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Particulars of Christianity:
302 The Trinity


The Trinity: Addendum 3

Introductions
The Angel of YHWH as YHWH God
The Angel of YHWH as Distinct from YHWH God
Immediate Interactive Dialogue
A Consistent Expectation about Seeing God's Face
Survey Examining Eternal Past Existence
Establishing Eternal Past Existence
Distinction of the Spirit of YHWH
Ancient Jewish Recognition of Trinitarian Facts
The Trinity in the New Testament
Addendum 1 & 2
Addendum 3


A Look at the Historic Interaction of
the Third Person of the Trinity

Our examination of Old Testament facts concerning the Trinity led to a deepened understanding of the Person of the Word. This resulted from an examination tracing his Old Testament history prior to the incarnation. While our study did cover the passages, which likewise establish that the Holy Spirit is a distinct, eternal figure according to the Old Testament, our investigation did not explore the Holy Spirit’s overall history and the nature of his interaction with men in a manner comparable to our investigation of the Word. This resulted from the fact that the Person of the Word just so happens to be the primary interactive agent with mankind in the Old Testament, revealing the knowledge of God to men. As such, facts about God’s nature came primarily and uniquely through the interactions of the Word with Old Testament figures.

This portion of the addendum will focus on exploring the overall interactive history of the Holy Spirit. During the closing section of our main study, entitled, “Understanding the Titles of the Trinity,” we touched on the contrast between the Word’s interaction with mankind and the interaction of the Holy Spirit. In that section, we provided a closing summary explaining the reasoning, which under girds the naming conventions for the Persons of the Trinity, starting very early in the Old Testament. Since this segment will expand our exploration of the overall history of the Holy Spirit, we will comment on some of those same issues here, but in more detail.

For review, during our main study we mentioned that the term “the angel of YHWH” applied in the Old Testament to the Second Person of the Trinity and that this term was understood to be interchangeable or synonymous with “the Word of YHWH.” Both titles reflect that this eternally distinct Person within the Godhead operated as God the speaker and God the message-bringer to mankind. In this role, we consistently saw the Second Person of the Godhead visiting in the humble guise of a man, which in turn prefigured his actual incarnation, which was later recorded in the New Testament. The Word’s early, predominant, and frequent visitation in the guise of a man is foundational to understanding the role of the Holy Spirit. As we noted, the term “the Spirit of YHWH” was a title that was understood to contrast to the human guise that the Second Person took on in his role as primary messenger. One figure was YHWH visiting in the guise of a spirit being. The other was YHWH visiting in the guise of a man. And it is on this point that we will pick up with where our comments left off at the tail end of our main study.


The Title “Angel” Denotes Human Guise Not “Angelic” Spirits

Perhaps one explanation that was left lingering surrounded the designation “angel.” Specifically, at this point in time the term angel is typically understood as a synonym for those invisible and immortal spirit beings that God created alongside mortal men. Consequently, the question might arise as to how the term “the angel of YHWH” could possible have been meant to distinguish one Person as having a human guise? Or in other words, how could the term “the Spirit of YHWH” be intended to contrast with the title “the angel of YHWH” given the fact that “angel” and “spirit” are understood as synonymous in common usage?

Here we must start with an obvious fact. The term “angel” is not really comparable to the term “man.” “Man” describes a class of creatures. But “angel” describes a job, activity, or role. Specifically, the term “angel” means “messenger.” This is true both with the underlying Hebrew word “mal’ak” (Strong’s No. 04397) and the underlying Greek word “aggelos” (Strong’s No. 32). Thus, this term does not describe a class of being, but a role.

As we will now demonstrate, the application of this term “angel” to the immortal class of creatures is developmental and by association. Originally, when the terms “the angel of YHWH” and “the Spirit of YHWH” were developed to differentiate between two Old Testament figures of YHWH, that associative titling had not yet developed. As a result, when the naming conventions “the angel of YHWH” and “the Spirit of YHWH” were first put into use, the terms “angel” and “spirit” were not synonyms as they are by the time of the New Testament.

First, the earliest title for the immortal class of creatures is not “angel” or “mal’ak” in the Hebrew. Instead, it is the word “keruwb” (Strong’s No. 03742). The first mention of such creatures as a category is in Genesis 3. In the early verses of this chapter, we find the first man and woman interacting with a being known as “the serpent,” but we can presume that this title may reflect his deceptive actions rather than his category of being. However, at the end of the same chapter, when God drove the first man and woman out of the garden of Eden, the text states that God placed “cherubims” there to guard the entrance of the garden. The word is plural and it is used in such a way as to indicate that it is referring to a class of beings.

Genesis 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Most importantly, we can see that the earliest identification of immortal creatures is not under the title “mal’ak” or “angel.”

