The Holy Spirit inspired in Person the authors of the books of the Bible to write the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20), and it is in the Bible that the Holy Spirit presents Himself as a divine Person. This is expressly stated (for example) in John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26, 16:7-15, Matthew 28:19; this is indeed implicit in the whole Bible. The revelation about Him is made progressively as seen below:
The personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of God, are revealed by His attributes and His works:
His omnipotence is evident by His participation in the work of creation (Genesis 1:2, Job 26:13, 33:4, Psalm 104:30), and His omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-18).
In His relationship with mankind, He strives (Genesis 6:3), enlightens (Job 32:8), endues with constructive ability and wisdom (Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29, 13:25), enables people to receive and utter divine revelations (Numbers 11:25, 2 Samuel 23:2) and, generally, empowers the servants of God (Psalm 51:12, Joel 2:28, Micah 3:8, Zechariah 4:6).
The Spirit of God is holy (Psalm 51:11), good (Psalm 143:10), righteous and burning (Isaiah 4:4), He has all wisdom and understanding, provides counsel and might, as well as the knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2), and is the Spirit of grace and supplications of the Lord (Zechariah 12:10).
The Spirit of God is sovereign, coming as He pleases over men and even on a beast of burden, and does not establish conditions (as in the New Testament) to come upon anyone, often in unexpected and surprising ways.
The Old Testament contains the prediction of a future outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, the God of Israel, upon Israel (Isaiah 44:3) and upon "all flesh" (Joel 2:28-29). The expectation of Israel, therefore, was twofold: of the coming of the Messiah-Immanuel (see Matthew 1:18), and of an outpouring of the Spirit as prophesied. On the day of Pentecost there was a fulfilment in part (Acts 2:16), but its exact and complete fulfilment is still in the future, at the end of the Tribulation period. After the rapture of the church we believe that the Holy Spirit will no longer dwell in people (2 Thessalonians 2: 6-7) until the beginning of the millennium, when he will return again and Joel's prophecy will be fulfilled in its entirety (see "Signs and Wonders" in:
The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every believer is a new blessing coming through the New Testament, as a consequence of the death and resurrection of Christ (John 7:39, 16:7, Acts 2:33, Galatians 3:1-6).
The Lord Jesus taught his disciples: "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13), but at the end His ministry, before His death and resurrection, He promised that He would pray to the Father, and in answer to His prayer the Holy Spirit would come to stay with them forever (John 14:16;17).
On the evening after His resurrection He came to the disciples gathered together and He breathed in them, and said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22 ), but instructed them to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them power (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8).
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fulfilled this promise and came over all believers gathered together, and so the first church of Christ was baptised in Him (Matthew 13:11, Acts 2:1-4 ).
After Pentecost, while the Gospel was preached only to Jews and Samaritans the Holy Spirit was imparted to those who believed, by the laying on of hands by the apostles (Acts 8:17; 9:17, etc.).. But when Peter opened the door of the Kingdom to the Gentiles (Acts 10), the Holy Spirit, without delay or other condition of faith, was given to those who believed (Acts 10:44 , 11:15-18 ). This situation persists until now and will continue until the rapture of the church. Every believer is born again by the Spirit (John 3:3-8; 1 John 5:1), and is indwelt by the Spirit, whose presence makes a temple of the believer's body (1 Corinthians 6:19, Romans 8:9-15; 1 John 2:27; Galatians 4:6), and he is baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12,13; 1 John 2:20,27) and sealed with Him to God (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). It is clear therefore that it is not appropriate for the believer to ask the Holy Spirit to come upon him, for this has already happened on his conversion, or that he should be baptized in the Holy Spirit again.
The New Testament distinguishes between having the Spirit, which is given to all believers, and to be filled with the Spirit, which is not only a privilege of every believer, but is also his duty (compare Acts 2:4 with Acts 4:29-31 , and Ephesians 1:13,14 with Ephesians 5:18-21). Actually there is only one baptism, but there can be many "fillings".
The Holy Spirit "was present" with the Lord Jesus on His conception (Matthew 1:18-20, Luke 1:35), baptism ( Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32,33), ministry and service (Luke 4:1,14), resurrection (Romans 8:11), and is His Witness for all the present time (John 15:26, 16:8-11,13,14).
The true church, made up of all persons regenerated from the day of Pentecost until the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 12:12,13), united to each other and to Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12,13) is the body of Christ of which He is the Head (Ephesians 1:22, 23). As such, the church is the temple of God dwelt in by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Ephesians 2:21,22 ), it is "one flesh" with Christ (Ephesians 5:30,31) and is espoused to Him as a chaste virgin to one husband (2 Corinthians 11:2-4). When baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12,13) He distributes gifts for the profit of all the members of this body (1 Corinthians 12:7-11,27,30), guides the members in their service (Luke 2:27; Luke 4:1; Acts 16:6,7) and is Himself the power of that service (Acts 1:8, 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:4). It is not, therefore, appropriate to ask God to send His Spirit upon a local church, because it already is His temple and part of the universal church.
The Lord Jesus showed the three aspects of the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer:
The following sins against the Holy Spirit are found in the Bible:
The Holy Spirit is symbolized in His Word, by oil (John 3:34, Hebrews 1:9), water (John 7:38,39), wind (Acts 2:2; John 3:8), fire ( Acts 2:3), a dove ( Matthew 3:16), a seal (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 ), an earnest or a pledge ( Ephesians 1:14).
This brief and concise description obviously does not have the pretension of comprehending the full extent of God's revelation in the exalted Person of the Holy Spirit, but we hope it will be useful for further study and teaching, as well as a basis for contesting the false doctrines that we have to face in our times.