God: His Unity, The Spirit

The Mystery Of The Holy Spirit

The concept of One God who is revealed by three separate persons is not easy for many people to understand. This is most often due to our thought that three can never be one. We are thinking mathematically, God is thinking in terms of unity. The three who are One God are One because of their complete unity of mind, purpose, and will.

We see the three as individual persons in various places throughout the Bible. One of the most visual is found in the Book of Revelation, chapter 5.

  • Verse 1: Him who sat on the throne (Father).
  • Verse 6: A Lamb in the midst of the throne (Son).
  • Verse 6: The Spirit from within the throne (Spirit).
  • Verse 7: The Lamb taking the scroll from “Him who sat on the throne.”

John sees just one throne in heaven; there is only One God sitting on a single throne. We see a Lamb coming from the “midst of the throne of God.” We see Him who sat on the throne; having a scroll in His right hand. We see the Holy Spirit described as the Seven Spirits, also from within the throne.

1. And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” 6. And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.  ~Revelation 5:1-7

However, we might struggle to understand One God as Three Persons. Here, we see all Three in Heaven, seated on a single throne. Once again: Think in terms of unity, not numbers.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit At The Jordan River

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. … Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  ~Matthew 3:13-17

Some people have a problem with the doctrine of the Trinity because they say that the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. This is the same argument that those who do not believe in the Rapture make; because the word Rapture is not found in the Bible, they conclude that the doctrine of the Rapture is not taught in the Bible.

I am not sure why someone needs to see the words Trinity or Rapture in order to believe that these principles are found in the Bible. The word “Grandfather” is also not found in the Bible, but we see examples of many grandfathers in the scriptures.

The Lamb, The Dove, The Voice

When we see Jesus, the Son, at the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit descending upon the Him in the form of a Dove, and the voice of the Father speaking from Heaven: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, what else would we refer to these three as, but a Trinity?

The word Trinity means three-in-one. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and these three are One God. Whether or not we can comprehend such a concept with our limited human minds, is irrelevant. The fact remains: this is the truth as it is declared in the Bible.

The Holy Spirit Is God

The Holy Spirit—who is always invisible to us, yet always present, is not declared or recognized. The Holy Spirit is observed as a part of the Lamb, described as “the Seven Spirits” (seven is completeness). It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to exalt and magnify Jesus, not to exalt Himself. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is always spoken of as God.

In Acts chapter 5, Peter describes the Holy Spirit as a person, separate from the Father and the Son, but also as God. As Ananias misrepresents his gift, Peter tells Him that he has lied to the Holy Spirit who is God.

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  ~Acts 5:3-4

The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit

Always in the background and never taking a place of prominence, it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus and the Father. He is One who is a helper, intercessor, and seeks to come alongside the believer to assist in their new life with Jesus. To the unbeliever, the Holy Spirit comes to convict the conscience and draw the unsaved to Jesus.

The Holy Spirit Groans

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  ~Romans 8:26

When Jesus saw the suffering of this world, He often groaned within Himself at seeing our suffering. When Jesus was brought the man who was deaf and unable to speak, Jesus signed at seeing his suffering.

Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed…  ~Mark 7:34

When Jesus saw the suffering of Lazarus’s family and friends at his death, He “groaned in the Spirit,” (John 11:33).

When we feel the burdens and difficulties of this life, the Spirit groans within in us as we suffer. Then He does much more that this, He intercedes on our behalf before the Father.

The Holy Spirit Intercedes

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  ~Romans 8:26-27

The ministry of the Holy Spirit as He dwells within those who love Jesus and have taken Him as their Savior, is to intercede on our behalf as we sit before the Lord and groan within ourselves—not knowing what to pray and sometimes even when we are too sad or weak to pray.

The Holy Spirit Fills The Believer

It was during the arrival of the Holy Spirit in Acts, chapter 2, that Peter and all the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. From that moment on, Peter became a different man.

When God poured out the Holy Spirit on the newly birthed church of Jesus Christ, the men who were formerly controlled by their flesh became men under the control of the Spirit. Peter who was called Simon, meaning shifting sand, was transformed into Petros, the little rock (little Jesus). It is interesting that Jesus called Simon by the name “Peter,” even before he became a rock.