Second, the term “mal’ak” or “angel” is applied to men frequently in the Old Testament. In Numbers 20:14 and 21:21, Moses sends men from Israel out as messengers. The Hebrew text calls them “mal’ak,” the Hebrew word for “angel.” Likewise, in Numbers 22:5 and 24:12, the pagan king Balak sends messengers to the prophet Balaam. Again, the Hebrew text calls them “mal’ak.” In Joshua 6:25, Rahab the prostitute hides the Israelite men sent as messnegers to her city. In this instance also, the Hebrew word is “mal’ak.” In fact, the Old Testament uses the Hebrew word “mal’ak” 92 times to refer to men. That’s 92 times out of a total of 197 times that the word “mal’ak” occurs in the Old Testament, which means that this term is applied to men almost half the times that it is used. Not to mention that another 71 of the occurrences of “mal’ak” are specifically references to the figure known as “the angel of YHWH.” This leaves only 34 times where “mal’ak” refers to immortal creatures in general, which is nearly 1/3 the amount that it is applied to men.

And even in the New Testament, where the term angel (or “aggelos” in the Greek) has largely come to designate the immortal creatures, the term is still applied to men at least 6 times.

Matthew 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?…10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger 32 before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger 32 before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Luke 7:24 And when the messengers 32 of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?…27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger 32 before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Luke 9:52 And sent messengers 32 before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers 32, and had sent them out another way?

Consequently, it is quite clear that both the Old and the New Testaments primarily understood the term “angel” to refer to the role or activity of a messenger that was at times carried out by men and at other times carried out by immortal spirits. While the New Testament uses this term quite frequently as a title for the immortal spirits, the Old Testament does not. This demonstrates the developmental application of this as a title for the immortal spirits. It was only by association after a history of occurrences where these beings were acting as messengers that the term “messengers” came to be a quick reference for these beings as a class of creatures.

Third, the figure known as “the angel of YHWH” does not acquire that title by association with immortal spirits. To the contrary, it would appear that the opposite is true. The application of the term “mal’ak” or “angel” to immortal spirits begins in the Old Testament because they too begin to act as messengers, just as he acts as a messenger. In fact, this is demonstrated by the very first application of the title “mal’ak” to the immortal spirit creatures, which occurs in Genesis 18-19. As we discussed during our main study, chapters 18-19 of Genesis recount the entire narrative concerning Sodom and Gomorrah. This narrative begins in chapter 18:1, when YHWH God visits Abraham accompanied by two other figures. As expected by our model, all three figures, including YHWH, are described by the text as appearing like “men.”

Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.

As Abraham talks with one of these men, it is clear from the text that he is YHWH. However, we will not recount the entire story here since we have already done so in our main study. To be brief, in verses 17-33, YHWH enters into a dialog with Abraham about his plans to investigate and destroy these cities. Near the beginning of this dialog, in verse 22, the text states, “And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” This statement not only once again refers to the other two figures with YHWH as men, but it also clearly identifies that the third man is YHWH.

Then, when the text concludes the dialog between YHWH and Abraham, chapter 19 begins. And verse 1 of chapter 19 states, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even.” Now, as a modern English audience, we read this verse and say, “Ah, so the two visitors with YHWH were angelic beings.” But this is imposing our modern perceptions onto the text. “Mal’ak” had been used already to refer to the figure known as the angel of YHWH in Genesis 16 and in that sense, it merely described his activity as a messenger. But up to this point in the book of Genesis, the term “mal’ak” has never been used to refer to the immortal class of spiritual beings. So, a Hebrew reader would not have understood the term “mal’ak” in Genesis 19:1 as a reference to what class of beings these two visitors were. Instead, the Hebrew reader would simply have understood that Genesis 19 was identifying these two figures as messengers. And after all, they were indeed messengers sent to Sodom to speak to Lot.

The identification of these two other figures in the immortal class of creatures is not indicated by the term “mal’ak.” Instead, it is indicated primarily in two ways. First, their nature is indicated by the fact that they are accompanying YHWH God. And second, their nature is indicated by their ability to perform the supernatural, such as striking the men of Sodom blind in chapter 19:11.

What we learn from this earliest application of the term “mal’ak” to immortal spirit creatures is this. That title was extended to them because they were associated with the messenger activities of the figure known as the angel of YHWH. The association was not one of nature but one of activity or role. Subsequent applications of this term to that class of beings are based upon this trend. Consequently, it is simply not the case that the term “angel” in the phrase “the angel of YHWH” would have indicated to Hebrew readers that this figure was to be likened to or associated with the class of immortal spirit creatures.

To summarize, as we can see, when the title “the angel of YHWH” was developed, the terms “angel” and “spirit” were not synonyms. The term angel simply denoted a messenger and it was predominantly used of human messengers in the Old Testament. And, to some extent, in accordance with this trend, it originally designated God visiting in the guise of a human messenger as well, just as our model outlines. The association of the terms “spirit” and “angel” as synonyms did not occur until later in history after the immortal spirits had begun to act as messengers more frequently. But initially, the titles “the angel of YHWH” and “the Spirit of YHWH” would not have been thought of as synonyms. Instead, one would have designated God’s frequent visitations in the humble guise of a man bearing instruction as a messenger would. And the other would have designated God’s visitations in the guise and operation of an immortal spirit being, just as we have outlined above.



