The Holy Spirit: Person or "Force" - Introduction

The Holy Spirit: Person of "Force"

Part 1: Personal Attributes
Part 2: Historical Evidence
Part 3: "Impersonal" Attributes


The question of the personality of the Holy Spirit is a litmus test that determines the legitimacy of the doctrine of the Trinity, as opposed to the idea that a "great apostasy" corrupted and subsumed the church of God immediately upon the passing of the first generation of Christians. So let's take a look at the evidence of the personhood of the Holy Spirit, both Biblical and, using the record of the earliest Church Fathers, his­tori­cal. Then we'll examine the soundness the idea, held by Jehovah's Witnesses, that the Holy Spirit is a mere "force," however "holy."

A major objection to the character of the Holy Spirit, posed in the form of the question: "Is it reason­able?" Those who use this objection to the Trinitarian doctrine of the Holy Spirit make the assumption that God must be comprehendible. We must understand God, or He cannot be God; if we cannot understand an idea, it is not from God - such is the presumption. Comforting though such a God might (or might not) be, it cannot refer to the God of the Bible. God doesn't need our permission, nor require our agreement, nor demand our understanding - He commands our obedience, whether we under­stand or not. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for­ever. . .” (Deut 29:29) “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Is 55:8,9) “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.” (Rom 11:33) “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compas­sion on whom I will have compas­sion.”(Ex 33:19)

Paul quotes this last verse, and goes on to say:

“So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says of Pharaoh, ‘Even for this same purpose I have raise you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be de­clared in all the earth.’ Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens (Rom 9:16-18).”

Is it reason­able that God should use a man merely to demonstrate His power? Is it fair? Does it make sense that a man was born blind just to demonstrate the works of God (Jn 9:3)? Such questions are ir­re­le­vant; the stated facts are that God does do this - we can argue or dis­agree, but we disagree with God. Job finally says, after forty chapters of complaining about God's unfairness and incomprehensibility: “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonder­ful for me, which I did not know.... I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:3-6).”

Anyone who argues that God is comprehensible, is simply making an un­biblical argument. What is true is that what God has revealed is apprehensible -- we may not know it fully, but we know it, we grasp it. And we are not excused from faith be­cause we do not understand. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8); we are not saved by works through under­standing. God wants us to reason together, but He wants us to reason using the pre­cepts and axioms of His logic, not our own. Our “heart is deceitful above all else and is despe­rately sick.” (Jer 17:9.) God is not a God of confusion, but if one is confused about God's truth, that confusion does not prove His truth is not true, but rather that we are finite and flawed. Since God Himself says He is beyond our under­stan­ding, the question, Is it reasonable, does it make sense, that the Spirit is a person ... that question is simply irrelevant to whether or not the Spirit actually is a person.

So we'll consider the Holy Spirit, biblically, historically, and through the eyes of JWs.



At July 08, 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we have no such custom, ...


and even if our gospel is veiled, it is only veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. …For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Cor 4:2-6)

On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the shroud that covers all nations

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And by putting off his body, he stripped the Principalities and the Powers and shamed them openly in his Essential Self.


And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit"
2 Corinthians 3:18

Paul then went on to argue for the superiority of the New Covenant by contrasting it with the older covenant "written upon stone" at Sinai. While Paul acknowledged that the giving of the Ten Commandments was attended with great glory - so much so that the Israelites could not even gaze upon Moses' face because of its glory - nonetheless the covenant itself was "the ministry of death" (ἡ διακονία τοῦ θανάτου) that was intended to be brought to an end (2 Cor. 3:7, cp. Rom. 10:4).


but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.


Notice that St. Paul does not say that the veil is absent. But rather, he is saying that Christ becomes the veil (i.e. man may not enter by any other means except through Christ). Christ replaces the veil of cloth that foreshadowed "a new and living way, which he hath consecrated [literally made "anew"] for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (Hebrews 10:20)."




PAROKHET AND KAPPORET (Torah Ark curtain and valance). The Torah Ark curtain is a screen hanging over the Torah Ark which serves as a partition between the Ark and the prayer hall. The Hebrew term parokhet is based on its identification with the curtain, parokhet, which separated the holy section of the Tabernacle and the Temple from the Holy of Holies (Ex. 26:31–35; 40:21). ...

after the abbot's death, he obtained leave to lead a monastic life wherever he pleased. He now retired to a solitude in the diocese of Troies; there he built an oratory, which he named the (Paroclet),


ixty-third year of his age. His corpse was sent to Heloise, who deposited it in the Paroclet.


Croix reliquaire dite du Paroclet

At July 09, 2015, Blogger Jack H said...

As with your comments on "The Heavens Declare", I find your comment here to be incomprehensible. Thank you though for your honest intent.



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