Godhead study 7: Holy Ghost – a person or power

The identity of Holy Ghost is challenged by the non trinitarians claiming that He is force or presence of God.

There are lot of unambiguous evidence in scriptures which proves that Holy Spirit is a person very much as the Father and Son.

Three strongest statements on the belief of three person Godhead are below:

Go ye therefore, and teach j all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Mat 28:19

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion i of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Cor 13:14

For there are three that bear record b in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7 (some Bible translations from corrupted manuscripts do not have it. These manuscripts are rejected by early church as corrupted)

Some other verses which are very much unambiguous in proving the person of Holy Ghost.

Evidence 1:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13,14 (Emphasis by me)

Holy Spirit….

a) doesn’t speak of Himself
b) Hears
c) speaks
d) glorify another person
e) receives from someone

These qualities show that Holy Ghost is a person not power or presence.

Evidence 2:

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8

He reproves the world

Evidence 3

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

He can be grieved

Evidence 4

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, d that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16

He is another comforter like Jesus. The Greek word used for ‘another’ means another being of same kind or species.

Evidence 5

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 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. Rom 8:26

He intercedes on behalf of humans. A power or presence cannot speak on behalf of somebody.

Evidence 6

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Acts 5:3

He can be lied to. Can you lie to a power or presence.

Evidence 7

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing h to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor 12:11

Holy Spirit has His own will.

Evidence 8

He directs and instructs men

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. Acts 8:29

While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Acts 10:19

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Godhead study 6: Jesus the Almighty God

Key text: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8

Christ is the Lord who was, who is and who is going to come; Christ is talking here not the Father as watch tower society teaches.

Jesus and His Omnipresence:

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. John 1: 45-49

Jesus could see Nathaniel even though He was physically present somewhere else in His body.

Please note: Christ during His incarnation limited His Almighty nature and used it only at the will of His Father.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mat 18:20

Jesus can be present everywhere and hence He promises to be present when people gather in His name.

Jesus and His Omniscience:

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:24, 25

Bible says Jesus knows everything.

And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, Luke 9:47 (marginal)

Jesus and His Omnipotence:

…and by him all things consist. Col 1: 17 (marginal)

.. upholding all things by the word of his power.. Heb 1:3 (marginal)

Bible says everything in the universe functions by the power of Christ.

Godhead Study 5: Commonly Misunderstood Verses

a) First Born

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (KJV)

The preposition ‘of’ suggests that Jesus is a created being. But we need to understand that the preposition is not there in the original Greek and was supplemented to complete the sentence.

Some translations render the word ‘over’ instead of ‘of’.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. NIV

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation NLT

How do we know that we should use over not of?

We have seen in lesson 4 that Bible is very clear on that Jesus is not a created being. Check my website for lesson 4 in case you missed it.

The word firstborn means the one who is having preminence.

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: Exo 4:22

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

Someone can be made into firstborn!

b) Begotten

Another misunderstood phrase is Jesus was begotten. In lesson 4 we saw that Bible is very clear that Jesus coexisting with Father since eternity.

Now we understand the term begotten.

Paul says he had begotten son.

I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Philemon 1:10

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Cor 4: 15

We can spiritually begot someone.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Heb 11:17

Isaac is called Abraham’s only begotten son though he had 7 other sons.

How do we know Jesus was spiritually begotten for a purpose.

Bible tells us why Jesus is called begotten son. Read this carefully. You will Jesus is called begotten son for a reason.

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Acts 13:33

Jesus was begotten as son for the plan of salvation. The word begotten was fulfilled when Jesus was resurrected. Please read the above verse again.

In Psalms 2 we see the below sequence

v1-3, we see man’s sin. Humanity’s rebellion against God and Messiah (here Anointed)

v7-12, God declares His plan for humanity i.e., Jesus is begotten as son., higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

(All Emphasis on Bible Verses are by me)

Godhead Study 4: Was Jesus created or literally begotten?

Some Christians teach that Jesus was the first created being. Some Christians teach that Father alone existed in the beginning and Jesus was literally begotten by the Father into a new being.