The Title “Spirit” Properly Denotes Angelic Beings

There is more than can be said to demonstrate that the title “the Spirit of YHWH” was always meant to reflect God in the guise and operation of the spirits we commonly call angels. This additional demonstration comes when we try to identify exactly what a more proper, technical title for this class of beings might be, given the fact that “angel” simply denotes a role or activity, not a category of creatures.

If we want to identify a comparable word for “man,” we first have to understand something about the term “man” itself. The Hebrew word for “man” is “adam” (Strong’s No. 0120), which is intended to reflect a close relationship to the Hebrew word “adamah” (Strong’s No. 0127), which means, “ground or land.” (Both “adam” and “adamah” are derivatives of the Hebrew word “adam.” Strong’s No. 0119, which means “red.”) Most importantly, the reason for this title is explained very early in Genesis. Specifically, the title “man” is given to this class of beings because they are formed from the “ground” or soil. This is explicitly explained in Genesis 2:7.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man 0120 of the dust of the ground 0127, and breathed into his nostrils the breath 05397 of life; and man became a living soul.

This class of creatures was formed from the ground or “adamah” and so they are called man or “adam.” And into this class of creatures God breathed the breath of life, which in turn brought this creature to life. Consequently, this class of creatures is part earthen matter and part spirit or breath, as we will see below.

In light of these facts, if we want to find the comparable Biblical title for the class of creatures commonly called “angels,” the more appropriate choice is the term “spirit.” This is outlined in the scriptures.

Just as “adam” reflects the constitution from the “ground,” the term “spirit” likewise reflects the constitution of this class of creatures. The Hebrew term for “spirit” is “ruwach” (Strong’s No. 07307), which can alternately mean either “spirit” or “wind, breath.” This conceptual relationship between “ruwach” and “breath” in turn connects to the Hebrew word “nashamah” (Strong’s No. 05397), which is used in Genesis 2:7 to describe how God “breathed” into man “the breath of life.” Here the word for “breath” is “nashamah.” As we mentioned earlier, this phrase in Genesis 2:7 was meant to indicate that, although man’s body was formed from the ground, this class of creatures was also “spirit.”

Early on, the book of Numbers also attests to the fact that men are not only flesh but spirit also when it describes God as “the God of the spirits of all flesh.” By this phrase, both of the passages below attest to the fact that although they are flesh, men are also spirits.

Numbers 16:22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?

Numbers 27:16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation.

In fact, this concept of man as part spirit and part earthen matter is reflected just a few chapters after Genesis 2 in Genesis 6.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

In verse 3, God’s statement that his spirit will not always strive with man “for man is also flesh” is intended to denote that God’s spirit strove with the spirits of men, but that man was also comprised of a natural, mortal body from the ground. As such, God could limit the length of men’s lives severely to only one hundred and twenty years, as the text denotes. Thus, in this passage as well as in other details of the opening chapters of Genesis, we learn that man is mortal and that this mortality is connected to the composition of his body from the earthen matter or ground. And when a man’s body dies, his spirit lives on. The immortality of the spirit is indicated clearly in scripture. Consequently, immortality is tied to the term “spirit” and is figuratively represented by “wind” in the same way that mortality is tied to the term “adam” and is figuratively represented by the term “ground,” “earth,” (or perhaps more poetically, “clay”).

From these pieces, it becomes even clearer that the term “spirit,” not “angel,” is the proper designation for the immortal class of beings, whose name is derived from the wind similar to how man’s name is derived from the ground. This is only highlighted by the fact that the term “angel” only becomes associated with these immortal spirits developmentally sometime later.

Effectively, man was created part spirit and part mortal body but the creatures commonly known as “angels” are also spirits but in their entirety, so that even their bodies are spirit bodies, in contrast to man’s body which is regarded as mortal and natural. These facts are spelled out plainly in the New Testament.

In Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20, Jesus specifies that through the resurrection men become “equal to the angels.” The account in Luke also states that this specifically includes men becoming immortal as the angels are.

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as (5613) the angels (32) of God in heaven.

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as  (5613) the angels (32) which are in heaven.

Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels (2465); and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

The Greek terms underlying these statements highlight the emphasis. In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, the Greek word for “as” is the word “hos” (Strong’s No. 5613), which simply means “as, like, even as.” In Luke 20, the Greek terms for “equal to” and “angels” are really a single, compound word, “isaggelos” (Strong’s No. 2465). “Isoaggelos” is formed from the word “isos” (Strong’s No. 2470), which means “equal, in quantity or quality” and the word “aggelos” (Strong’s No. 32), which means “messenger” or “angel” and is here being used to refer to the immortal class of creatures. As a result, “isoaggelos” literally means “equal in quality to the angels.” And consequently, in plain language, Jesus himself is teaching that through the resurrection, men become equal to the immortal creatures commonly known as angels. And this lead leads directly to our next point.

