of Pentecost. This was not the Spirit Jesus breathed into them when He said, “receive the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit Jesus breathed into them earlier was His Own Spirit.

There is one Body, and one Spirit (Anointing)

“There is one Body and one Spirit ”
Ephesians 4:4

To understand the meaning of “one Spirit” in this verse, we must know the difference between the kingdom of heaven and the Body of Christ. Jesus told us that the “kingdom of heaven does not come by observation” (Luke 17:20). It is composed of all those who have been born of the Spirit of Christ, who cry out “Abba, Father.” The Body of Christ is composed of those who have been baptized in the Spirit of God. Paul said, “in one Spirit, we have been baptized into one Body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is describing the Spirit of God, introduced in verses 3–4.

After the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth, was taken from the Church, the Sanctified Church was “cast to the ground,” (Daniel 8:12) and the kingdom of heaven continued invisibly, “in the wilderness” (Revelation 12:6).

Some like to refer to the kingdom of heaven as the “invisible” Body of Christ, but that is not the meaning of “Body” given in the Bible. The Body of Christ can only be made by the Spirit of God.

The “Body of Christ” is the visible Sanctified Church, the great mountain in Isaiah 2:2, Micah 4:1, and Daniel 2:35. In Revelation 8:8, it is described as a “great mountain burning with fire,” the fire of the Spirit of God. It can be seen by all, and so it is described as a mountain, in Greek.

The Spirit of Christ is pictured as a Rider on a White horse, sent out to strike down the Gentiles with a sword (Revelation 19:15). The “sword of the Spirit” is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). This is the end time sanctified Church, the end time Body of Christ. This visual image of a Body of Christ is accompanied by “speaking in tongues,” called “the sound of many waters,” (Revelation 19:6, 14:2) and “playing on harps” (Revelation 14:2, 1 Corinthians 14:7).

We should note that the Body of Christ treads the wine press of God’s wrath (Revelation 14:20; 19:15), while the Son of Man looks from the clouds (Revelation 14:14; 19:17). These are two simultaneous manifestations of the Spirit of Christ.

“Spirit” in the New Testament

When the Apostles referred to spirit as an anointing, the anointing of the Spirit of Christ before the Day of Pentecost, and the anointing of the Spirit of God after the Day of Pentecost, they dropped the direct article, and called it “spirit.” To see this, one must read the Concordant Literal Version, or the Greek text directly.

The first example of this is in Matthew 1:20, ‘that which is conceived of spirit is holy.” In Matthew 22:43, Jesus said, “how then does David in spirit call Him, Lord.”

John 7:39 literally says “For spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Later manuscripts changed “spirit” to “holy spirit” but the meaning was the same.

In Romans 8, Paul said, “Walk in accord with spirit … you are not in the flesh but in spirit, if indeed, God’s spirit makes its home in you.” Paul continued, saying, “Those who are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God.”

In Galatians he said, “If you are led by spirit, you are not under law.” “Walk in spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” The spirit of God is the power of God. So, Paul said, “having begun in spirit, are you now trying to make yourself perfect in the flesh?” For this reason, also, Jesus warned the Ephesians that they had left their first love.

But Paul exhorted the Ephesians saying, “do not be drunk with wine but be filled with spirit.”

Paul reminded the Corinthians that his message was “in demonstration of spirit and power,” the power of the Holy Spirit.

In 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul explained that Christ was justified in spirit – He received the right to be called a Child of God, when the Spirit of God descended on Him, and a voice from heaven was heard saying, “This is My beloved Son.”

Ephesians 4 in Clement’s First Letter to the Corinthians

You may wonder whether any Christian writer, outside of the Bible, testified to the outpouring of the Spirit of grace on the Church?

There is at least one such writing. The letter of Bishop Clement of Rome, to the Corinthians, in A.D. 90, is the earliest Christian writing we have that was not written by an Apostle, and not included in the Bible. Although, his letters to the Corinthians were actually included in the New Testament in the fifth Century Codex Alexandrinus.

Clement was trying to deal with schisms in the Church. He directly referred to Paul’s advice of 1 Corinthians 3, and reiterated the text of Ephesians 4:4-6.

In Chapter 2, Clement wrote, “a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit was upon you all.” In Chapter 46 he said, “Have we not [all] one God and one Christ? Is there not one spirit of grace poured out upon us?”

Here, he repeated three of Paul’s “ones” in Ephesians 4:4-6, “there is one body, and one spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all..”

In Chapter 58, he repeated five of Paul’s “ones,”

“lives indeed the God, and lives the Lord Jesus Christ, and the spirit of the holy, and the faith and hope of the elect.”

ζη γαρ ο θεος και ζη ο κυριος Ιησους Χριστος και το πνευμα το αγιον, η τε πιστις και η ελπις των εκλεκτων

Ironically, Trinitarians believe this passage supports the Trinity, interpolating η τε . . . as “who are the faith and hope of the elect.” They reject the conclusion of Paul’s message, there is “one God and Father of all.” But we can compare η τε . . .  in this passage to the Greek text of John 6:18, ἥ τε θάλασσα, “and the sea..”

A Comparison of Theologies

With the understanding of Christ and the Spirit of God, we are now able to compare the main theologies of Christ.

Essentially, there are four or five main theologies, and each of them differs on how they see the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Apostolic Theology

The Spirit of ELOHIM in the Old Testament was Christ’s Spirit, the firstborn of creation, sent out of the Father in the beginning of creation. He was, and is, the image of the invisible God, who was manifest in the flesh. As “the Word,” He spoke the words of the Father, and was sent by the Father. The Spirit of truth that proceeded from the Father on the Day of Pentecost is the Spirit of God. It speaks the words of Christ, bringing comfort to the believers and distributing spiritual gifts as it wills.

Modalism

Because the Spirit of ELOHIM in the Old Testament and the Spirit of Truth are both called “the Spirit of God,” then these two Spirits are the same.

The Trinity

Both Christ and the Spirit of truth existed eternally with the Father and are equal to the Father. At times, they choose to submit to the Father because they play different roles in salvation. This is called the “economy” of the Trinity.

So-called “Unitarian” and So-called “Binitarian”

Unitarians believe Christ was a man chosen by God to carry out His mission. He did not pre-exist. Any Spirit of God mentioned in the Bible is only a “force” or “power” of God.

Many so-called “Binatarians” believe that Christ pre-existed but the Holy Spirit is only a power or the Spirit of God. However, some, who are labelled as “Binitarians” by Trinitarians, do not actually believe in the idea of one God in two distinct persons. Rather, they believe in the plurality that is evidenced by the word “ELOHIM” and they believe Christ was only the speaker for the invisible God, who is the one true God.


  1. First Apology, Chapter 13
  2. See Wallace, “Greek Grammar the Personality of the Holy Spirit;” and “Prooftexting the personality of the Holy Spirit: an analysis of the masculine demonstrative pronouns in John 14:26, 15:26 and 16:13–14 by Andrew David Naselli and Philip R. Gons.
  3. Verses presented from the Concordant Literal Version (CV) are presented with the permission of the Concordant Publishing Concern.
  4. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel calls the Spirit of YHVH here “the Holy Spirit.”
  5. Ibid. We’ve changed the word order to agree with the Greek.