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The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible Testifies: The Holy Spirit is an Eternal Divine Person!

The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the Holy Spirit is not a divine Person, but rather he is Jehovah’s active force, his very own power which he uses to influence and affect creation:

The holy spirit is God’s power in action, his active force. (Micah 3:8; Luke 1:35) God sends out his spirit by projecting his energy to any place to accomplish his will.—Psalm 104:30; 139:7…

By referring to God’s spirit as his “hands,” “fingers,” or “breath,” the Bible shows that the holy spirit is not a person. (Exodus 15:8, 10) A craftsman’s hands cannot function independent of his mind and body; likewise, God’s holy spirit operates only as he directs it. (Luke 11:13) The Bible also compares God’s spirit to water and associates it with such things as faith and knowledge. These comparisons all point to the impersonal nature of the holy spirit.—Isaiah 44:3; Acts 6:5; 2 Corinthians 6:6. (What is the Holy Spirit? https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-the-holy-spirit)

In light of these assertions, I am going to show from the New World Translation (NWT) of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) that, not only is the Holy Spirit identified as Jehovah God, but that he is also described as a divine Person who possesses all the essential characteristics of Personhood. The NWT can be read online for free by clicking on this link https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/study-bible/books/.

The Holy Spirit is eternal:

“how much more will the blood of the Christ, who through an everlasting spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we may render sacred service to the living God”” Hebrews 9:14

The Holy Spirit is infinite and omniscient:

“Who has taken the measurements of the spirit of Jehovah, And who can instruct him as his adviser? With whom did he consult to gain understanding, Or who teaches him in the path of justice, Or teaches him knowledge, Or shows him the way of true understanding?” Isaiah 40:13-14

The Holy Spirit is the Creator and Sustainer who gives life to all creation:

“God’s own spirit made me, And the Almighty’s own breath brought me to life.” Job 33:4

“When you hide your face, they are disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they die and return to the dust. If you send out your spirit, they are created, And you renew the surface of the ground.” Psalm 104:29-30

“It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63

“who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.” 2 Corinthians 3:6

“because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.” Galatians 6:8

The Holy Spirit has a will:

“But all these operations are performed by the very same spirit, distributing to each one respectively just as IT WILLS.” 1 Corinthians 12:11

The Holy Spirit hears, speaks, teaches/instructs, chooses/appoints, and/or issues commands/orders:

“Then spirit entered into me and made me stand up on my feet, and HE SPOKE to me and SAID: ‘Go, shut yourself inside your house.’” Ezekiel 3:24

“And a spirit lifted me up and brought me to the eastern gate of the house of Jehovah, the gate that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate I saw 25 men, and among them were Ja·az·a·niʹah the son of Azʹzur and Pel·a·tiʹah the son of Be·naiʹah, princes of the people… Then the spirit of Jehovah came upon me, and HE SAID to me: ‘Say, “This is what Jehovah says: ‘What you have said is correct, O house of Israel, and I know what you are thinking.’”’… A spirit then lifted me up—through a vision by the spirit of God—and brought me to the exiled people in Chal·deʹa. Then the vision that I had seen left me.” Ezekiel 11:1, 5, 24

“However, when they hand you over, do not become anxious about how or what you are to speak, for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour; for the ones speaking are not just you, but it is the spirit of your Father THAT SPEAKS by you.” Matthew 10:19-20

“And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is.” Mark 13:11

“But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, THA ONE WILL TEACH you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.” John 14:26

“However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what HE HEARS HE WILL SPEAK, and HE WILL DECLARE to you the things to come. That one will glorify me, because HE WILL RECEIVE from what is mine and WILL DECLARE IT to you. All the things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said HE RECEIVES from what is mine and DECLARES it to you.” John 16:13-15

“As Peter was still pondering over the vision, the spirit SAID: ‘Look! Three men are asking for you. So get up, go downstairs and go with them, not doubting at all, because I HAVE SENT them.’” Acts 10:19-20

“Then the spirit TOLD me to go with them, not doubting at all. But these six brothers also went with me, and we entered into the house of the man.” Acts 11:12