When teaching on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul discusses the human body, both concerning its present form prior to the resurrection and concerning its form after it is resurrected.

1 Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

In fact, Paul’s comments here are a virtual treatise on the points we’ve been outlining. After asking the question concerning what kind of body the resurrected will have, Paul uses an illustration to explain that the resurrected body is a transformed and greater version of our natural body in the same way that a plant is a greater transformation from a seed.

1 Corinthians 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

As we will see, this one to one correspondence in which the current, mortal body is itself transformed, rather than being replaced with a substitute, is also reasserted in verses 42-44 below. In those verses, Paul writes that concerning the body that, “It is sown in corruption, dishonor, and weakness. It is raised in incorruption, glory, and power.” Here Paul makes it plain that the body, which is raised, is the same body that died. Through the resurrection, this same body is simply transformed.

However, after explaining in verses 36-38 that the resurrected body is simply a transformed version of our current body, Paul further explain that there are different kinds of bodies. The purpose of these comments is to identify our present body as only one of many different forms of matter. We notice that Paul lists not only living things such as beasts, fish, and birds, but also the kind of matter that stars are comprised of.

1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

As Paul continues his delineation of the different types of bodies, it is most relevant that Paul lists “spiritual bodies” right alongside these other types of bodies such as mortal bodies, planets, and stars. All of the other items in this category are physical things but in different states. According to Paul, this is how we should understand the spiritual body as well. It is a physical thing as is our current body. But it is in a different condition or state. And in the case of the spiritual bodies that result from the resurrection, they are a transformed version of our current physical body, simply in a different state than at present. 

We should not move over verse 44 too quickly. It is most important that Paul informs his audience in no uncertain terms that “there is a spiritual body.” There is a version of our bodies that is not just natural but spiritual, a version of our body that is suited to our immortal spirits, unlike the present version of our bodies, which are merely natural and mortal.

In Paul’s next series of statements, he asserts a point that we made earlier from the text of Genesis.

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Specifically, in verse 47, Paul explains that man “is of the earth” and is “earthly.” This is a reference back to Genesis 2:7, which states that God formed adam, or man, out of the dust of the adamah, or ground. However, we also stated that the Hebrew term for “spirit” also means “wind.” And, in that sense, the name of this category of creatures reflects a connection with the wind that is comparable to man’s connection to the ground. Of course, in a poetic sense, the wind is the substance of the heavens just as the dust is the substance of the ground.

Paul himself makes these connections in the text by stating that “the first man is of the earth…the second man is the Lord from heaven” and “as is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy…as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” It is interesting that Paul is making these statements immediately after verse 45 where he uses the word “spirit” to refer to the Lord and verse 46 where he twice uses the word “spiritual.” Like its Hebrew counterpart, the Greek word for “spirit” also directly relates to the idea of “wind.” The Greek term for “spirit” is “pneuma” (Strong’s No. 4151) and the Greek word for “spiritual” is “pneumatikos” (Strong’s No. 4152). Both of these terms are derived from the Greek word “pneo” (Strong’s No. 4154), which means, “to breathe, to blow, of the wind.” Effectively, Paul first uses two Greek words that relate to “wind” to describe a particular form of matter and then he describes that wind-like form of matter as being “of heaven” where winds roam comparable to the way that our dust-like current bodies are “of earth” where dust resides.

In addition, the Greek word that Paul uses for “natural” is “psuchikos” (Strong’s No. 5591). “Psuchikos” means, “of or belonging to breath.” Here, Paul is clearly reflecting back to Genesis 2. Moreover, he is clearly using “psuchikos” and “pneumatikos” in contrast to one another. The words are similar in meaning so we must understand that what Paul is contrasting is a matter of degree. One is a “breathed-into” body “of the soil or earth.” The other is so imbued with spirit that it can be described as “of the wind” rather than “of the earth” and “breathed into.”

There can be no doubt that Paul understood the two categories of created sentient beings in exactly the manner, which we described. One is called “adam” because its body is from the “adamah” or earth. The other is called “spirit” because its body is from the wind or heaven. This is important because it fundamentally demonstrates that the proper name for the immortal class of creatures is “spirit,” not angel.

In addition, in the following section of Paul’s comments, he describes that the resurrected body is transformed into a state that is no longer subject to corruption or decay and it is immortal.

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

In light of the fact that Paul has already identified that the resurrected body is the same body we currently have only in a transformed greater state, Paul’s statement that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” must be understood to refer to “mere flesh and blood.” That is to say, a body that is only flesh and blood and has not been transformed to spiritual as well cannot inherit the kingdom of God. And the reason for this is simple. The kingdom will continue forever. So, in order to live in that kingdom, we need bodies that are immortal and will continue forever as well.

