Monday, January 26, 2015

Explaining "Holy Spirit"

Someone wrote to our website to ask us one simple question:  What is the Holy Spirit!

YIKES!  It would have been easier to explain the Pythagorean Theorem or the laws of quantum physics.....

Anyway, the short answer is:  The Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) is YHWH and YHWH’s breath of life, the power of life within us, that which comes straight from and is part of YHWH.  The longer answer is this:

As we see in Scripture, YHWH formed man from the dust of the ground, then breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living soul.  (Soul is different from spirit.)
Genesis 2:7 Then ADONAI, God, formed a person [Hebrew: adam] from the dust of the ground [Hebrew: adamah] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.

Notice that God did not GIVE man a soul ... he BECAME a soul once he had the “breath of life.” The word (in the original language) that is translated into our English word "soul" is "nephesh" and means "living creature". Also, the word for "breath of life" is translated from the Hebrew word "ruach", which means "wind, breath, spirit." It does not mean "soul" or some immortal immaterial ghost of the person.


As an aside, death is creation in reverse. Again the light bulb, when "death" happens, the power returns to the battery and the bulb is lifeless, and the light ceases to exist. The same is true with the soul as it is with the light. The power of life returns to God who gave it, and the soul ceases to exist; the body is lifeless.

Genesis 3:19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground - for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust."

Ecclesiastes 12:7 the dust returns to earth, as it was, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it!

At creation, we become a living soul. At death, we don't have a soul that departs from the body and goes to heaven or hell or anywhere. The breath of life (the power of life, the spirit) returns to God, and the body returns to dust. Creation in reverse.

The soul perishes. "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)  There is no consciousness in death.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; there is no longer any reward for them, because all memory of them is lost. 6 What they loved, what they hated and what they envied all disappeared long ago, and they no longer have a share in anything done under the sun.

Psalm 146:4 When they breathe their last, they return to dust; on that very day all their plans are gone.

As mentioned above, "soul" and "spirit" are two different things. Souls can die (Ezekiel 18:20). Genesis 2:17 tells us YHWH breathed into man a neshama (spirit). Here are some footnotes in the AENT that serve to clarify the difference:
(1) Footnote to John 6:37 - As in the context of Miltha (the Word) or the “Manifestation” or the “Will of” YHWH coming down from heaven to do the Will of YHWH upon earth; his Spirit is of YHWH but his nephesh (soul) and body are human and temporal.

(2) Footnote to John 10:33 - Y’shua states that the Ruach (Spirit) of YHWH is within him, (Isaiah 11:1-2, Zechariah 12:10). He taught that while his nefesh would die, YHWH would reanimate both his neshama (human spirit/ruach) and nefesh (soul). Y’shua never claimed his nefesh was anything other than human and that as such, it would die.

(3) Footnote to 1 John 4:2 - This refers to the neshama (spirit of man) being born from the beginning into the image of Elohim, which is evidenced by living a Set Apart life unto YHWH, having Torah written upon the heart and growing in the Attributes of Mashiyach as revealed in Isaiah 11:2.

(4) Footnote to Matthew 26:41 - The spirit of man is vested with power by the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). By studying Torah and worshipping YHWH, the neshama (spirit of man) disciplines the mind and, in turn, the mind disciplines the body, providing lasting success. The lower level of consciousness “mind over matter” operates on willpower, which has many limitations.
Christians will try to tell you that the Holy Spirit is - a "divine person", a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.  But is this not exactly true – after all, how can a “person” get inside of us?  Let’s check it out:

In Acts 5:3-4 we see Peter confronting Ananias as to why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had “not lied to men but “in the Presence of God.”

Acts 5:3. And Shimon said to him, “Khanan-Yah, why is it that the Adversary has filled your heart thus that you should lie in (the presence of) the Ruach haKodesh, and that you should hide that sum of the money of the proceeds of the field?  4. Was it not yours before it was sold?  And after it was sold, again you were in control over its proceeds.  Why have you placed in your heart to do this spectacle?  You have not lied (in the presence of) men, but in (the presence of) Elohim.” (AENT)

The Ruach possesses the characteristics of YHWH. For example, His omnipresence is seen in Psalm 139:7-8: 7 Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I lie down in Sh'ol, you are there.

Then in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, we see the characteristic of omniscience in the Ruach.

10. But Elohim has revealed it to us, by his Spirit; for the Spirit explores all things, even the profound things of Elohim.  11. For what man is there, who knows that which is in a man, except it be the spirit of the man, which is in him? So also, that which is in Elohim, no one knows, except the Spirit of Elohim.  12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from Elohim; that we might know the free gifts, which are given to us by Elohim.  13. Which things we also speak; not in the teaching of the words of man’s wisdom, but in the teaching of the spirit; and we teach spiritual matters to those with spiritual focus.  14. For a man in his natural self does not receive spiritual concepts; for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them; for they are discerned by the Spirit.  15. But he that is spiritual, judges of all things: and he is judged of by no one.  16. For who has known the mind of Master YHWH, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Mashiyach.  (AENT)

The Ruach can be grieved as we see in Ephesians 4:30 (Proving that the Ruach haKodesh is not a separate entity or a “person” as Christianity asserts, but simply another title for YHWH):  “And do not grieve the Ruach haKodesh of Elohim, whereby you are sealed for the day of redemption.”