Does Bible support those views?

Isa 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (Emphasis by me)

The Old Testament God repeatedly claims that He is the first and He is the last. God created all things and nothing existed before God, hence He claims to be the first. Similarly everything is sustained by God. After Him there will be nothing hence He claims to be the last.

God alone can claim that He is first and last

In New Testament we see Jesus also making the same claim!

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive (Emphasize by me)

Jesus also repeatedly claims in New Testament that He is the first and last.

If God created Jesus or literally begot Jesus then Jesus cannot be First; at the maximum Jesus can be second.

By claiming to be first and the last just like God of the old testament, Jesus tells us that He co-existed with God from eternity without any beginning.

Let us see another verse which makes it very clear.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It says all created things are created by Jesus. There is no created thing which is not created by Jesus. Logically it means Father did not create anything without Jesus; also logically Jesus is not a created being.

Godhead Study 3: Is Jesus God?

We need to understand that the word god is not a name of a person but it is title given to a person like King or President.

God is also name given to a being who possesses these things omniscient, omnipresent and omnipresence. To make it clearer, it is name of a species like man, lion or tiger.

Let us see the below three verses which helps us understand the term ‘god’.

Who, being in the *form of God*, thought it not robbery to be *equal with God* Phi 2:6

We see two things, Jesus is equal with a person called God (title of a particular individual) and Jesus is in the form of God (species of an individual).

In the beginning was the Word, and the *Word was with God*, and the *Word was God*. John 1:1

Jesus was with God (title of particular individual) and Jesus was (also) God (species of an individual belong to).

What is this title of an individual and species of an individual! Let us see the below verse which helps us to understand.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them(mankind – species); and blessed them, and called their (notices the plurality) name Adam (name of the species both man and woman), in the day when they were created. Gen 5:1,2 (the words in brackets are mine)

Adam (which means man in Hebrew) is title of a person and also name of the species mankind.

Example:

Man – title of a person
Man – name of the species ( man and woman are collectively called man)

Lion – title of a male lion
Lion – name of the species (both lion and lioness are collectively called with their species name i.e., lion)

In summary the title God belongs to Father alone. But Jesus is also god not in title but as a being (He is not an angelic being or any other created being). Jesus is a self existing being just like the Father who has no beginning and end (we will see this in the next lesson)

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6

Godhead study 2: Does old testament support more than one person Godhead doctrine?

Evidence 1:

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Psa 110:1

We see a messianic prophecy where God addressing Messiah whom David calls as Lord.

Evidence 2:

Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Isa 48:16

Jesus speaking here as the one who speaks from the beginning. He says God and His Spirit has sent Him.

Evidence 3:

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Gen 3:22

God speaking about man who became like one of them (plural).

Evidence 4:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6

Another messianic prophecy where Messiah is called as both everlasting Father and mighty God.

Evidence 5:

But thou, Beth–lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

Messiah is from eternity who had no beginning.

Godhead study 1: Does Old Testament God has a son?

Muslims and Jews deny that God has a son. Do we have sufficient evidence in Old Testament to prove that God has a son?

Evidence 1:

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? *who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name*, if thou canst tell? Pro 30:4 (Emphasis by me)

The above verse is talking about God (who has established all ends of the earth) and the says He has a son.

Evidence 2:

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Kiss l the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Psa 2: 7, 12.

In verse 7 we that God declares someone as His son. Also this son cannot be a human or created being as we see in verse 12 that we are asked to trust in the son. Throughout Psalms we are asked to put our trust in God and not in man. Psalms 2.12 won’t contradict all other verses in Psalms which is asking us to put our Trust in God alone. So the son in verse 7 must be God.

Jehovah Witnesses Visits my Home

Watch Tower Organization's failed prophecy predictions
Watch Tower Organization’s failed prophecy predictions

Couple of years back two Jehovah Witness ladies came to my house upon my invitation.

They asked me why I invited them and what I wanted to discuss.

I asked them “Why you don’t believe that Jesus is God?”

They answered, ‘Does Bible says that Jesus is God?”