And Paul’s comments in verses 51-54 again confirm the fact that our current bodies are transformed rather than replaced. Furthermore, his comments in verses 51-54 also confirm that it is specifically this transformation to an immortal condition, which is required in order for us to receive the unending kingdom. In verse 51, Paul describes how our current bodies will be “changed” rather than replaced. And in verses 52-54, Paul describes how our current bodies will “take on” the added traits of incorruptibility and immortality. Thus, it is clear that our current flesh and blood in its present condition is not sufficient but that our flesh and blood bodies will become sufficient when they are upgraded and transformed to a higher state of matter, which is immortal and incorruptible. This is the second way in the passage that Paul has confirmed the existence and description of spiritual bodies. They are physical, as our current bodies are, and they are immortal and incorruptible.

Lastly, we should note that Paul’s specific commentary on humans becoming immortal through the resurrection, of course, directly parallels Jesus’ own teaching on this topic from Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20. And when describing what our bodies will be like after the resurrection, Paul specifically contrasts the current “natural” body to a “spiritual body.” Moreover, this phrase “there is a spiritual body” is rendered in the present tense, indicating that such bodies already exist. No doubt this category of “spiritual bodies” includes Jesus Christ’s resurrected body. However, given the statements in Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20, it would also seem that the category of spiritual bodies pertains to angels’ bodies as well. After all, the spirit of a man is already immortal, as scripture plainly attests. It is only our body that is mortal. Therefore, in Jesus’ teaching, it is in the acquiring of an immortal body that we become equal in quality to the angels. Since we become equal in quality to the angels when we obtain an immortal body, this fact also informs us quite clearly that the angels do have bodies. Otherwise, Jesus’ comparison in Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20 would not be possible. They have immortal bodies. They have what Paul explains are spiritual bodies, bodies suited to endure for the immortal existence of spirits. (And we should not be surprised to find that angels have bodies, albeit bodies which are of a superior quality and attributes. After all, throughout scripture, we are told of angels touching things and even eating earthly food – Genesis 18:2, 7-8, 16, Genesis 19:1-3, 10, 16, Acts 12:7, Isaiah 6:6-7, Daniel 8:18, and Matthew 28:2.)

Consequently, the creatures known commonly as “angels” are seen to be entirely spirit, including their bodies while in contrast man was created part spirit and part “natural” or mortal with regard to his natural, mortal body. On this point, someone might ask, “What about Jesus’ statement in Luke 24, when he says that spirits do not have flesh and bone? Doesn’t that indicate that angels don’t have bodies?”

It is important to address this question. Once again we need to consider the components of the proposed model. Since humans are only part spirit, having mortal bodies, when the mortal human body dies, the human spirit becomes disembodied. Therefore, disembodied humans are also described by the title “spirit.” Consequently, the term spirit can refer either to those beings who are entirely spirit including their bodies or it can refer to deceased humans who exist as bodiless spirits. After all, at that point both angels and bodiless humans consist solely of spirit.

Scripture attests that at physical death, the spirit and the body are separated, at which point men exist as disembodied spirits. (Note: The word for “breath” in Psalms 146:4 below is “ruwach,” Strong’s No. 07307, which is the Hebrew term for “spirit.” The same word is used in Ecclesiastes 12:7, where it is in fact translated as “spirit.”)

Psalms 146:4 His breath 07307 goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit 07307 shall return unto God who gave it.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

We also see this fact attested to in two separate biblical narratives, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul finds a witch to communicate with the deceased prophet Samuel. The story describes how the witch does indeed raise the ghost of Samuel from within the earth. It is not that she has resurrected Samuel bringing his body back to life. Instead, in the narrative, she has simply brought up his disembodied spirit.

1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. 8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee…11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. 13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. 15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

Likewise, in Revelation, John describes seeing the souls of those who had been slain. At first, in chapter 6 they are before the altar of God in heaven awaiting their enemies to be defeated. But then, in chapters 19-20, their enemies have been defeated and they themselves have been resurrected.

Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Consequently, since the resurrection of these saints does not take place until chapter 20, their depiction in chapter 6 clearly constitutes the existence of their disembodied spirits. And the fact that disembodied humans are also called “spirits” informs how to properly understand Jesus’ statement to his disciples in Luke 24 after his resurrection.

Lu 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

When Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, they thought they were seeing “a spirit.” This is indicated plainly in verse 37. When the text says they “supposed that they had seen a spirit,” the word “spirit” is not being used as a synonym for an angelic being. It is being used to refer to a disembodied spirit. The disciples thought they were seeing Jesus in the same way that the witch in 1 Samuel 28 saw the prophet Samuel, as a spirit without a body. The text goes on to record how Jesus proved to them that he was not a disembodied spirit but, in fact, his body had been restored to him. To prove this, Jesus shows them his hands and feet, the very same hands and feet that had scars from the nails when he was crucified. And he also eats food.