The Spirit intercedes for us:

Romans 8: 26.  So also the Spirit aids our weakness. For we are not cognizant of what to pray for in a proper manner; but the Spirit prays for us with groans beyond description.  27. And the searcher of hearts, he knows what is the mind of the Spirit; because he prays for the Set Apart believers, agreeably to the will of Elohim.  28. And we know that he aids him in all things, for good, who love Elohim; them whom he called from before our beginnings according to his purpose.  29. And he knew them previously; and he sealed them with the likeness of the image of his Son; that He might be the first-born of many brothers.  30. And those whom he previously sealed, them he called: and those whom he called, them he made righteous: and those whom he made righteous, them he glorified.  (AENT)

The Spirit makes decisions according to YHWH’s will – AND reveals who Y’shua is…and much more!  Take a look:

1 Corinthians 12:3. I therefore explain to you, that there is no man that speaks by the Spirit of Elohim, who says that Y’shua is accursed: neither can a man say that Y’shua is Master YHWH, except by the Ruach haKodesh.[1]  4. Now there are many forms of gifts; but the Spirit is one.  5. And there are many forms of ministrations; but Master YHWH is one.[2]  6. And there are many forms of power; but Elohim, who works all in all men, is one.  7. And to each man, there is given a manifestation of the Spirit, that it may help him.  8. To one, by the Spirit, there is given a word of wisdom; and to another, by the same Spirit, there is given a word of knowledge:  9. To another, by the same Spirit, faith: to another, by the same Spirit, gifts of healing:  10. And to another, miracles: and to another, prophecy: and to another, the discerning of spirits: and to another, (diverse) kinds of tongues: and to another, the interpretation of tongues.  11. But all these works that one Spirit; and He distributes to everyone according to His will.  12. For as the body is one, and in it are many members; and all those members of the body, though many, are one body; so also is the Mashiyach.[3]  (AENT)

[1] Simple and beautiful, yet perhaps the most powerful statement of belief in all of Rav Shaul’s letters.  A declaration of such magnitude as this most certainly demands original Hebrew and Aramaic to comprehend the fullness of such a bold statement and revelation.

[2] “YHWH is one.” Rav Shaul reminds his readers: “Hear, O Israel: YHWH our Elohim is one YHWH” (Deuteronomy 6:4).  This verse is known as the Shema; it is the declaration of monotheism of all who believe and know the One Living Elohim. These ministrations are known as “Father,” “Son,” and “Ruach haKodesh,” all of whom are YHWH, but through different occurrences from His singular nature, or qnoma.  A qnoma is identical to a nature, except numerically.  Put another way, there is one human nature but six billion occurrences of that nature.  My occurrence of my humanity is identical to anyone else’s except, let’s say, that I have qnoma #36 and you have qnoma #37.  There is nothing in qnoma here that identifies one member of a kind from another.  Aspects like height, weight, hair color, etc., would all be parsopa, or persons.  The singular divine nature, however, has no separated “persons”; only that which is YHWH.

[3] One the clearest statements that debunk the idea of “Godhead” in the entire NT.  The relationship between YHWH and Y’shua is like that of the mind/head to a limb of the body. The arm is not a separate entity from the body, nor does it move in any way other than with the full power and intent of the mind.  Y’shua is literally the arm of YHWH in this manner (Exodus 6:6, 23:20-22, Isaiah 53:1).  This statement by Rav Shaul proves this idea is not some modernized Nazarene doctrine, but the original doctrine of Mashiyach which is founded in the Tanakh; not the expansion of this in verses 14-28.
As you can see, it is not easy to explain what/who the Holy Spirit is.  He is God, the "breath of God" and Comforter and Counselor…and much, much more!
John 14: 17. The Spirit of Truth, He who the world is not able to receive because it has not seen Him, nor does know Him.  But you know Him for He dwells with you and He is in you.  (AENT)

John 14: 26. But the Redeemer, the Ruach haKodesh, the One whom my Father will send in my name will teach you everything. And He will remind you of everything that I said to you. 

John 15: 26. But when the Redeemer comes, He Whom I will send to you from the presence of my Father, the Spirit of Truth, He Who proceeds from the presence of my Father will witness concerning me.  (AENT)


  1. 1 Corinthians 12:3 is the verse that debunked the "trinity" belief.

    Very well explained, thanks Sister Shali!

  2. Question? If we die and have no consciousness in death than how do I know if I am going to be resurrected in the Day of His coming? Will I even remember who I was on earth?

  3. Great question, Fallingwaters - and the answer can be found in our indepth article: We don't know if we'll remember much about our life on earth, but I am positive we won't care about "who" we were, because all our focus will be on our awesome ELOHIM!


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