“Now in Antioch there were prophets and teachers in the local congregation: Barʹna·bas, Symʹe·on who was called Niʹger, Lucius of Cy·reʹne, Manʹa·en who was educated with Herod the district ruler, and Saul. As they were ministering to Jehovah and fasting, the holy spirit SAID: ‘Set aside for ME Barʹna·bas and Saul for the work to which I HAVE CALLED them.’ Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So these men, sent out by the holy spirit, went down to Se·leuʹcia, and from there they sailed away to Cyʹprus.” Acts 13:1-4

“Moreover, they traveled through Phrygʹi·a and the country of Ga·laʹti·a, because they were forbidden by the holy spirit to speak the word in the province of Asia. Further, when they came down to Mysʹi·a, they made efforts to go into Bi·thynʹi·a, but the spirit of Jesus did not permit them.” Acts 16:6-7

“Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.” Acts 20:28

“These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we explain spiritual matters with spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

In fact, when the Holy Spirit speaks God speaks, obviously because the Spirit is Jehovah God (even though he is not the Father or the Son):

The spirit of Jehovah SPOKE through me; HIS word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke; To me the Rock of Israel said: ‘When the one ruling over mankind is righteous, Ruling in the fear of God,’” 2 Samuel 23:2-3

“So because they disagreed with one another, they began to leave, and Paul made this one comment: ‘The holy spirit APTLY SPOKE through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers, SAYING, “Go to this people and say: ‘You will indeed hear but by no means understand, and you will indeed look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn back and I heal them.’”’” Acts 28:25-27

“Therefore, just as the holy spirit SAYS, ‘Today if you listen to his voice, do not harden your hearts as on the occasion of provoking to bitter anger, as in the day of testing in the wilderness, where your forefathers put me to the test and tried me, despite seeing my works for 40 years. This is why I became disgusted with this generation and said: “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not come to know my ways. So I swore in my anger: ‘They will not enter into my rest.’”’” Hebrews 3:7-11

“Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness to us, for after it HAS SAID: ‘“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,” SAYS JEHOVAH. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”’ Then it SAYS: ‘And I will no longer call their sins and their lawless deeds to mind.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:15-17

In the last three examples, the Apostle Paul attributes to the Holy Spirit the very words, which Jehovah spoke directly to and through the prophets David, Isaiah and Jeremiah:

“Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For he is our God, And we are the people of his pasture, The sheep in his care. Today if you listen to his voice, Do not harden your heart as at Merʹi·bah, As in the day of Masʹsah in the wilderness, When your forefathers tested me; They challenged me, though they had seen my works. For 40 years I felt a loathing toward that generation, and I said: ‘They are a people who always go astray in their hearts; They have not come to know my ways.’ So I swore in my anger: ‘They will not enter into my rest.’” Psalm 95:6-11

“In the year that King Uz·ziʹah died, I saw Jehovah sitting on a lofty and elevated throne, and the skirts of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were standing above him; each had six wings. Each covered his face with two and covered his feet with two, and each of them would fly about with two. And one called to the other: ‘Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The whole earth is filled with his glory.’ And the pivots of the thresholds quivered at the sound of the shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said: ‘Woe to me! I am as good as dead, For I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of armies himself!’… Then I heard the voice of Jehovah saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said: ‘Here I am! Send me!’ And he replied, ‘Go, and say to this people: “You will hear again and again, But you will not understand; You will see again and again, But you will not get any knowledge. Make the heart of this people unreceptive, Make their ears unresponsive, And paste their eyes together, So that they may not see with their eyes And hear with their ears, So that their heart may not understand And they may not turn back and be healed.”’” Isaiah 6:1-5, 8-10

“‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares Jehovah. ‘I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, “Know Jehovah!” for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them,’ declares Jehovah. ‘For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin.’” Jeremiah 31:33-34

This shows that, not only was it the Spirit of Jehovah who spoke to these inspired men, but he was also the God whom Isaiah saw seated on the throne!

This brings us to the next point. The Holy Spirit bears God’s name:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son AND OF the holy spirit,” Matthew 28:19

Here we see that the Holy Spirit possesses the same name that belongs to both the Father and the Son. And since Jehovah’s Witnesses all believe that the Father’s name is Jehovah how, then, will they escape the fact that this must mean that both the Son and the Spirit bear the name Jehovah as well? Besides all this, why would an active force even have a name to begin with?

