Author’s note: This is not an official translation. It is my best attempt to translate from the original Latin of which my skill in this is rather limited. Rather than this being a translation, it is a paraphrase. I am not entirely confident this is accurate. Nevertheless, considering how hard it is to find any english translation of this text, this will do until one who is more qualified than I will undertake the task. When working through the Trinitarian Faith, the chapter, On the Eternal Spirit, I noticed T F Torrance made numerous references to this text. I am not able to line up the footnotes to the relevant parts of this text. However, it is worthwhile reading this to gain a sound understanding of how the ancient church approached this topic. Both T F Torrance and Karl Barth thought it impossible to have a so-called Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. This is also true of the ancient church where there was fear and trembling on the part of many of them when endeavouring to discuss this topic. Through Jesus Christ we have a cloudy glimpse into the the Spirit of God and what we receive is far from exhaustive and shrouded in mystery. Therefore, you find in the fathers like Didymus, they were careful to remain within what was disclosed in Scripture and not try and draw any inference or logical-causal conclusions further than what is stated in the Bible. One the one hand, they thought it was utterly ridiculous to conduct theology in this way as if one had inside privileged knowledge to the mystery of the inner workings of the Spirit. On the other hand, their warnings were clear with dire consequences that entering into such habits and continuing to do so would be a perilous detriment of the unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I find a deeper understanding of the Spirit can be drawn from the text in a way the is typically unifying of the theology of the ancient church. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
1. It is of the utmost importance to scrutinise all divine matters with reverence and devout attention, but in particular what is said about the divinity of the Holy Spirit, especially since blasphemy against him means there is no forgiveness. This is to such a great degree that the dire consequences of the blasphemer will not only extend in this present age but will include the age to come. The Saviour Himself said such a thing that there would be no leniency for anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, either in this age or in the age to come (Matt. 12.31-32; Mk. 3.29). This the reason why it is so important to study meticulously what the Scriptures have to say about Him to avoid the risk of any blasphemy creeping in and, at the very least, any error that comes about through ignorance. It is normally to one’s own advantage, if they are a faithful and a reverent person in control of their faculties to overlook the enormity of the present question in silence and not to subject themselves to a matter so fraught with danger to their own judgement. Nevertheless, there are some people who have decided to take it upon themselves to investigate in a careless manner rather than to live the right way. They are putting forward certain things concerning the Holy Spirit which cannot be found in the Scriptures nor taken from the old church writings. And so we are obligated to agree with the so often repeated insistence of our brothers to set forth our opinion of the Holy Spirit by means of proof-texts from the Scriptures, to avoid the risk of people being deceived by opposing opinions because they are unfamiliar with so great a doctrine and slide away without reflecting carefully and fall into the viewpoints of our enemies.
2. When we appeal to the very Being of the Holy Spirit, and this is how He is designated, those who study philosophy outside of Sacred Scripture hardly know anything about Him. It is only when we read the old and the new writings do we find that any reference is made to Him. A man of the Old Testament, David, who was made a partaker of Him, use to pray to remain in Him; And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me (Ps. 51.11). And it is also said that God aroused the Holy Spirit when he was just a boy showing that the Holy Spirit was already dwelling in Him. It is very much the same in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit was in people who were described as pleasing to God. John, for instance, on being made holy, leapt while he was still in his mother’s womb (Luke 1.44). In addition, after Jesus had risen from the dead, he breathed onto the faces of His disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20.22). There are many such statements one will find in the Divine Scriptures which are full of them. But I will not lay them out in detail as it will be easier for those who read this to go find out for themselves building on those passages we refer to here.
3. No one should think that the Holy Spirit before the coming of the Lord was something else after his coming in the Apostles and the other disciples so that He is two different things. The evidence we produce will show from the divine writings that it was the same Holy Spirit who was in both the Prophets and the Apostles. In the letter he wrote to the Hebrews, Paul quoted a passage in the book of Psalms and indicated that it was the Holy Spirit who said it: “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts and so on (Heb. 3.7; Ps. 94.7-8). Towards the end of Acts of the Apostles when he was arguing with the Jews he said, The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;” Paul did not write about one Holy Spirit who was in the prophets who came before the Lord as if there was another Holy Spirit. He writes about the very Holy Spirit in who He Himself shared, as did all those who were brought to faith perfect in power. This is why Paul uses the definite article when He speaks of Him asserting that He is one and unique. He says Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says (Heb. 3.7), not simply, Πνεῦμα ἅγιον or “a Holy Spirit”. He adds the definite article, τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον or “the Holy Spirit.” Paul also indicated that Isaiah also prophesied using the same definite article: διὰ τοὺ ἁγὶου Πνεῦματος or “through the Holy Spirit“ (Acts 28.25) and not with the unmodified διὰ ἁγίου Πνεῦματος or “through a holy spirit”. Still further in his speech where Peter won over the crowd, he said the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον) foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas (Acts 1.16) showing clearly that it was the same Holy Spirit who was working in the Apostles as well as in the Prophets.
