Is Jesus the Holy Spirit?

  • “About 50 years later, in A.D. 381, the Romans held another meeting, this time in Constantinople. There, a new agreement was reached — Jesus wasn't two, he was now three — Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Nicene Creed was rewritten, and those who refused to sign the statement were banished, and another wholesale slaughter began, this time of those who rejected the Trinity, a concept that is nowhere in the original Greek manuscripts and is often contradicted by it.”
  • (Kurt Eichenwald, The Bible: So Misunderstood it's a Sin, December 23, 2014, Newsweek magazine).

Wait a minute: is that quite right? Is Jesus indeed "three," "Father, Son and Holy Ghost"?

I and He Another Comforter
Restoration of All Things Poured Our
Of Himself Who is Jesus' father?
Jesus anointed with Jesus Jesus filled with Jesus
Jesus saw Jesus Blasphemy
Orphans Intercessor
Return to Answering 'Oneness' Pentecostalism...

I and He

Those passages in the New Testament where Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as "He" while speaking of Himself as "I" would be eccentric indeed if Jesus intends to communicate that He is the Holy Spirit.  People can get used to Bob Dole going around saying, 'Bob Dole did this, Bob Dole did that', yet they could hardly get accustomed to hearing Bob Dole say, 'Bob Dole did this, whereas I did that'.  Examples:

"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." (John 15:26).
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (John 14:26).
"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth...He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." (John 16:13-14).

Another Comforter

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever -- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16-17).  Why say "another", if He means 'the same'?

The 'Oneness' rewrite of this passage is eccentric in the extreme: 'And I will pray myself, and I will give you another me, that I may abide with you forever.'

Jesus is identified as a 'Paraclete', 'Comforter', in scripture: "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [parakletos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1).  This is why He called the Holy Spirit "another Comforter." "Another" is not the very same.

Restoration of All Things

Jesus is not reported to have returned on the Day of Pentecost, rather, His return awaits the restoration of all things:

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21).

Contrary to rumor, Jesus did not slip into a phone booth upon His ascension, shed His flesh, and morph into the Holy Spirit. He's still incarnate: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21).

One Throne in Heaven
Play the Race Card

Poured Out

It is unclear how, if Jesus were the Holy Spirit, He would be said to have "poured out" the Holy Spirit: "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." (Acts 2:33). The language as written expresses a relation, between "He" who pours and "this" which is poured. If He who pours and that which is poured are actually one and the same thing, the language is eccentric.

Of Himself

"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 show you things to come." (John 16:13).

The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, i.e., on His own; He testifies to Jesus:

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:..." (John 15:26).

If Jesus is the Holy Spirit, this comes out something like, 'He shall not speak of Himself, but He shall speak of Himself,' or 'I shall not speak of Myself, but I shall speak of Myself.'

Who is Jesus' father?

Scripture identifies God the Father as the Father of Jesus Christ.  The Father owned Him as His beloved Son at the transfiguration: "For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" (2 Peter 1:17).

The Holy Spirit is never identified as the Father of Jesus in the Bible.  Those who learn their doctrine from the Bible leave it there; God the Father is the Father to whom Jesus cries, "O My Father".

'Oneness' Pentecostals assert that the Holy Spirit is the father of Jesus Christ. Perplexed Christians who ask for scriptural validation that the Holy Spirit is the father of Jesus of Nazareth hear in reply Luke 1:35, "And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'" The 'Oneness' Pentecostals equate 'overshadowing' to 'doing what a father does.'

Not everything done to bring about a birth is called 'fathering.' When the surgeon implants an embryo prepared by in vitro fertilization, he is causing a human child to be born. Yet he is not listed on the birth certificate as the 'father,' because what he did is not what a father does. The pagans told tales of their gods doing what human fathers do, with predictable results nine months later. Some Mormons tell similar tales. I wonder if some 'Oneness' Pentecostals, who point to 'overshadowing' with a nudge and a wink, aren't telling similar tales.

How did the Holy Spirit bring about the miracle of the Virgin Birth? This isn't known: "And who will declare His generation?" (Isaiah 53:8). The Holy Spirit knits our bones together, but we do not know how: "As you do not know what is the way of the spirit, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything." (Ecclesiastes 11:5).  Jesus, in His incarnation as a child born to Mary, had no natural, biological father. In eternity, He already had a Father: "Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’" (Mark 12:4). What's new in the incarnation is that He took on human nature, as He said at the time: "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me...‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:5-7).

