Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?  The Holy Spirit (aka: the Holy Ghost) is a member of the Godhead, along with God the Father and Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is a person, just as are God the Father and Jesus Christ.  Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “He”, so he is indeed very much a person.  

In understanding what the nature and purpose of the Holy Spirit is, it is helpful to look first to Jesus and His ministry.  It is important to note that John the Baptist in prophesying of Jesus’ coming and ministry, John referred to Jesus as the “baptizer in the Holy Spirit”, saying:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire”  Matthew 3:11 (See also, John 1:32-34).

In the gospels we see that Jesus himself did not preach or perform any miracle until He had been baptized in water and had received the Holy Spirit which descended upon Him from heaven as a dove (Matthew 3:16-17). 

After Jesus had received the Holy Ghost, He began His ministry and began to preach and to perform miracles.  The bible tells us that the source and power of Christ’s ministry was the Holy Spirit.  For example, in the Book of Acts we read:

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”  Acts 10:38

The bible also tells us that: “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. 

So, while Jesus walked the earth and ministered, He was the resident representative of and fullness of God on earth.  But, in order for His disciples to be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, He had to go away so that He could send the Holy Spirit to them.  We see this when He told the disciples before His ascension back to His throne in heaven at the right hand of the Father:

“behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49

So, we see here that the disciples, while they believed, followed Christ and were saved, they had not yet been endued with power from on high – that would come through the baptism of the Holy Spirit later on the day of Pentecost.  

We can read in the Book of Acts what happened on the day of Pentecost.  When the disciples were all gather together on that day:

“suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:2-4. 

At this time the ministry of the apostles and disciples began, as Peter stood up and began to preach to those who witnessed this incredible event but did not understand it, supposing that the disciples were drunk with wine:  

“12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”  Acts 2:12-24


The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what changed Peter from the fearful denier of Christ to the fearless and powerful witness of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven and Jesus as the only way, the only truth and the only life – the only door to everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.  It is what changed and endued all of the disciples of Jesus to powerful teachers, witnesses, healers and wonder workers – just as Jesus Himself had been. 


Every believer in and follower of Jesus should carefully read the Book of Acts, for in it we see the model of the pure and original church and discipleship.  Without a long expounded teaching on the Book of Acts, suffice it to say for the moment that what you will find is that the disciples always taught faith in Christ, baptism by water and a separate Baptism in the Holy Spirit – and the evidence of the Holy Spirit Baptism was always speaking in unknown tongues and/or prophesying.  We also see that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was a separate event from believing and receiving salvation through faith in Christ and it was a separate event from baptism by water.  For illustration, consider the following passages:

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”  Acts 8:14-17

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”  Acts 19:1-7

Thus we see that what we should be preaching is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, baptism by water and baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Through that we will see true and empowered disciples of Jesus that can go forward in the power of the Spirit to do the works of Christ. 

*Recommended reading for more understanding on the Holy Spirit, “The Holy Spirit in You” by Derek Prince

Since 12/13/2013


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