Consequently, these statements by Jesus do not negate that through the resurrection he has become equal to an angel. Nor do they deny that the term “spirit” generally denotes the immortal creatures known commonly as “angels.” Jesus was certainly a spirit in the sense of being equal to the angels through the resurrection. But he was not a spirit in the sense of being a mere disembodied spirit of a man that is still dead. His statements only imply that the disembodied spirits of dead men don’t have bodies. His statements do not imply that angels don’t have bodies or that “spirit” or “spiritual” means “non-corporeal, without body, physicality, mass, or form, etc.”

Since Jesus’ statements in Luke 24 do not negate that angels have bodies, we are left with the conclusion established clearly by the rest of the scriptures presented above. Specifically, angels do have bodies, spiritual bodies, which are immortal. And more to the point, the proper name for the beings commonly called “angels” is “spirit” because they were created entirely of spirit, including their bodies. And perhaps equally important, we have also seen that the term “spirit” is the comparable counterpart for the term “man.” Consequently, the very use of the term “spirit” in the title “the Spirit of God” would very much reflect the perception of this figure of God as God in the guise of a spirit. In contrast, however, the use of the term “angel” in the title “the angel of YHWH” would not have associated that figure with the immortal spirits, especially not at the very early time when this title “the angel of YHWH” originated. Instead, the title “angel” only denoted his role as a messenger, a role that in the earliest and most frequent accounts he carried out in the guise of a man.

In conclusion, the title “the Spirit of YHWH” was developed to specifically delineate one figure was YHWH that visited in the guise of a spirit being. And the title “the angel of YHWH” was developed to specifically delineate another figure of YHWH that visited in the guise of a man bearing messages to mankind.


Overall History of the Holy Spirit’s Interactions

Now that we know the term “Spirit” in the title “the Spirit of YHWH” is meant to denote God visiting in the guise of the immortal spirits commonly called “angels,” we can proceed to further examine the overall history of the Third Person of the Trinity in terms of this guise.  In this segment, two things will be established. First, we will establish a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and how he relates to us by surveying the history of his activity in the scripture. And second, the concepts that we encounter as we trace the Holy Spirit’s interaction with men will further establish that the Third Person of the Trinity is indeed acting in the guise of the spirits commonly called “angels.”

This second fact can particularly be seen in the next segment, which will lists the common activities of the Holy Spirit side by side with the common activities of other spirits, both good and evil. In summary, the common activities of the Holy Spirit throughout both the Old and the New Testaments is identical to the general activities of the spirit beings we commonly call angels.


1A.) Evil Spirits Can Come Upon or Enter Into Men

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

1 Samuel 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Matthew 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:

Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Mark 5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

Luke 4:36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Acts 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 



1B.) The Holy Spirit Can Come Upon or Enter Into Men

Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open.

Judges 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.

Judges 11:29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon…32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.

Judges 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. 6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Judges 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.

Judges 15:14  And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

1 Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man…10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

1 Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1 Chronicles 12:18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

2 Chronicles 15:1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

2 Chronicles 20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

2 Chronicles 24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


2A.) Interaction with Evil Spirits Brings Foolishness, False Doctrine, and False Prophecy

1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

1 Kings 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

1 Kings 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

2 Chronicles 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

2 Chronicles 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

Isaiah 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

Hosea 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

Jeremiah 2:8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Jeremiah 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

Acts 8:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


2B.) Interaction of the Holy Spirit or other Godly Spirits Brings Wisdom, True Doctrine, and True Prophecy

Genesis 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do…33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt…38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.

Numbers 25:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. 26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

Deuteronomy 34:9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

1 Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man…10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

1 Samuel 19:20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

Nehemiah 9:30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

(Note: Even interaction with Gabriel, a created angel, brings skill and understanding, particularly concerning dreams and prophecy.)

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Ezekiel 11:5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.

Zechariah 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

(NOTE: The titles “the Spirit of truth” and “the Holy Spirit” are clearly meant in direct contrast to “the spirit of err,” “lying spirit,” ”evil spirit,” and “unclean spirit.”)

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 15:26 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 16:13 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.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Acts 2:17 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:

Acts 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 23:9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a  spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


3A.) Spirits in General Can Give Words to Speak

1 Kings 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

1 Kings 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

2 Chronicles 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

2 Chronicles 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.


3B.) The Holy Spirit Gives Men Words to Speak

Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open.

1 Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

2 Samuel 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, 2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

1 Chronicles 12:18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

2 Chronicles 15:1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

2 Chronicles 20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

2 Chronicles 24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

Acts 4: 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

2 Peter 3:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


4.) The Holy Spirit and Godly Spirits in General Can Remove Senses or Speech

Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground…10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Daniel 10:15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Mark 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;


5A.) The Holy Spirit and Spirits in General Can Heal and Perform Supernatural Works

(Note: The first passage below concerns an ordinary godly angel.)

Mark 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

(Note: The two passages indicate that men can feel when the power of the Spirit is within them.)