I do not think that the Holy Spirit can be identified as the father of that human nature, because He who was born already had a Father. Since the Bible nowhere describes the Holy Spirit as Jesus' father, it's easy enough to agree with the Bible. Nor does tradition describe the Holy Spirit as Jesus' father, because,

"But not all the elements required for the idea of fatherhood are found on the part of the Holy Spirit. The idea of fatherhood requires that the father produce from his nature a son who is of like nature with himself. Therefore if some agent would make a thing that is not derived from its own substance, and would not produce such a thing unto the likeness of its own nature, that agent could not be called the thing's father. We do not say that a man is the father of things he makes by plying an art, unless perhaps in a metaphorical sense. The Holy Spirit is, indeed, of the same nature with Christ as regards the divine nature; in this respect, however, He is not the father of Christ...With respect to the human nature, the Holy Spirit is not of the same nature with Christ. For the human nature in Christ is other than the divine nature...Consequently the Holy Spirit cannot be called the father of the man Christ." (Thomas Aquinas, Compendium of Theology, Chapter 223).

In the very broadest sense of the fatherhood of God, all created things are His "offspring": "...for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’" (Acts 17:28). But this is not the sense in which Jesus is called 'the Son of God,' because if He,- or rather, His humanity, which is the only created thing about Him,- were a Son only in the sense that every created thing is an "offspring," then He would not be the "only-begotten." There are many creatures...but only one "only-begotten."

The 'Oneness' Pentecostals go on to demand, 'how can Jesus have two fathers, God the Father and the Holy Spirit?' As I've said, I doubt the Holy Spirit is the father of Jesus, or even of one of Jesus' two natures, if 'natures' can have separate paternity. But if He were, telling the story in 'Oneness'-speak comes out like so: 'And the angel answered and said to her, 'Jesus will come upon you, and...will overshadow you...' Recall, in 'Oneness'-speak, 'Jesus' is the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Are they sure this is legal? If 'overshadowing' is a polite euphemism for what human fathers do to earn listing of biological paternity on the birth certificate, then 'overshadowing' your mother is not a very nice thing to do! And if it is not, then why equate 'overshadowing' with 'fathering'?

Jesus Anointed with Jesus

"The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:36-38).

If Jesus is the Holy Spirit, this comes out, 'Jesus anointed Jesus of Nazareth with Jesus.'

Jesus Filled with Jesus

"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil." (Luke 4:1-2).

If Jesus is the Holy Spirit, this comes out, 'Jesus, being filled with Jesus.'

Jesus Saw Jesus

"When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him." (Matthew 3:16).

If Jesus is the Holy Spirit, this comes out, 'Jesus saw Jesus.'


"And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven." (Luke 12:10, Matthew 12:31, Mark 3:29).

Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit a graver crime than blasphemy against the Son? Perhaps because the Holy Spirit can teach the blasphemer to know the Son, but if he rejects the Spirit's testimony, he can be taught nothing:

"Blasphemy against the Son may be a temporary sin, for the one who commits it may be subsequently convinced of his error by the testimony of the Holy Spirit and become a believer (I. Tim. i. 13). But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is in its nature an eternal sin, for if one rejects the evidence given by the Holy Spirit and ascribes it to Satan, he rejects the only evidence upon which faith can be based; and without faith there is no forgiveness. The difference in the two sins is therefore in no way due to any difference in the Son and Spirit as to their degrees of sanctity or holiness. The punishment is naturally eternal because the sin is perpetual."
(McGarvey, J. W. The FourFold Gospel or A Harmony of the Four Gospels (Kindle Locations 4766-4770).

Or this distinction may be at request. The Son, dying on the cross, pleaded, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34). Could it be the Holy Spirit presented no such petition?  But if the 'Oneness' Pentecostals were correct, and the Son of Man were the same person as the Holy Spirit, how could blasphemy against one can be treated differently than blasphemy against the other?



"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me." (John 14:18-19).

"First, He was referring to His resurrection, after which they would see Him (20:19-29).  There is no record that any unbelievers saw Him after He rose (see 1 Cor. 15:1-9).  In another sense, this has reference to the mystery of the Trinity.  Through the coming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus would be back with His children (16:16; cf. Matt. 28:20, Rom. 8:9, 1 John 4:13)." (John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible).  Owing to the circumincession, or mutual indwelling, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus dwells within us through the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said that He had to go away for the Comforter to come: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7).

Why was Jesus obliged to go away for the Spirit to come?  Perhaps He is not the kind of heedless gift-giver who puts the Christmas gifts on the credit card, without any thought of how to pay for them, but rather pays first. It was at the cross that our salvation was bought.


