|          Home          |          About          |          Reviews          |          Contact          |


The Holy Ghost

Biblical Framework

Personage of Spirit
The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. Unlike the other two personages of the Godhead, he does not occupy a glorified physical body; however, he can manifest himself in various ways, including appearing in the form of a dove (Luke 3:21-22). The Holy Ghost communicates directly, spirit-to-spirit, with the spirits of men and women according to their worthiness and his divine will (Acts 13:2 and Acts 15:28).

Spirit of Many Names
There are many names or titles given to the Holy Ghost in the Bible. They range from the simple, “the Spirit,” to the complex, “the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord.” Many of the names associated with the Holy Ghost incorporate the names of God the Father and/or Jesus Christ. This naming reflects the divine unity of the individual members of the Godhead.

The name of a thing can tell much about its character and uses. So it is with the Holy Ghost.

  • John 14:26—The Comforter

  • Romans 8:16—The Spirit

  • Luke 11:13—The Holy Spirit

  • Acts 5:9—The Spirit of the Lord

  • Genesis 1:2—The Spirit of God

  • John 14:17—The Spirit of Truth

  • Isaiah 11:2—The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, and the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord

  • Isaiah 4:4—The Spirit of Judgment and the Spirit of Burning

  • Hebrews 10:29—The Spirit of Grace

  • Ephesians 1:13—The Holy Spirit of Promise

  • Romans 1:4—The Spirit of Holiness

  • Romans 8:2—The Spirit of Life

  • Hebrews 1:9—The Spirit of the Oil of Gladness

  • Hebrews 9:14—The Eternal Spirit

  • 1 Peter 4:14—The Spirit of Glory and of God

  • Matthew 10:20—The Spirit of Your Father

  • Galatians 4:6—The Spirit of His Son

  • Isaiah 61:1—The Spirit of the Lord God

  • Romans 8:9—The Spirit of Christ

The Testifier
Before Jesus ascended to his Father, he assured the apostles that the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of truth) would be sent to them and would testify of him (John 15:26). The Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father, gave Peter his testimony of Jesus being the Christ (Matthew 16:16-17). While the children of God can witness under the influence of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, it is the Holy Ghost alone that testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ to the hearts of men (1 Corinthians 13:3, 11).

The Divine Communicator
The Holy Ghost is the primary channel from which divine communication flows. The Holy Ghost is the great teacher (John 14:16, 26, Luke 12:12); he reminds men and women of spiritual truths they have been given (John 14:16); he is the revealer of God’s most sacred truths (1 Corinthians 2:9-14, Luke 2:25-26); he is the provider of spiritual power (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6); he witnesses on behalf of the Father (Hebrews 10:15); he is the provider of the law (Acts 1:2); and he is the guide and director of the disciples of Christ (Acts 13:4 and Acts 16:6).

Gift of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost is given to the faithful by those who hold the priesthood authority to do so (Acts 8:18-20) by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:15-17). Although the Holy Ghost is given, he must also be received in faith (Acts 2:38)—even bestowed (or poured) upon those who are desirous to receive him (Acts 10:45). The gift of the Holy Ghost manifests its greatest influence when it is a constant companion to those who allow the Holy Ghost to dwell within them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) as they live worthily so their body can be a holy temple for the Holy Ghost (2 Timothy 1:14).

Gifts of the Spirit
With the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, a man or woman can develop and manifest unique gifts of the Spirit. There are spiritual gifts without number which include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discernment, and the speaking in and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10). Because Satan is the great deceiver, he offers counterfeit gifts of the spirit that may seem divine in nature, but arise from the powers of darkness to fool and entrap the children of God to their destruction (Exodus 7:11-12, 20-22).

The Unforgiveable Sin
Insulting deity, showing a lack of reverence for sacred things, or falsely claiming to posses the attributes of deity is blasphemy. Jesus said those who blaspheme against him will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven for all eternity (Matthew 12:31-32). Paul warned that those who know the truth (are partakers of the Holy Ghost) but rebel against it cannot be “renew[ed] …again.” (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Mormon Doctrinal Clarification

Personage of the Godhead
The Holy Ghost is one of the three personages (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) who constitute the Godhead. He is referred to variously as the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or simply the Spirit.

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead (1 John 5:7). He is a spirit that has the form and likeness of a man. He can be in only one place at a time, but his influence can be everywhere at the same time. The Holy Ghost is our Heavenly Father’s messenger and is a special gift to us. The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of the truth of all things (Gospel Principles [Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2009], 32).

The Comforter
Before his departure from the earth, Jesus promised that the Holy Ghost would come as a comforter to the faithful. The Holy Ghost testifies of all truth. He gives instruction, divine revelation, and loving support. He whispers comfort and gives the power to discernment. He teaches according to the will of Heavenly Father and guides men and women according to the plan of salvation.

Gift of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost may give guidance and comfort to any man or woman he chooses; however, the gift of the Holy Ghost, his constant companionship, is available only to those who have been baptized and confirmed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by the authority of the priesthood of God. To enjoy the benefits of this companionship, men and women must exercise faith, live worthily, maintain a sincere desire to receive guidance, and learn to feel and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

In the ordinance of confirmation, the gift of the Holy Ghost is given through the laying on of hands by men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. Confirmation can take place immediately following baptism, later the same day, or a few days after. The gift of the Holy Ghost brings peace to the souls of all who accept it. By this gift, men and women may be granted a new understanding of the deep things of God and the ability to use the gifts of the Spirit.

Gifts of the Spirit
The Gifts of the Spirit include: The Gift of Tongues; The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues; The Gift of Translation; The Gift of Wisdom; The Gift of Knowledge; The Gift of Teaching Wisdom and Knowledge; The Gift of Knowing That Jesus Christ Is the Son of God; The Gift of Believing the Testimony of Others; The Gift of Prophecy; The Gift of Healing; The Gift of Working Miracles; and The Gift of Faith (Gospel Principles [Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2009], 125-130).

Every man and woman on earth has one or more of these gifts of the Spirit. It is the duty of human beings to recognize, develop, and use these gifts while in mortality. Satan has his own imitations of these gifts, usually exaggerations, and hopes to use these imitations to deceive the children of God.

See chapter6 in The Biblical Roots of Mormonism for a more comprehensive explanation, scriptural references and commentary on the Holy Ghost

See the Sword SeriesTM paper The Holy Ghost for a summary

|   CatholicLDSchristianity.com     FindYourChristianity.com    EricShuster.com    Sitemap   |   Privacy   |   Contact    Twitter   |   facebook   |   YouTube   |


© 2013 Eric Shuster. All Rights Reserved.