In the Bible, “holy spirit” describes an anointing. The anointing of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets is described with feminine pronouns, as is the anointing of the Spirit of God on Christ in Isaiah 11:2.
The Spirit of God Himself is always called “the Spirit of Yĭhvah”1 and described with masculine pronouns.
In 2 Samuel 23:2, David said, “The Spirit of Yĭhvah, He spoke through me, and His Word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2).
“His Word” was the Spirit of Christ in David’s mouth—the holy spirit described with feminine pronouns (1 Samuel 16:13).
Before the Nicene Creed of 325, all believers knew that there were two holy spirits in the Bible: The Word, and the Spirit of Prophecy.2).]
The Aramaic Targum of Jonathan ben Uziel, read by the Jews in the time of Christ, equated all references to the Spirit or Holy Spirit, in the prophets to “the Word,” and called the holy spirit to be put on Christ, “the Spirit of Prophecy from before the Lord.”
The Prophet Isaiah described the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament as “the Messenger of His Face,” which Paul called “the image of the invisible God.” Paul described Christ as the Holy Spirit of the Old Testament, saying, “all drank the same spiritual drink, all were drinking from the spiritual rock, and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).
Paul said, “the Lord is the Spirit.” After the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God was the Holy Spirit called “Spirit” without the definite article.
The proof of these two Spirits really comes alive when the Spirit of God is taken away from His Church. The saints overcame the power of Satan, “not by power, nor by might, but by My Word.” The Spirit of Christ was the oil in the two witnesses: the two olive trees and two lampstands.
- Yĭhvah, meaning He WILL BE, was the shared name of the invisible God and His image. ↩
- Explaining Luke 1:35, Justin Martyr, in his First Apology to the Roman Emperor, in A.D. 150, wrote, “It is wrong, therefore, to understand the Spirit and the power of God as anything else than the Word, who is also the first-born of God.” In his book Early Christian Doctrines, the Trinitarian theologian J. N. D. Kelly said this was the “all but unanimous exegetical tradition of Luke 1:35.” In the same Apology, Justin Martyr said that the Spirit of Prophecy was “born on the waters” in Genesis 1:2 and ranked third place behind the Word. This was echoed by Origen in A.D. 229. The Churches of the East, however, believed that the Spirit of Prophecy was the Spirit of God Himself. The Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas were two Books written in about 100, and included in our oldest complete copy of the New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus. The Epistle of Barnabas writes, “those whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw…for He was about to be manifest in the flesh” (Barnabas 6:14).The Shepherd of Hermas, said, “The pre-existent Holy Spirit, which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired” (Parable 5:6[5 ↩