Just as does the Son, the Holy Spirit also intercedes for us: "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27).  "Maketh intercession ([huperentugchanei]).  Present active indicative of late double compound, found only here and in later ecclesiastical writers, but [entugchano] occurs in verse #27 (a common verb).  It is a picturesque word of rescue by one who 'happens on' ([entugchanei]) one who is in trouble and 'in his behalf' ([huper]) pleads 'with unuttered groanings' (instrumental case) or with 'sighs that baffle words' (Denney).  This is work of our Helper, the Spirit himself." (Robertson's Word Pictures).

If God the Father is the same person as the Holy Spirit, with Whom is the Spirit pleading?

The Eternal Spirit

Eternal Spirit Wisdom
Face of the Waters Jawbone
Seventy Elders Gideon
In the Wilderness Fiery Stream
Oil of Gladness Rain
Strife Not by Might
Prophets of Old Time John the Baptist
Simeon Zacharias
Return to Answering 'Oneness' Pentecostalism...

Eternal Spirit

"This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after the ascension." (UPCI Articles of Faith).

Sabellius' original modalist scheme taught that God was the Father in the Old Testament era, the Son while Christ walked upon the earth, then became the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. While there is a pleasing symmetry to this scheme, scriptural verification remains a problem. To this day some 'Oneness' Pentecostals will earnestly tell you there was no Holy Spirit until the Day of Pentecost. They base this claim on John 7:39, "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." They understand this to mean the Holy Spirit did not exist prior to the Lord's ascension.

In truth the Holy Spirit operates throughout the Bible: "Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51:11). The phrase in the Greek translation of this Old Testament psalm: "to pneuma to hagion" (LXX),- is the same as in the New Testament.

There is a 'less' and a 'more' with the Holy Spirit; Elisha prayed for a "double portion," the firstborn's share: "And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, 'Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?' Elisha said, 'Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.'" (2 Kings 2:9). In whatever measure, the Holy Spirit was the preserve of only a few amongst the people in ancient Israel. But God promised a day when His Spirit would be poured out abundantly upon all who believe, not just prophets, priests and kings:

"And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
(Joel 2:28-29).

This is the new thing that came about on the Day of Pentecost.

The unscriptural fallacy that there was no Holy Spirit until the Day of Pentecost is all the odder, given that the Spirit is specifically called "eternal" in Hebrews 9:13-14: "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"


Wisdom and knowledge are ever-popular gift suggestions on the Holy Spirit's list:

"...for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit..." (1 Corinthians 12:8).

Not a passing fad, they've enjoyed a long run on the Spirit's gift list:

"And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship." (Exodus 31:3-5);
"And Moses said to the children of Israel, 'See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.'" (Exodus 35:30-33).

The Holy Spirit has always visited, inspired and counselled God's children:

"And Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?'" (Genesis 41:38).

The Face of the Waters

If 'Jesus the Holy Spirit' was obliged to duck into the nearest phone booth, shed His flesh, and morph into the Holy Spirit, to return in that form on the Day of Pentecost...then what Spirit brooded upon the waters?:

"And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2).



"Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.  He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it." (Judges 15:14-15).

Seventy Elders

"So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD, and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel." (Numbers 11:24-30).

"Such a divine spirit, too, is that of Moses, which visits the seventy elders that they may excel others and be brought to something better — those seventy who cannot be in real truth even elders, if they have not received a portion of that spirit of perfect wisdom. For it is written, 'I will take of the spirit that is on thee and lay it upon the seventy elders' (Numb. xi. 17). But think not that this taking of the spirit comes to pass as when men cut away a piece and sever it. Rather it is, as when they take fire from fire, for though the fire should kindle a thousand torches, it is still as it was and is diminished not a whit. Of such a sort also is the nature of knowledge. All those who resort to it and become its disciples, it makes into men of skill, yet no part of it is diminished. . .If, then, it were Moses' own spirit, or the spirit of some other created being, which was according to God's purpose to be distributed to that great number of disciples, it would indeed be shredded into so many pieces and thus lessened. But as it is, the spirit which is on him is the wise, the divine, the excellent spirit, susceptible of neither severance nor division, diffused in its fullness everywhere and through all things, the spirit which helps, but suffers no hurt, which though it be shared with others or added to others suffers no diminution in understanding and knowledge and wisdom." (Philo Judaeus, On the Giants, Chapter VI, pp. 457-459 Loeb edition).


"But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him." (Judges 6:34).

In the Wilderness

The church is baptized with the Holy Spirit:

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8).

Drinking from the same fount of living waters binds us into one body:

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Israel in the wilderness were also baptized "in the cloud":

"Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

The LORD's theophany at Sinai was in the cloud and the fire:

"'These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more...'" (Deuteronomy 5:22);
"And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever...Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.  Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire.  Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly." (Exodus 19:9-18).
"The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire." (Deuteronomy 5:4).
"For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24).