Men and women do not change themselves permanently and become better people by their own efforts. When a person is Born Again by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit living within a person can affect his life, forever. The power of a changed life by coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ, is unmistakable evidence that no one can deny. There are millions of men and women, like myself, who were entirely different people before they met Jesus, who are today living new lives of freedom and power.

Peter was a man who was controlled by impulsiveness, anger, and pride. As He comes under the power of the Holy Spirit, he is a changed man. From that moment, we see a bold Peter who is no longer in fear of his life. After Jesus rose from the dead, Peter writes in great confidence—confirming that he knows for certain that Jesus was crucified, died, and then rose again.

The Holy Spirit Predicted

Our journey into understanding the ministry of Jesus and the purpose of His coming to earth, is understood by the prophet Isaiah. He writes that when the Messiah comes, those whom He saves; He will pour out His Spirit upon them. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of those who believe in Jesus, is the power that allows them to live the new life that He has created inside us.

Throughout the Bible, the Spirit is seldom recognized, seldom glorified, not often given the true acknowledgment that He deserves. It is His purpose to bring glory to Jesus and the Father. It is His presence in the world that make salvation possible for any person. If it were not for the efforts of the Spirit to speak to the hearts of people, no one could be saved. It is because He does seek to convince and convict each one of us of our need to receive Jesus, that any one of us has entered into eternal life.

Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would pour out the Holy Spirit on all those who believe in Him.

Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring…”

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

John 20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The Birth of Jesus’ Church

It was on the 50th day, after Jesus was offered as the Passover Lamb; that Pentecost was celebrated. Jesus waited until this specific time to pour out the Holy Spirit on His Church. It was this amazing power which came upon every person who had professed their faith in Jesus as their Messiah; which gave each believer the ability to live the life that Jesus had called them to.

Acts 1:5 “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

The mark of one who is truly saved is the Holy Spirit living within. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no salvation; there is no power; no spiritual life; no eternal life.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

The Holy Spirit enables us to do things which are otherwise impossible for us to achieve. We can boldly stand before people and tell them about the wonderful things which Jesus has done in our life and have that message empowered by the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is behind the words and actions of our life, what we say and do has amazing results in the lives of the people whom we come in contact with.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon a person for a limited period of time, to do a specific work for God. After Jesus died and was raised from the dead, the Holy Spirit came upon every believer who repented of their sins and received Jesus as their Savior. The Holy Spirit now abides inside every believer; forever. He will never leave us, though at times He is greatly grieved when we are actively involved in sin and disobedience.

The Holy Spirit Seals The Believer For The Day Of Redemption

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The idea here is that the Holy Spirit, in us, is the marker or tracking device; the deposit within us and the guarantee of the Lord’s promise that He will come for us when He returns.

If we back up one verse in Isaiah Chapter 44 to verse 2, we gain an interesting insight into the prophet’s mind at the time he wrote these stunning verses about the birth of the church, in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 44:2 Thus says the Lord who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.”

The term Jeshurun is a reference from Deuteronomy 32:15, 33:5, and 33:26, where this name is defined as the Upright One. As Jeshurun is the Upright One, conversely, Jacob was the deceiver. At the end of Jacob’s life, God changed his name to Israel, “one governed by God.” It was the power of the Holy Spirit that came upon Jacob that changed him from a deceiver to one who is governed or controlled by God.

Here, Isaiah compares the uprightness of Jeshurun, who is guided by God’s Spirit, with Israel who was controlled by his flesh like Jacob.

When God poured out the Holy Spirit on the newly birthed church of Jesus Christ, the men who were formerly controlled by their flesh became men who were under the control of the Spirit. Peter who was called Simon, meaning shifting sand, was transformed into Petros, the little rock (little Jesus). It is interesting that Jesus called Simon by the name Peter even before he became a rock.

Men and women do not change themselves permanently and become better people by the programs of man. However, when a person is Born Again by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit living within a person can affect his life forever. The power of a changed life by coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ, is incontrovertible evidence that no one can deny. There are countless millions of men and women, like myself, who were entirely different people before they met Jesus, who are today living new lives of freedom and power.