The Holy Spirit prophesies:

“During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (the number of people was altogether about 120) and said: ‘Men, brothers, it was necessary for the scripture to be fulfilled that the holy spirit SPOKE PROPHETICALLY through David about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.’” Acts 1:15-16

“In those days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agʹa·bus stood up and foretold through the spirit that a great famine was about to come on the entire inhabited earth, which, in fact, did take place in the time of Claudius. So the disciples determined, each according to what he could afford, to send relief to the brothers living in Ju·deʹa; and this they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barʹna·bas and Saul.” Acts 11:27-30

“And now look! bound in the spirit, I am traveling to Jerusalem, although not knowing what will happen to me there, except that from city to city the holy spirit repeatedly bears witness to me, SAYING that imprisonment and tribulations are waiting for me. Nevertheless, I do not consider my own life of any importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear thorough witness to the good news of the undeserved kindness of God.” Acts 20:22-25

“But after we had stayed there for quite a number of days, a prophet named Agʹa·bus came down from Ju·deʹa. And he came to us and took Paul’s belt and tied his own feet and hands and said: ‘Thus SAYS the holy spirit, “The man to whom this belt belongs will be bound like this by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will give him into the hands of people of the nations.”’ Now when we heard this, both we and those who were there began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered: ‘What are you doing by weeping and trying to weaken my resolve? Rest assured, I am ready not only to be bound but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’” Acts 21:10-13

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you made a diligent inquiry and a careful search. They kept on investigating what particular time or what season the spirit WITHIN THEM was indicating concerning Christ as IT TESTIFIED BEFOREHAND about the sufferings meant for Christ and about the glory that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were ministering, not to themselves, but to you, regarding what has now been announced to you by those who declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent from heaven. Into these very things, angels are desiring to peer.” 1 Peter 1:10-12

“For you know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

The Holy Spirit has emotions since he can be grieved:

“But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit He then turned into their enemy, And he fought against them.” Isaiah 63:10

“Also, do not be grieving God’s holy spirit, with which you have been sealed for a day of releasing by ransom.” Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit can be outraged:

“How much greater punishment do you think a person will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God and who has regarded as of ordinary value the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt?” Hebrews 10:29

The Holy Spirit’s patience can be tested:

“Is it being said, O house of Jacob: ‘Has the spirit of Jehovah become impatient? Are these his deeds?’ Do not my own words bring good to those walking uprightly?” Micah 2:7

In fact, the Holy Spirit himself can be tested:

“So Peter said to her: ‘Why did you two agree to make a test of the spirit of Jehovah? Look! The feet of those who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’” Acts 5:9

These next cases pose a serious problem for JWs, as we are about to show.

The Holy Spirit bears witness and testifies:

“When the helper comes that I will send you from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which comes from the Father, that one will bear witness about me; and you, in turn, are to bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27

“And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.” Acts 5:32

The Holy Spirit can be lied to:

“But Peter said: ‘An·a·niʹas, why has Satan emboldened you to lie to the holy spirit and secretly hold back some of the price of the field? As long as it remained with you, did it not remain yours? And after it was sold, was it not in your control? Why have you thought up such a deed as this in your heart? You have lied, not to men, but to God.’” Acts 5:3-4

The Holy Spirit has discernment:

For the holy spirit AND we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols,” Acts 15:28

What makes the foregoing examples so problematic for the JWs is that the Holy Spirit is depicted as exhibiting specific personal characteristics alongside of other individuals whom no JW would deny are actual persons, i.e., the Spirit bears witness with the apostles, people lie to him as they do to God and the disciples, he makes decisions along with the elders and apostles in Jerusalem etc. As such, these examples cannot be explained away as personification, e.g., the Spirit is being personified as other inanimate objects are often personified in the Holy Bible, since this would mean that God and all these human individuals are being personified as well.

Therefore, the JWs cannot escape the fact that even their very own (per)version of the Holy Bible testifies that the Holy Spirit is an eternal, divine Person, and not merely Jehovah’s impersonal energy or power which he uses to bring about his will in creation.

Lord Jesus willing, I plan to refute the typical objections often employed by the Jehovah’s witnesses against the Holy Spirit being a Person in a future post.

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