The presence of God, in the pillar of cloud and fire, led the assembly:

"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night." (Exodus 13:21);
"Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire.  So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night." (Numbers 9:15-16).

This presence gave them light: "Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the road which they should travel." (Nehemiah 9:12).

God the Father is unseen, inaccessible directly in this life: "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.  You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form." (John 5:37).  Although none of ancient Israel saw the Father, as Jesus testified, they had met God in the cloud. God the Father is one level of remove and distance beyond the Spirit and the Son.  It's in His Word and in His Holy Spirit that God meets mankind: "Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again." (Numbers 11:25).

Later prophets remembered this sojourn of the Holy Spirit with the flock in the wilderness:

"Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: 'Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, Who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, Who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they might not stumble?'" (Isaiah 63:11-13);
"They angered Him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them; because they rebelled against His Spirit, so that he spoke rashly with his lips." (Psalm 106:32-33);
"Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go.  You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst." (Nehemiah 9:19-20).

The Holy Spirit was with the children in the wilderness and was their "spiritual drink" long before the Day of Pentecost.

Elijah, Ford Madox Brown
Elijah and the Widow's Son

There was much the Rabbis did not know, but they did know that the Holy Spirit was with the Israelites in the wilderness:

"The rabbis taught: Who said the Hallel? R. Elazar said: Moses and Israel said it when standing by the sea. They said what is written [Psalms cxv. i]: 'Not for our sake, O Lord, not for our sake, but unto thy name give glory,' and the Holy Spirit replied (Isaiah xlviii. 11] 'For my own sake, for my own sake, will I do it'. . ." (The Babylonian Talmud, edited by Michael L. Rodkinson, Volume V., Section Moed, Tractate Pesachim, Chapter X, Kindle location 21695).

After Israel completed its sojourn in the wilderness, inspired judges arose, and mighty prophets like Elijah and Elisha were gifted with God's Spirit.  But most of Israel wandered without light.  It was prophesied that, in the latter days, a full measure of the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all and sundry, waitresses and janitors alike with Elijah and Elisha: "'The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,' Says the LORD. 'As for Me,' says the LORD, 'this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants,' says the LORD, 'from this time and forevermore.'" (Isaiah 59:20-21).

Fiery Stream

The Bible is a picture book, speaking in figures and symbols.  One of the ways in which the Holy Spirit has been pictured is as fire.  Daniel witnessed a fiery stream issuing from the throne of the Ancient of Days: "I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool.  His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened." (Daniel 7:9-10).

This 'fiery stream', along with the 'rivers of living water', first appears in the natural realm, as lightning, and rain.  These humble created things were ordained by God to shadow and signify His great blessing: His intent to share His Spirit with mankind.  Jewish apocryphal literature picked up on these 'fiery streams': "And the vision was shown to me thus: Behold, in the vision clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, and the course of the stars and the lightnings sped and hastened me, and the winds in the vision caused me to fly and lifted me upward, and bore me into heaven.  And I went in till I drew nigh to a wall which is built of crystals and surrounded by tongues of fire: and it began to affright me.  And I went into the tongues of fire and drew nigh to a large house which was built of crystals: and the walls of the house were like a tesselated floor (made) of crystals, and its groundwork was of crystal...And I looked and saw therein a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of cherubim.  And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look thereon.  And the Great Glory sat thereon, and His raiment shone more brightly than the sun and was whiter than any snow.  None of the angels could enter and could behold His face by reason of the magnificence and glory and no flesh could behold Him.  The flaming fire was round about Him, and a great fire stood before Him, and none around could draw nigh Him: ten thousand times ten thousand (stood) before Him, yet He needed no counselor." (Book of Enoch, Chapter 14, 8-23).

"And it came to pass after this that my spirit was translated
"And it ascended into the heavens:
And I saw the holy sons of God.
They were stepping on flames of fire:
Their garments were white [and their raiment],
And their faces shone like snow.
"And I saw two streams of fire,
And the light of that fire shone like hyacinth,
And I fell on my face before the Lord of Spirits...
"And he translated my spirit into the heaven of heavens,
And I saw there as it were a structure built of crystals,
And between those crystals tongues of living fire.
"And my spirit saw the girdle which girt that house of fire,
And on its four sides were streams full of living fire,
And they girt that house...
"And I saw angels who could not be counted,
A thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand,
Encircling that house...
"And with them the Head of Days,
His head white and pure as wool,
And His raiment indescribable." (Enoch, Chapter 71, 1-10).