Peter’s Interpretation Of Joel’s Prophecy

When the prophet Joel penned the verse in chapter 2 of his famous prophecy of the last days, we were all surprised to learn that this new Spirit-filled Peter declared that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the first day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were present and Jesus’ church was born.

Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Peter not only attributed verses 28 and 29 of Joel Chapter 2 to the birth of the church, he also ascribed the entire text of Joel’s prophecy to the birth of the church.

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.”

Verses 19-21 would appear to be applicable, only to the seven-year Tribulation Period; Peter describes this verse as applicable to the birth of the church in Acts Chapter 2.

Hermeneutics: The Pesher

Today, we call the technique that Peter used in interpreting the Old Testament prophecies of Joel Chapter 2, in light of their New Testament fulfillment, a Pesher. This term comes from the Hebrew word, peser, meaning: interpretation. In the peser interpretation and application of an Old Testament prophecy, the importance is placed on the fulfillment, not on the exegesis of the prophecy’s technical points which it is interpreting.

It is this technique, whereby we can rightly attribute Old Testament prophecies which do not, at first glance, seem to be attributable to the Messiah—as applicable to Him. As we compare their text with the New Testament verses which appear to be a fulfillment of those Old Testament predictions, we learn that they have a valid application. The Pesher is a method of interpretation, which I have made use of in several instances where I could not see the Messianic application of certain verses, which I included in these hundreds of prophecies—until after I gave further diligent study. Once an Old Testament verse becomes a possible candidate for Messianic application, a search must be made to find whether there is a New Testament counterpart—which can be rightly attributable to the Old Testament verse in question. In many of the Old Testament verses which are included in this book, this was this exegetical technique that I used. I came to the conclusion that these obscure verses, did in fact, have a New Testament Fulfillment; therefore, they must be a Messianic prophecy.

In Peter’s sermon, in Acts Chapter 2 verse 17, the Apostle uses the phrase, And it shall come to pass in the last days…, whereas Joel actually said: (Joel 2:28) And it shall come to pass afterward

By changing afterward to in the last days, Peter is using the Pesher formula to interpret Joel’s meaning of his prophecy. In the Septuagint manuscripts of MT and LXX, afterwards is ahare ken, meta tauta. This is the same Greek phrase used in the Book of Revelation Chapter 4, where after speaking about the church and the things of the church, John states in chapter 3: After these things (meta tauta—after the things of the church, John was Raptured to heaven to see the visions Jesus showed him).

Joel was prophesying regarding the last days and specifically, events that would concern the coming of the Messiah; His ministry and the events of His wrath, as described in the Book of Revelation. These events will occur during the seven-year Tribulation Period.

We learn a great deal about the way that the early Christian leaders interpreted Old Testament prophecy, and the manner in which we should also interpret certain Old Testament prophecies, when seeking their New Testament fulfillment. Peter understood that what Joel had predicted was what God had said. Although at times what God has said through the Old Testament prophet is quite mysterious and puzzling, when we also search for a possible New Testament fulfillment as I have done; we see the deeper meaning and revealed mystery of these Old Testament scriptures.

I realize that for many, this will be a difficult concept to grasp or accept; but this is nevertheless the correct method for interpreting many of these prophecies of the Messiah which are found in the Old Testament. I am in good company with Peter who, on the day of Pentecost, used this method in interpreting Joel’s prophecy, in applying what Joel said—to the birth of the church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

One thing is certain about what Peter interpreted from Joel’s prophecy: From the birth of the church, in Acts Chapter 2—when the Holy Spirit was given to each person who came into a saving relationship with the Messiah; these events began the Last Days that Joel is speaking of. The days in which you and I are now living, are in greater respect, these Last Days. We are so much closer today to the appearance of Jesus for His church than we could possibly imagine. One of my constant thoughts in writing this book was that I may not finish it before the Lord comes for us at the Rapture. This is the reality that we live in today. The coming of the Lord was described as, near, 2,000 years ago. As I write, and you read these words—today, how much closer we are to His coming—even at the door.

