What is the Holy Spirit? Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force, and their teachings compare the Holy Spirit to electricity. Is this accurate? Is this what the Bible says?
1) In Acts chapter 5 we read about a man named Ananias and Sapphira and here we learn something important about the Holy Spirit.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, BUT UNTO GOD. Acts 5:1-4 KJV
2) Here, when the people rebelled against the Holy Spirit, they became enemies of God.
But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit:
therefore he was turned to be their enemy,
and he fought against them.
Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying,
Where is he that brought them up out of the sea
with the shepherd of his flock?
where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? Isa. 63:10,11
4) Here it is an unforgivable sin to speak against the Holy Spirit. Notice this is not so regarding the Son of Man.
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. Matt 12:32
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12
5) IF the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal force, like electricity, than how can the Holy Spirit be grieved?
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph. 4:30 KJV
6) IF the Holy Spirit, is just an unseen, impersonal force, how can the Holy Spirit, guide us, lead us, teach us and comfort us. Can an impersonal force comfort?
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 KJV
7) Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper. Doesn’t sound like electricity to me. And Jesus said HE would send forth the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, *I* will send him to you. John 16:7 ESV
That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” John 16:15 NIV
8) The Scriptures also tell us that the Holy Spirit speaks, can an impersonal, electrical charge speak?
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.'” Acts 21:11 NIV
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. Acts 20:23 NIV
9) The Holy Spirit teaches us. Can an impersonal force, like electricity teach?
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 John 2:27 NIV
“ I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
John 16:12-15 NIV
10) The Holy Spirit helps us, intercedes for us, when we pray. How can an impersonal electrical charge intervene on our behalf?
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. 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” (Romans 8:26¬–27).
11) Scriptures also say the Holy Spirit raised up Jesus.
Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
12) The Holy Spirit was involved in the creation process:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen. 1:1,2 KJV
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. Job 33:4 KJV
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. Ps. 104:30 KJV
13) The Holy Spirit dwells within us.
John 14: 16-18 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
I hope these scriptures help you on your discovery of what exactly is the Holy Spirit.
When we study God’s word, without the Holy Spirit, (if we have not yet received it for example) it can just be a dull reading of words that perhaps we have read before. But upon receiving the Holy Spirit, God’s word, in His letter to us, becomes alive, it pierces our hearts, previously unknown to us, it can make us leap for joy, burst into tears of joy, or grieve us deeply (if we’ve done something displeasing for example). God’s words come to life, as though written to us personally, as though a letter from a physical parent to his physical child would have infinitely more meaning to his child for example, than for a stranger who might happen to read these same words. This is one way the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit. How can this be said to be an impersonal force, like electricity? Makes no sense does it?
Another example, if you were to call someone on the telephone, you would not say, I and the telephone called you! No, you would give no credit to the device you used. Why then is all this credit given, if the Holy Spirit is merely like electricity? That would be like Jesus saying, I will send electricity and it will comfort you. Again, makes no sense does it?
This is an example of how the Watchtower often totally ignores whatever Scriptures don’t agree with their own teachings. It would not be surprising if these were also removed or misworded in a yet newer revision of their translation, as they have done with almost all of the Scriptures that deal with the Deity of Jesus for example.
This is why using an alternate translation and comparing is so vital, when trying to discover what the truth of the Scriptures Really say, while still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, for the organization *has changed* the verses which do not agree with their teachings. This becomes readily apparent when checking other Translations, therefore I encourage you to do so.