Awhile back I took up the challenge of a former Jehovah witness who, commenting on an online comments section, insisted that the Holy Spirit wasn’t personal, rather, as I’ll allow their own message to explain, they dismissed both God being Triune and the Holy Spirit’s distinct personality: Trinity has no biblical proof, I’m not a JW but I’m a Christian. . . .Yahweh is the Father the Almighty God, Yeshua the Son of God, The Holy Spirit the active force of God, Jesus also has it. The holy spirit is the energy that they use, is like the energy we have as humans 😉
[For a former witness her god’s surprisingly consistent with the god of the Watchtower society, which goes to show even when some people extract themselves from the cult environment, if they’ve not done so for the right reasons, they’re still gonna carry that baggage. My reply hereafter]: Hi Jeny, I know my comment is coming very late in the game, nevertheless, you seem like a lovely person, very good-natured, and I’d like to share some Scripture with you if I may. It’s popular today to describe the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force, however by a survey of relevant Scriptural material, we’re not able to hold to that kind of a reading.
Hopefully you won’t mind me sharing some of what’s been taught in my own life. Acts 10:19-20: The Spirit, using personal pronouns (e.g. “I”, “Me”) shows Their personhood in that They send men to Peter. Impersonal forces do not use personal pronouns, send people or speak. John 15:26 & John 16:13-14: Here the Spirit testifies about Jesus, in addition to guiding the disciples, speaking and disclosing future events. He also glorifies Christ, each of these actions are indicators of personality. Acts 8:29 & Acts 21:11 & Galatians 4:6 & Romans 8:26-27: The Spirit again speaks and even intercedes for us. Intercession is an act of volition. The Spirit “helps,” “intercedes with groanings,” and “intercedes for the saints,” impersonal forces don’t acts in such ways, actually, there’s also word of the Spirit “searching,” and “knowing the thoughts of God,” they’re found predicted of the Spirit by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians (2:10-11).
Only persons “know” things. Electricity knows nothing, experiences nothing. Yet the Spirit knows the thoughts of God, that’s an incredible thing to know for anyone other than God (how much higher are His ways than ours). You’re not a member of the Watchtower society, although having been taught by the society for my early years, I can write confidently that you share their views about the Holy Spirit (JW views are incorrect however). I’d like to sign off my recommending several more verse which show the personhood of the Holy Spirit, in addition to linking you to two good sources of information, one is a book by Dr. James White (The Forgotten Trinity), from which I’ve drawn many of my points, and lastly an awesome blog. 😉 Acts 20:28, Acts 5:32 & Romans 5:5. Romans 15:30, Matthew 28:19, Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29 (blasphemies against The Holy Spirit), Hebrews 10:29 (insulting the Spirit of grace), Ephesians 4:30 (grieving the Spirit), Acts 7:51, 1 Corinthians 12:9-11 (The Spirit giving gifts “just as He wills”), Matthew 11:27, Hebrews 6:17, Acts 5:3-4 (About lying to The Spirit “You have not lied to man, but God”). Acts 28:25-26, 2 Peter 1:21, Mark 13:11, Matthew 10:19-20, Luke 21:14-15, John 14:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read this post [For you Scripture hungry readers, here’s the round-up!]
Acts 10:19-20. . .
While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
John 15:26. . .
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16:13-14. . .
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the 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. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
Acts 8:29. . .
The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Acts 21:11. . .
Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'”
Galatians 4:6. . .
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Corinthians 2:10-11. . .
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Acts 20:28. . .
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Acts 5:32. . .
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Romans 5:5. . .
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 15:30. . .
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
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,
Matthew 12:31-32. . .
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Mark 3:28-29. . .
Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
Hebrews 10:29. . .
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Ephesians 4:30. . .
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Acts 7:51. . .
You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
1 Corinthians 12:9-11. . .
to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Matthew 11:27. . .
All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Hebrews 6:17. . .
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
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? 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 just to human beings but to God.”
Acts 28:25-26. . .
They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
2 Peter 1:21. . .
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Mark 13:11. . .
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 10:19-20. . .
But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Luke 21:14-15. . .
But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
John 14:23. . .
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
2 Corinthians 13:14. . .
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Witness to a witness yourselves, this is a great resource for it. The Watchtower, despite their rhetoric, don’t approach or continue protracted conversations with intelligent people, rather they’re taught to target ignorant, impoverished people who’re (if I’m being frank) pissed off with the way things are. They’re angered by “religionists” and politics and the system supposedly giving them a raw deal, for which the witnesses, with their talk of an imminent end times reckoning, become very attractive callers. It’s ironic that one of the most monolithic, convert strangling organizations out there convert disenfranchised people based upon mocking the ugly corporate appearance of places like the Roman Catholic church, nevertheless, that’s their ploy, and it’s been a successful one.
The witnesses for my study are a spent force, lacking both the necessary arguments and rhetoric with which to keep their ideas afloat, however, I’m still seeing believers who are unequipped to sit their witness friends down and lead them out of this maze of cultism which they’ve somehow gotten themselves into. Cult members don’t pop into being from out of nowhere, rather they’re the litter of a failing “church” who collectively lack God’s Spirit, for which there’s a long line of people waiting to exit. These people are exiting into the waiting arms of the cults. It sucks, but it’s true.
― T. C. M