One of the questions regarding Peter’s interpretation of Joel’s prophecy is how to apply such terms as: I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

As we have seen, there is often an earlier and later fulfillment in many Old Testament prophecies, such as Isaiah Chapter 61. Moreover, this appears to also be true of Joel’s prophecy of the last days. Certainly, when the sun was obscured at noon, on the day Jesus was crucified, and the sun was turned to darkness; this is a reasonable application of Joel’s prophecy to the day Jesus died, without any incorrect application of this prophecy.

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.

It should be noted that the full moon which occurred during the time—after Jesus was crucified, is described as, blood red. This event may have been caused by an atmospheric phenomenon which also obscured the sun from noon to 3 p.m., on the afternoon Jesus was crucified.

Colin J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington were able to reconstruct the events that occurred during the darkness that occurred while Jesus was being crucified. By their calculations, a Blood Moon occurred from about 6:20 pm to 6:50 pm at the start of the Jewish Passover. This would confirm both parts of Joel’s prophecy that Peter declared as fulfilled the day Jesus was crucified.

The birth of the church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, were a direct, earlier fulfillment of Isaiah’s prediction in chapter 44:3, which is the subject of this Old Testament Prophecy from Isaiah. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the text of these verses when He birthed His church on the day of Pentecost.

Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring…”

Jesus Predicts The Coming Of The Holy Spirit

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. The Bible teaches that the Living God, is One God—who has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For a detailed study on this subject, see the chapter: A Trinity

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to all human beings who Jesus Christ is and the purpose for His coming into the world. Once Jesus took the body of a man, He could no longer be everywhere present at the same time, as long as He remained on earth in the form of a man. It was the task of the Holy Spirit to continue the work that Jesus began, after He returned to Heaven.

Jesus told the disciples to “wait” for this promise of the Holy Spirit, at Jerusalem.

Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The coming of the Holy Spirit marked the birth and beginning of Jesus’ church. This event and the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy of the Holy Spirit, are recorded for us in the Book of Acts.

Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Jesus made fourteen of these predictions while He was on earth. This description of the Holy Spirit sent to the world after Jesus is crucified and resurrected from the dead, is the eleventh of the prophecies of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit; To Convict and Lead

The two primary purposes of the Holy Spirit are to convict the world of sin and our need for salvation.

…I will send the Holy Spirit to you and when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8 (RCR)

There is one extraordinary piece of evidence that resides inside the heart of every human being that allows them to know that God exists; our conscience. Very often, when a software designer creates a program, they install a “backdoor” as a secret way of bypassing normal authentication in a product, computer system, crypto-system or algorithm. In a sense, the designer leaves evidence of himself in what he has created. In the same way, the Bible describes an identifiable piece of evidence that has been placed inside us that allows our mind to know that God exists.

God has put eternity in their hearts…  Ecclesiastes 3:11

what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  Romans 1:19

Has God placed a knowledge of Himself inside our heart? Either this is true or it is not. If this fact about God is not true then we cannot trust all the other things that God has said. Those who claim that there is no evidence for God, have suppressed this internal knowledge in order to allow themselves to live their lives without God. 

…men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  Romans 1:18

Each one of us have the capacity to suppress our conscience and not allow it to govern our life. Those who continually ignore their conscience—sear it, in the same way that repeated exposure to heat or fire can damage the nerves in our hand and suppress our ability to feel.

…having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  1 Timothy 4:2

Those who maintain that God does not exist, and continue to suppress their conscience in regards to guilt over sin and their need for salvation, become immune to the effects of the Holy Spirit and His gentle voice. Once a person reaches this point, it is nearly impossible for them to believe and be saved.

God has given us a conscience to bear witness to our heart that sin is wrong and we need a way to free ourselves from the guilt that we feel. This “software,” that God placed into our heart is the method whereby He is able to speak to our heart and draw us to Himself. The Holy Spirit is the agent which uses this “back door” to convict us of sin and need for salvation. Once a person has removed access to this software that God has installed into us by continually ignoring the Holy Spirit, He can no longer reach us and it will become impossible for us to be saved.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart... (NLT)  ~Ecclesiastes 3:11


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God: As Creator