Luke 8:43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel 32 went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.


5B.) Evil Spirits Can Heal and Perform Supernatural Works

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.

Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.


5A.) Evil Spirits Can Stir Men’s Emotions and Suggest/Impress upon Men to Certain (Voluntary) Actions

1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked 05496 David to number Israel.

Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;


6A.) The Holy Spirit Can Stir Men’s Emotions and Suggest/Impress upon Men to Certain (Voluntary) Actions

1 Samuel 26:19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up 05496 against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:


6A.) Spirits in General Can Pick Men Up and Transport Them

Matthew 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.


6B.) The Holy Spirit Can Pick Men Up and Transport Them

1 Kings 18:11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.

2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces…16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.

Ezekiel 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me. 2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. 3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.”

Ezekiel 11:24 Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.

Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.

Ezekiel 43:5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.

John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.


7A.) The Holy Spirit Can Impart Physical Strength

Judges 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Judges 11:29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon…32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.

Judges 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. 6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Judges 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.

Judges 15:14  And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

Judges 16:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known…12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread…28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were  therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.


7B.) Spirits in General Can Impart Physical Strength

Mark 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength… 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

Not only are the specific activities of angels and the Holy Spirit comparable but in certain passages of scripture actually speak of the Spirit of God side by side with the general category of spirits. Below are two prominent examples from each testament of the Bible. This is just one other factor, which demonstrates that within scripture, it was understood that the term “the Spirit of God” was intended to convey God operating as one among the category of spirits we commonly call “angels.”

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

As we can see, except for instigating life, such as during the incarnation or even the resurrection, there isn’t a single activity of the Holy Spirit that we don’t see other spirits doing to a lesser capacity. This demonstrates not only that the Third Person of the Trinity is operating in the guise of the spirits we call angels, but also that he is God given the fact that his capacity in these matters exceeds theirs and the fact that he uniquely possesses the very power of life within him, which is a trait the angels do not have.

This leads us to our next point. While the list of angel’s activities and the Holy Spirit’s activities is virtually identical, there are differences in degree regarding two aspects.

First, the Holy Spirit is clearly shown to be far more powerful with regard to these activities. For example, other spirits may be able to predict the future, but their prophecies are either vague or outright false, while the Holy Spirit is always precise and accurate. And, while both the Holy Spirit and other spirits can enter into men, the Holy Spirit is able to cast out the other spirits, which also demonstrates his superior prowess over other spirits – see Matthew 12:28, 1 John 4:1-4. Further examples of the difference in power might be cited from the case of Daniel in contrast to the wise men of Babylon and Moses whose miracles overpowered the wise men of Egypt.

Second, evil spirits are oppressive, at times even taking control as ultimately seen in the case of possession. In contrast, while he may act to persuade and even stir emotions, the Holy Spirit does not override human will. This fact is demonstrated by scripture’s assertions that men do resist and grieve the Holy Spirit. And it is also demonstrated by Paul’s assertions that although it is the Spirit who enables prophecy, control is retained by the men themselves – see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. Thus, the Holy Spirit always acts cooperatively, and this cooperation is further facilitates by the likely fact that men can feel when the Spirit of God is upon them to act supernaturally just as Jesus did – see 1 Corinthians 14:5-33, 37, 2 Timothy 1:7.


Closing Comparisons: The Word and the Spirit

In this closing segment, we would like further explore the history and role of the Third Person of the Trinity by comparing his activities with those of the Second Person of the Trinity.

First, we recall from Jesus’ own words that the Holy Spirit is considered “another advocate” (John 14:16). Here, Jesus is clearly speaking of himself as the first advocate and the Holy Spirit as a second advocate, a counterpart of sorts. When we reflect on the Word’s own history throughout the Old Testament in the office of the angel or messenger of YHWH, this comment from Jesus’ becomes quite plain. As indicated explicitly in John 14:28 and John 16:7 and as reflected in Luke 19:11-15, Acts 1:8-11, Acts 3:21, and elsewhere, after his resurrection, Jesus was going to ascend to heaven and remain there for some time until his return. Thus, his visitations of men, which frequent the Old Testament, would cease. Consequently, he would no longer operate in the role of the messenger or angel of YHWH. This would have left men without such a member of the Godhead to interact with. However, the Third Person of the Trinity was sent to fill this post. This is what was meant by another advocate. After the time of the Word’s ascension to heaven, the Third Person of the Trinity would replace the Second Person of the Trinity as God’s interactive messenger and visitor to men. And this is, of course, why we see the Holy Spirit rather than the Word referred to by the title, “the angel of YHWH” in the New Testament, just as we discussed during our main study.

Second, once we understand the Holy Spirit as a counterpart to the Word, we can better understand on what level they are counterparts. And again, the counterpart status surrounds the fact that in both testaments (and ultimately through the incarnation) one advocate visits men as a man and the other advocate visits men in the guise of the spirit beings we commonly call “angels.” They are counterparts in this regard, one as a man the other as an angelic spirit.

