Summer 2017: Defining God Part 4
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Summary: In this series of articles, Defining God, we have been looking at the plain teachings of the Word of God to help us understand the issue of the ‘Godhead’ or what some call the ‘Trinity’. This is essentially our understanding of who the Father is, who Jesus is and now who the Holy Spirit is as a person.

In this series of articles, Defining God, we have been looking at the plain teachings of the Word of God to help us understand the issue of the ‘Godhead’ or what some call the ‘Trinity’. This is essentially our understanding of who the Father is, who Jesus is and now who the Holy Spirit is as a person. I would like to pause for a moment as we begin a discussion about the Holy Spirit to clarify a very important point regarding this whole topic. One that I believe we cannot neglect to remember in our study of God. The point is simply this . . . we are mortal beings, without the conceptual capacity to understand all that there is to know about God. This is clearly stated in Job 11:7. “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?”

The answer implied by this question is “no”. It is the correct answer. The words ‘find out’ are also accurately translated ‘discover’. This does not mean that we cannot come to know God by looking for Him, for we are promised that if we seek Him we shall find Him, for in that sense the Bible is speaking of the revelation that God is, and that we can have a saving relationship with Him. What the passage in Job does indicate is that we do not have the capacity to define God nor understand His ways, which is similarly expressed in Isaiah 55:8-9:

For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We shall never ‘know’ God, in terms of being able to define God. Those who claim that this ‘knowing’ God is to be able to define God, are leaping out into a place that we as created beings are incapable of going. We are to know God in terms of knowing His character, and in terms of having a personal relationship of trust and faithfulness to Him as our Creator and Savior. But for us to vainly assume that we can understand how God is made up is, well, just that, vain. It is a presumptuous endeavor. We have been given understanding only to the extent that the Scriptures leave with us. With that in mind then let us examine what the Scriptures say regarding the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. What revelation of the Holy Ghost have we been given in the Word? Let us begin with Jesus’ words to His disciples:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [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. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. [John 14:16-18]

Jesus states that He Himself will pray the Father and the Father will then give you ‘another Comforter’. This is an important point in our discussion for a couple of reasons. First, Jesus calls the Holy Ghost ‘another’ Comforter. This word ‘another’ is the Greek word “állos” which is a primitive word meaning ‘else, that is different’ [def. from Strongs Concordance]. Clearly Jesus is indicating that the Holy Ghost is a distinct Person, or another Person. He does this clearly by using the pronoun ‘He’ or ‘Him’ in the discourse about the Holy Ghost. And it is not only here that Jesus refers to the Holy Ghost with a distinct personal pronoun, We see it again in John 14:26:

But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

And again in John 16:7-15:

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. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, [that] shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show [it] unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

Notice the supplied highlighted personal pronouns Jesus used to indicate the Holy Ghost. If the Holy Ghost were not a person, and individual, why would Jesus speak of Him as such? Are we unsatisfied with the words of our Savior? Do we call Jesus mistaken? God forbid! We must be satisfied with Jesus’ own very clear description of the Holy Ghost as an individual person of the Godhead. It is too clear to misinterpret!

We will now look at a few instances in Scripture that speak of all three Persons of the Godhead at the same time but distinctly separate:

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

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. [Luke 3:21-22]

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall may show [it] unto you. [John 16:14-15]

Clearly there are three distinct Persons spoken of in these passages, the Holy Ghost being one of them. He must be a distinct Person or else He could not be ‘another’ nor could He do what the Scriptures speak of when it says:

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. [Romans 8:27]

Here the Holy Spirit is said to have a mind, His own mind. The word ‘phrónema’ from the Greek means – “what one has in the mind, thoughts, purposes”. This clearly indicates that the Holy Spirit has His own mind and is not just the shared mind of the Father and the Son. It is in this way that the Holy Ghost intercedes for us, for how could He intercede if He were only the presence or mind of the one to whom He was interceding to? I know that last statement may seem somewhat confusing but it only goes to show how confusing the notion is that the Holy Ghost is not a person with individuality, but only the mind of God Himself. Then God would be having a conversation with Himself, trying to intercede for us to Himself by Himself. This is nonsensical. The Bible is clear on the things that pertain to life and Salvation. God has not given us a complete picture of who He is or how we must understand the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He has given us what we know, that the there are three divine beings in Heaven striving for your salvation. It is in the simplest of passages that we may find our boundaries, our clearest lines of understanding. Jesus states clearly that the Holy Ghost is ‘He’ which will guide you into all truth, it is ‘He’ that will convict you of sin, righteousness and judgment, it is ‘He’ from whom you will receive power and gifts. To move away from a plain statement by Jesus is just not wise.

In fact it would be considered error. I wish to conclude by restating my concern from the beginning of this article. We have not the capacity as created, mortal beings to define God. This has never been asked, nor required of us. There are times when we feel as though we are attempting to tread down a path that is forbidden ground. The reality is that God has asked us to know Him and recognize Him by His character. We are to reveal God’s character not His person to the world around us. It is God’s character that wins hearts. It was the living example of God’s character in the person of Jesus Christ that purchased our salvation and exampled God’s true character to the angels and the worlds. Let us study deeper into the beautiful character of our Lord, our Savior, and our God.

Joel Kratzke, delivered from the life of a bartender and an alcoholic, brought through the confusion of modern day Pentecostalism, convicted to make a stand for the ruth of the Word of God, called into the ministry with a burden to reach others that need to hear the Truth, a graduate of AFCOE, Pastor Joel Kratzke brings a unique perspective as he presents the Three Angels Messages to people across the United States and Canada. Joel lives in MN with his wife Valerie and their two children Victoria and Jeremiah.

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