I answered “John 1:1 says that Jesus was God”

Now they changed their question from Does Bible says Jesus is God to ‘Does Bible says that Jesus is Almighty God?’

I quoted ” Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ”

(Note: In the previous verse it is Jesus who is addressing himself ‘Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.’ Also in verse 11, Jesus claims to be the Alpha and Omega)

They answered in Watch Towers translation this is made clear that the word Almighty is pointing to God the Father and not Jesus.

“How can an organization makes alteration to word of God to suit their beliefs. I also asked why they substituted words in new testament to ‘Jehovah’ when the name ‘Jehovah’ is not there in the original manuscripts of Greek. ”

To this they answered “you seem to know everything then you don’t need us” and rose up to leave. Since I know the conversation is going to end I asked the final question “How can you trust an organization which repeatedly made failed predictions of the date of Jesus second coming. They repeatedly set dates like 1914, 1918, 1925, 1953 and 1975 and all of which failed. How can I trust this organizations teaching when their interpretations failed and they are changing their position of what they believe.

They left hastily in anger.

In another encounter with a different group they answered “Watchtower made wrong understanding in each circumstances and they failed to listen correctly to Jehovah’s voice and now we have got everything right”

I asked them, ” How can you be sure now that now they understand Jehovah’s voice correctly when they earlier failed to listen to Jehovah’s voice correctly “

Was Ellen White a trinitarian?

I met few non trinitarian Adventist who believe that Ellen White was a non trinitarian. I have given quotes from her writings which shows that she is a trinitarian.

“The three powers of the Godhead have pledged Their might to carry out the purpose that God had in mind when He gave to the world the unspeakable gift of His Son.”—Review, July 18, 1907.

How many powers are there 2 or 3. Ellen White says 3…

“The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love?”—Counsels on Health, 222.

Who are the persons in Godhead. Ellen White mentions Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“The three powers of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, are pledged to be their strength and their efficiency in their new life in Christ Jesus.”—Australian Union Conference Record, October 7, 1907.

How many powers are there in Godhead. Ellen White: 3, What are their names: Father, Son an Holy Spirit.

“We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.”—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51 (Ev 617).

How many Highest powers are there? Ellen White: 3, What are their names: Father, Son an Holy Spirit.

“In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass.”—Evangelism, 65 (Manuscript 118, 1902).

How many great powers are there in heaven? Ellen White: 3

“The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them [the disciples] with more than mortal energy . . would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.”—Evangelism, 616 (Manuscript 145, 1901).

How many heavenly dignitaries are there: 3, What are their names: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Are all 3 eternal? Ellen White: yes

“The work of salvation is not a small matter, but so vast that the highest authorities are taken hold of by the expressed faith of the human agent. The eternal Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—is involved in the action required to make ssurance to the human agent.”—Upward Look, 148.

Who are the persons in Godhead. Ellen White mentions Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that They will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged to those who by their baptismal vows have entered into

a covenant with God.”—5 Bible Commentary, 1110 (Manuscript 92, 1901).

How many holy dignitaries are there: 3, What are their names: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life.”—Manuscript 27, 1900

Who are infinite and Omniscient: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

“The work is laid out before every soul that has acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism, and has become a receiver of the pledge from the three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”— 6 Bible Commentary, 1074.

In what name we should receive baptism: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Series A, No. 10, p. 37 (Ev 617).

Who is the THIRD PERSON of Godhead: Holy Spirit

“The three highest powers in the universe are pledged to labor with those who will seek to save the lost.”—Review, August 12, 1909.

How many highest power are there in Universe: Ellen White: 3. What are their names: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” E.G. White, Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.). Evangelism, p. 616.

Is Holy Spirit a person or a power or an identity given to the omnipresence of God? Ellen White: A person just like the Father.

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.” E.G. White, Manuscript 20, 1906. Evangelism, p. 616.

Is Holy Spirit a person or a power or an identity given to the omnipresence of God? Ellen White: A person.

Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ, who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit’s striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart. {1SM 344.1}

Jesus and Holy Spirit are two different persons

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