There is also addition evidence that it is this “as-a-man” vs. “as-a-spirit” relationship, which distinguishes the activities of the Second and Third Person of the Trinity. After all, the main functions of the Word and the Spirit are the same. It is no coincidence that in John 14:6 the Word refers to himself as “the truth” and just 11 verses later, he refers to the Third Person of the Trinity as “the Spirit of truth.” In the first case, you have “the Man of truth” in Second Person of the Trinity who has become a man and in the second case you have “the Spirit of truth” in the Third Person of the Trinity who operates in the guise of a spirit. Both are God, for God cannot lie and is therefore “the truth” (Numbers 23:19 and Titus 1:2). Both are “the truth,” but one is operating as a man and the other as a spirit, thereby exemplifying the truth to both men and angelic spirits. Ultimately, they share the same essential role. They are counterparts in terms of the guises that they have taken on.

This pattern is also seen concerning the role of intercessor or mediator as well. While we might think of this role as primarily that of the Word, the scripture attests that the Holy Spirit functions as our intercessor to the Father as well. Hebrews 7:25 and Romans 8:34 testify to the Word’s intercession before the Father. But just 8 verses earlier in the very same chapter, Romans 8:26-27 testify that the Spirit also makes intercession for us before the Father. In fact, when Paul describes Jesus’ intercession for us in Romans 8:34, he even uses the word “also,” saying “Christ…also maketh intercession.” This is due to the fact that he has already ascribed this activity to the Spirit. 

Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:26 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. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

We might also notice that when Hebrews 7:22-25 refers to Jesus’ intercession, it specifically does so with his own humanity in view. Verses 24-25 testify, “But this man, because he continueth forever…he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The same is true concerning Paul’s comments in 1 Timothy 2:5, which likewise asserts Jesus’ role as a mediator between God and men. This can be seen in the phrase, “one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.”

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Once again, we see that Jesus’ unique position as a mediator interceding between God and men concerns his humanity. Thus, Ephesians speaks of our access to the Father as through both Jesus Christ and the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ…18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Consequently, once again we that the Second Person of the Trinity and the Third Person of the Trinity share the same essential function. What distinction is there between them with regard to these essential functions? One carries them out as God as a man and the other as God as a spirit. They are counterparts, carrying out the same essential roles but under the different guises of the two categories of sentient creatures, men and angelic spirits.

Lastly, we turn our attention to speculation concerning one other nuance of the counterpart relationship between the Second and the Third Person of the Trinity (with regard to the way they interact with creation). This is hinted from the very beginning of scripture. One announces and works to bring about the will of God and the other seems to provide the invigorating force to accomplish the task. In Genesis, the Word speaks “Let us make man” and he forms man’s body from the dust (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7). But it is the Spirit who would have breathed life into man (Genesis 2:7). (The idea that it was the Spirit who breathed into Adam is also indicated by the comparison of Adam and Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:45 in combination with role of the Holy Spirit in making Christ “a quickening spirit” through the resurrection.) The Word announces the incarnation ahead of time in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:10-14) and it is the Word who becomes incarnate to accomplish that task (John 1:14). But it is the Spirit who overshadows Mary, causing her see to conceive without a father (Luke 1:35). It is the Word who comes to preach the message and to heal the sick during his life on earth and yet it is the Spirit who empowers him to do both (Luke 4:18-19). It is the Word who speaks the command to cast out devils, but it is the Spirit who empowers him to do so (Mark 1:23-27, 34, 39, Matthew 12:28.) It was the Word who offered himself as a sacrifice to God, but it was the Spirit who gave him strength to do this (Hebrews 9:14). It was the Word that was resurrected from death, but it was the Spirit who raised him (Romans 8:11, 1 Peter 3:18). It was the Word who purchased redemption for us (Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:13-14, Hebrews 9:12, 15) including the resurrection of our bodies (Romans 8:23), but it is the Spirit who resurrects us (Ezekiel 37:11-14, Romans 8:11). It is the Word who came to make the truth known to us (John 1:17) to us and authored our obedience and faith through his example (Hebrews 5:9, 12:1-2). Yet it is by the Holy Spirit that we are daily reminded (John 14:26) and provided strength and encouragement to follow the Word’s instructions and example (Romans 8:13, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 3:16).

Through these elements outlined in the paragraph above, we also deepen our understanding of our own relationship with the Holy Spirit. We see what his role and function toward mankind is. We see how he relates to us. And in knowing that, we know better how to relate to him.

This concludes the section of our addendum exploring the overall history of the interactions of the Third Person of the Trinity, including how he has related to the Second Person of the Trinity and how he relates to mankind. More information on how the Holy Spirit relates to us under the New Covenant can be found specifically in our four-part series entitled, “The Role of the Holy Spirit” under our Church Ethic section and more generally in our studies on other doctrinal topics.