Jehovah Witness – Deity of the Holy Spirit

JW : The Holy Spirit is an impersonal force. God needs an impersonal force to accomplish his duties because He is not omnipresent. They believe that God has a body and is located somewhere up in the sky.

Isaiah 66:1 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?

The Bible teaches that God created the heavens. So where was He before that? The Bible also teaches that even the heavens cannot contain God. No doubt God is in the heavens, but He is also everywhere.

1 Kings 8:27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

Jeremiah 23:24 Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.

Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God (NWT : God’s active force) was hovering over the waters.

The bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person.

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

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

1 Corinthians 12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

The Holy Spirit has a will.

Acts 13:2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.

When the word “another” is used, the Greek word for “another of the same kind” is used. As Jesus is a person, so the Holy Spirit is a person. Also, the word for Counselor “parakletos” refers to a legal assistant, personal representative, etc–all persons.

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The Holy Spirit is referred to as “he”, a personal pronoun. He is also described as speaking, hearing and telling–activities of a clearly personal nature.

Isaiah 63:10 Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.

Acts 5:3-4 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? {4} Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”

How can one lie to an impersonal force?

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. {27} And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

How can a force make intercession? Does a force have a mind?

Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The Holy Spirit like water is only a medium, not a person.

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Do we therefore say that Christ is not a person?

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

How can the Holy Sprit be a person when it filled about 120 disciples at one time? It can because God is omnipresent.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

As the Father and the Son are persons, we can imply that the Holy Spirit is also a person. The Greek word for name “onoma” is used 228 times in the New Testament and except for 4 place names, always refer to persons.

The JWs have an answer for all these verses. Personification. For example, wisdom has children (Luke 7:35), sin and death are called “kings” (Rom 5:14,21), water and blood, along with the Spirit are called witnesses (1 John 5:8).

It is true that personification exist in the Bible but they are obvious. No one will mistaken them for real persons. This is not so for the Holy Spirit. People have good reasons to think that it is a person. The Bible cannot be so misleading.

The Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove in Mark 1:10. This does not prove that he is not a person any more than the fact that God is not a person because He appeared to Moses a fire in a bush (Ex 3:2-4).

Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The Holy Spirit is compared with fire. This does not prove that He is not a person. Elsewhere the Bible speaks of God figuratively as fire.

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is compared with getting drunk on wine.

Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

That doesn’t prove that the Holy Spirit is not a person. We are told in the same epistle to be filled with God.

Ephesians 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The Holy Spirit is included among a number of qualities. By this reasoning, the Holy Spirit should be a quality, not a force.

2 Corinthians 6:6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;