Just as lightning flashes from heaven to earth, God's Holy Spirit, the fiery stream issuing from God's throne, would make the connection and run to ground: "Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:3-4).

So the God of the Bible has revealed Himself to mankind as God the Father, unseen; God the Word, sent for healing: "He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions." (Psalm 107:20); and God the Holy Spirit, a pillar of fire to light Israel's path.  This great Bible truth, that God is Three-in-One, shines forth in the Old Testament.

Oil of Gladness

While Old Testament types and figures of the Holy Spirit do not directly overturn the 'phone booth' theory, they're good to know. Another Old Testament type of the Holy Spirit is the oil of anointing, the oil of gladness which gives beauty for ashes:

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,...
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
(Isaiah 61:1-3).

Jesus applied Isaiah's prophecy of the coming Messiah, quoted above, to Himself in Luke 4:18-21, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."  Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit: " God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38).

Those of us who follow Him have a lesser anointing:

"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things...But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you..." (1 John 2:20-27),
"Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." (2 Corinthians 1:21).

...not the limitless one of the Son: "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure." (John 1:34).

This anointing with the Holy Spirit draws us into communion with God: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and Our home with him." (John 14:23), so that He abides with us and we in Him.  To have the Spirit is to live in His presence: "'And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 39:29).


God pours out His Spirit on those who answer His call: "Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you." (Proverbs 1:23), so abundantly in these latter days as even to rain down upon bus drivers and convenience store clerks:

  • But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
    And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
    That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
    Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    Your young men shall see visions,
    Your old men shall dream dreams.
    And on My menservants and on My maidservants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
    And they shall prophesy.

  • (Acts 2:16-18).

This flood of the Holy Spirit is one of the blessings prophesied by Old Testament prophets for the future reign of the Messiah: "Behold, a king will reign in righteousness..." (Isaiah 32:1), namely,

"Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest." (Isaiah 32:15),
"For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring..." (Isaiah 44:3).

This Holy Spirit flood, a promised blessing of the Messianic era, is already upon us. At the Day of Pentecost, just as He promised, the Spirit was poured out upon the whole people of God: "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'" (Acts 1:4-5).

Not only lightning,-- fire from heaven,-- but also the water from heaven, rain, is a type and shadow of the Holy Spirit:

Thriceholy Radio


"And the LORD said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.'" (Genesis 6:3).

Not always eager or docile pupils, the children of Israel resisted the Holy Spirit's leadings:

"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);
"You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you." (Acts 7:51).

One is left wondering how the fathers can have resisted a Holy Spirit...who didn't turn up in their midst until the Day of Pentecost!  The Holy Spirit has always led God's children, though they do not always follow.

I Will
Grief He
Mind Filled with the Spirit
Insult Instructor
Comforter Strife

The Holy Spirit visited the prophets, not only as a 'force' impelling them to speak, but as an interlocutor speaking to them:

“Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said to me, 'Speak!'” (Ezekiel 11:5).

We see here a conversation; the Holy Spirit "said" certain things to Ezekiel. You cannot carry on a conversation with a 'force.'


Not by Might

“So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6).

Old Time

What Spirit spoke through prophets like King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel?:

"Now these are the last words of David.  Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel: 'The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.'" (2 Samuel 23:1-2).

Jesus agreed that David had the Holy Spirit: "For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'" (Mark 12:36).

David was a prophet: "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption." (Acts 2:29-31, Psalm 16).  And prophets speak by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

"...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21).
"Then Moses said to him, 'Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!'" (Numbers 11:29).

This same Spirit, who fell upon the church at Pentecost, also spoke through the prophets of old: "But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin." (Micah 3:8).

Holy Spirit is God

John the Baptist

John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb:

"He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." (Luke 1:15).

His mother was filled with the Holy Ghost also:

"And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy." (Luke 1:41-44).

And coming upon Mary, carrying baby Jesus, the Holy Spirit in them leaped for joy!


How could Simeon, even while He held the baby Jesus in his arms, have been filled with...that same Jesus, not yet having entered the phone booth to morph into Holy Spirit form?:

"And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him...So he came by the Spirit into the temple.  And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 'Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word..." (Luke 2:25-29).

And was the "prophetess" Anna (Luke 2:36) filled with the Spirit of the prophets, or some other Spirit?


"Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

"'Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us...
'And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.'" (Luke 1:67-79).


Before the Spirit was poured out "on all flesh" on the Day of Pentecost, the Lord had given the Spirit to His disciples: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive [second aorist (ingressive) active imperative] the Holy Spirit.'" (John 20:22). The Lord did not say, 'at some future time you will receive the Holy Spirit,' but "Receive the Holy Spirit."