What Scripture Says About Salvation
A Bible Study by Fred Kenison
Monograph 16: The Origin of the Holy Spirit
One source for the holy spirit was identified in Matthew 3:16:
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him."
The definite article is used both with spirit and with God, which signifies that the spirit, to pneuma, is a specific spirit, and the words tou Theou, the God, are in the genitive showing possession. "The spirit" belongs to "the God," the revealed God of the New Testament. It finds its essence in him.
Notice that the spirit did not have the appearance of a dove, but its descent was like that of a dove. Jesus was the only one said to have actually seen this event.
John 1:32 says,
"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him."
In Matthew 3:16, the word saw comes from eiden, which refers to physical sight. In John 1:32, the word saw comes from tetheamai, which emphasizes an observer, or spectator, who looks at an event with interest. These are two different words, representing two different aspects of the same event, reported by two different people.
In Ephesians 4:30, Paul advised men to
"grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
The article is used three times in this verse: with "spirit," with "holy," and with "God." The first identifies it as a certain spirit. The second is a way of emphasizing that this spirit is "holy." The third shows that The God is the one who possesses it, or from whom it emanates.
I Thessalonians 4:8 says,
"He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit."
It is The God who is the source of his spirit, and it is The God who gives the spirit to us; we do not earn it. As depicted here, The God is a giving God, and men are the recipients of his grace.
I Corinthians 2:11-12 says,
"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
This scripture reveals several things: (1) the spirit of man is the intelligible part of man, and knows the things of man; (2) God's spirit is that part which knows the things of God; (3) we have not received the spirit of the world [does the world also have a spirit or is this a personification?]; (4) the spirit of God is to show us what God has freely given to us.
The words freely given come from charisthenta, an aorist passive participle, which means that these things have already been given to us, that we have already received them, and the purpose of the spirit is to show us that. But, to stay on the subject at hand, the spirit is tou, of, The God.
I John 4:1-3 says,
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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."
This scripture plainly tells us that the spirit which is "out of" God is the one that confesses Jesus Christ "is come" in the flesh.
The words is come are from eleluthota, a perfect participle, which means that the process has come to completion and the effects continue. Jesus came in the flesh and is still in the flesh, and any spirit (or any prophet) which does not confess this fact is an antichrist.
John wrote some very strong words which are refuted by most churches today. It is more common to hear preachers proclaim that Jesus was God (which would make Jesus a spirit and not in the flesh), and then they claim that anyone who denies that is of the devil. They would be much wiser to carefully study these words from John.
The prophet (spirit) which confesses Jesus is come and is still in the flesh, is the spirit out of God. Jesus, himself, especially emphasized that he was in the flesh, which was why he had Thomas inspect his hands and his side. Jesus wanted the disciples to be perfectly satisfied that he was flesh and bone, and not a spirit.
The scriptures clearly teach that the spirit has its origin in The God, belongs to The God, and comes from The God.
# "The spirit" belongs to "the God," the revealed God of the New
Testament; it finds its essence in him.
# The spirit did not have the appearance of a dove, but its descent was
like that of a dove. Jesus was the only one said to have actually seen
# It is The God who is the source of the spirit, and it is The God who gives
the spirit to us; men do not earn it.
# The purpose of the spirit is to show us the things we have already
received from God.
# John wrote some very strong words. He said that Jesus came in the
flesh and is still in the flesh, and any spirit (or any prophet) which does
not confess this fact is an antichrist.
© 2009, Fred Kenison and Merrill Douglass. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.