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These are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.

Study of 'Holy Spirit' 

back to Volume 2, Study 5 page

You can also download this study as a pdf file.

Volume 2, Study 5, Holy Spirit

‘Holy Spirit’ in KJV New Testament
                        (Please be following along in your Bible so as to connect with the context and the circumstance of each verse.)  

            This long study began with the idea of showing the reader how the translators of the King James Bible distinguished between ‘Holy Spirit’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ in the New Testament and why they did it and how it was to be used by Bible readers. Therefore, the reader must first read the ‘Holy Ghost’ file because all of my comments in each of these files have to do with what the KJV translators did regarding ‘Holy Ghost’ and ‘Holy Spirit’. This file is ‘Holy Spirit’. ‘Holy Ghost’ is another file, etc.
            However, then I decided to include ‘spirit’ and also ‘Spirit’ as well, which you can find in files ‘spirit’ and ‘Spirit’. The reader can print out this file and print out any of the other files for comparison when reading any of the books of the New Testament. When printed, these can be compared side by side. The entire study is altogether interesting, but rather long.
            The reader can read my comments for what they are worth (or not); even so, the overall study provides lists of all such New Testament verses with the word ‘spirit’ in some form. The same has been done for the word ‘spirit’ in the Old Testament.
            I repeat, this study and its lists can make for good references in your future studies. Indeed, if you copy these lists then you can insert into them (as I have done) your own comments for your future use.
            Included in many of the verses are brackets [ ] which contain the meaning of a Greek word(s). The Greek definitions are according to Strong, as I am using the e-Sword software of the King James Version with Strong’s Numbers.
            To see the verses having either ‘Holy Ghost’ or ‘Holy Spirit’ or ‘Spirit’ or ‘spirit’ in a book of the Bible simply select the file for the word or phrase and then search for the book title.


Luke  ~

Luke 11:13)  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

   This seems to be the only verse in all the Bible with ‘give the Holy Spirit’. Here the Holy Spirit is not doing something, rather God in heaven is doing something with (i.e. giving) the Holy Spirit. In acts 2:33 we see that Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost arrived in the general sense to the Church. Yet, in this verse Jesus speaks to his disciples (and to all disciples through the ages, see Luke 11:1). Thus then, in this verse it will be given in the personal sense, in that it will be given to each disciple.
   However, in the file, Holy Ghost, we saw how the translators of the KJV use ‘Holy Ghost’ to distinguish when the Spirit is personally acting in or upon or covering the person. So in this file, when the word ‘Spirit’ is used we know that the translators were distinguishing when the Spirit is non-personally acting.
   In this verse, then, it seems to me that the KJV translators were indicating that a disciple can be given the Holy ‘Spirit’ in the general sense, or non-personally (i.e. Holy Spirit), and also personally (i.e. Holy Ghost).
   For instance in Luke 4:1 is ‘And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness’. We see that Jesus was ‘full’ of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which was acting personally in or on Jesus, but also Jesus was ‘led’ by the Spirit which was acting non-personally in front of Jesus leading him.


John  ~

John 1:33)  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth [i.e. fully wets] with the Holy Ghost.

   The phrase ‘the Spirit descending, and remaining’ is about the Spirit and not about Jesus; and so the translators of the KJV have ‘Spirit’. Yet, the phrase ‘baptizeth with the Holy Ghost’ is about the Spirit personally acting with a person.
   Here, then, we also see the KJV’s distinction.

7:39,38)  He that believeth [i.e. faith in action] on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    Here is another passage showing the KJV distinction. The former is the Apostle speaking about the Spirit itself that (in its proper season) should be ‘received’. But note that when Jesus spoke about the person actively faithing on him that he said ‘out of the person’s belly shall flow rivers of living waters’…which John tells us is personal action of the Holy Ghost.


Acts  ~

Acts 2:4)  And they were all filled [i.e. fully furnished] with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    Here is another verse showing the distinction. The first part of the verse focuses on the people being fully furnished inwardly with the Holy Ghost (i.e. a personal action of the Holy Ghost at that moment in time).
    Yet, the latter part of the verse focuses on the Spirit itself because John considers this ‘utterance’ in ‘other tongues’ to be a non-personal action of the Spirit as it was meant for the ears of the people to hear in their own languages. In other words, the ‘utterances’ were non-personal to those speaking them, but was personal to the individuals hearing them. Below see 1Corinthians 12:3 where it refers to this very thing when it says ‘no man speaking by the Spirit of God ’.


1Corinthians  ~

1Corinthians 7:34)  There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

    Here the word ‘spirit’ is not capitalized as the translators help us to see that each Christian has a spirit which, though not ‘the Spirit’, nevertheless is of God…even as ‘the Spirit’ is of God.

12:3)  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    See the same verse in the file ‘Holy Ghost’ KJV for a lengthy note.


Ephesians  ~

Ephesians 1:13)  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed [i.e. faith in action], ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    The word ‘sealed’ means stamped as with an official seal to be kept secret except for the person to whom the sealed thing was delivered. And in this case, the sealed thing is the believer, and he or she is sealed and kept secret to be delivered to God.
    Here (and below in 4:30 and 1Thessalonians 4:8) we see that the translators made ‘holy’ not capitalized and ‘Spirit’ capitalized. This was because each verse is about the Spirit itself in the broader sense to the many and not in the personal sense to individuals.
    Therefore, these verses are about the Promise of the (holy or Holy) Spirit given by God to the Church (i.e. the true Christian Body that composes the Church, i.e. Assembly).

3:5)  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
4:30)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


1Thessalonians  ~

1Thessalonians 4:8)  He therefore that despiseth, [consequently] despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

    The Greek word translated here ‘despiseth’ means to set aside as of little value. Some people (in the true definition of the word despise) look down upon many things with contempt; and often many of such things they consider to be of little value; thus the word despise in this verse is not far off the real meaning of the verse.
    Yet, the common concept of many people today is that the word ‘despise’ means ‘hate’ (i.e. to dislike intensely or to have ill will toward something or someone); this is not the meaning of this verse.
    Indeed, this verse is a strong warning (read the whole passage). Too many Christians put too much importance upon what they can get from God or upon what they can give or work for God. In this, then, they put too little importance upon the warning of Paul in this verse, as we do not despise or hate God.
    Indeed, our getting something from God and our giving something or working for God usually does not involve ‘holiness’ on our part. Too often we think that it does.
    This verse, on the other hand, warns us not to take these lightly, for we are not taking lightly the things of man, but the things of God. This is why the passage reads as it does and likely it is why Paul spoke of the Spirit as a ‘holy’ Spirit.


Revelation  ~

Revelation 21:10)  And he carried me away in the spirit to [i.e. ‘to’ means superimposed on or over] a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

    Even as in many verses the Holy Ghost is mentioned as ‘superimposed upon or over’ a person, so here the Apostle John is ‘in the spiritsuperimposed upon or over the New Jerusalem. This of course was not physical, but was in the spirit-realm of God where there is no time (past, present, or future). That which John saw may have been the actual Future New Jerusalem, or it may have been a Mystical New Jerusalem meant more to teach truths than to give a physical description. I suspect that the truth of this particular ‘holy Jerusalem’ which John saw shall not be known until its realization in its season.

            I find it interesting that there are far more passages of ‘Holy Ghost’ in the KJV New Testament than there are passages of ‘Holy Spirit’. Thus, God has given us more about the Holy Ghost in personal connection with individuals than He has given us about His Holy Spirit.

You can also download this study as a pdf file.

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- C. Ronald Johnson at Christian Wilderness Press -