4. We will address this more fully in the following discussion showing not only how the Lord came as Word to the Prophets but how it is the Holy Spirit came to them. He is also held inseparably with the Only-Begotten Son of God. Thus the term “Holy Spirit” is not a senseless naming but points clearly to the internal being that is associated with the Father and the Son showing us that He is foreign to creatures. There is division between creatures into visible and invisible categories, which is to say corporeal and incorporeal groups. The Holy Spirit is not like the corporeal beings, but dwells with the soul and mind as the producer of speech, wisdom and knowledge. Neither is He associated with the invisible (created) creatures, for these entities are only capable of wisdom, sanctification and other good qualities through participation. Quite the opposite, the essence of what we are talking about produces in itself wisdom and sanctification. It is also not possible to find from any external activity the strength the Holy Spirit where He receives this sanctification and the other good qualities. These kinds of characteristics would make the Holy Spirit mutable. Instead we find the Holy Spirit, as containing all knowledge, is the immutable consecrator, and as a kind philanthropist overflowing in His generosity bestows divine knowledge and all divine goods. Luke and Matthew say the very same thing in the Gospel. One of them says: how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him (Matt. 7.11)! While the other one says: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” From these two verses it is plausible that the Holy Spirit is the gift of God Himself in full, straight from His heart. The benefits pour forth like a fountain and is received from the grace of God. In addition, that which is intrinsically good cannot be involved in a goodness that is external to Himself. He is not capable of this because it is His goodness that is bestowed on other things. Thus, it clearly shows the Holy Spirit is recognisably different in characteristics from both the corporeal and incorporeal creatures because created beings receive the Spirit’s being so they can be made holy. Because He is the Bestower and Creator of holiness, He is not capable of participating in any other kind of sanctification. Then we have those who are sharers in the Holy Spirit and they enjoy communion with Him because it is in Him through which they have been made holy as it says: by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace. It is obvious here that he is referring to someone who has sinned after receiving the Holy Spirit. The point is if he had communed with the Holy Spirit and thereby had been sanctified by Him then it shows the Holy Spirit bestows sanctification through the one who must have been a sharer in Him. Still more, the apostle had written to the Corinthians added when listing those who would not receive the kingdom of heaven: Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1Cor 6.11). He claims the holy Spirit and the Spirit of God are one and of the same Being. And in the following statement he also shows the same point when he said: Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 12.3). The fact is the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God is confirmed by the Apostle.
5. We can only conclude that if the Holy Spirit is the one who makes holy then it is evident that His Being is immutable rather than mutable. The Divine Word testifies without any ambiguity that any being which is immutable belongs to God alone and to His Only-Begotten Son and it also proclaims that creaturely beings are changeable and mutable. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit is not ὁμοοὺσιος (of the same being) with a creature, His Being is not subject to change but is unchangeable. We can grant that if a creature were placed with the Father and the Son and possessed the same unchangeability then it would be immutable. For everything that has the ability to commune in the good of another is separated from his subsistence. All such existences are creatures. Now because he is good, God is the source and principle of all that is good. Therefore when he gives Himself to another, He makes them good: they receive good from the other, who is good. Hence it is possible to participate in him but not for him to participate in them. In addition, His Only-Begotten Son is “Wisdom” (1Cor. 1.24) and sanctification; he does not become wise but makes wise, and he is not made holy but makes holy. For this reason too it is possible to participate in him but not for him to participate. Hence, since an invisible creature (which is routinely called a rational and incorporeal being) cannot be taking part in but is quite capable of taking part. If it could be taking part in, it would not have the ability to take part in any good. It is simple in itself and is able to receive good from another, so it can only have its good by participating with the other. We must think to place it among those who possess goodness in themselves but among those who are able to possess goodness from others. For the Father and the Son are goodness rather than obtaining their goodness elsewhere. Let us reflect once more on the Holy Spirit. If He is really holy only through participation in someone else’s holiness then He would be grouped among the rest of the creatures. Instead, if He really is able to make holy those who participate in Him, then He should be in with the Father and the Son. Right here and in the Book of the Sects we have made it quite clear as best as we are able to, that others can participate in the Holy Spirit but there is nothing to be gained by His participation in others. These statements can be backed up by the whole of Scripture. In a letter to the Ephesians, the blessed Apostle wrote and said, In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, (Eph. 1.13-14). If some people are sealed with the Holy Spirit and take on His form and appearance, He is among those that have taken on His form and appearance have been sealed by Him. And to the Ephesians the same Apostle writes: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption, For by accepting the communion of the Holy Spirit he is testifying they have been sealed by those who have accepted communion with Him. Through more training and the power, so to speak, the knowledge that he receives and taken into himself shapes the mind so that he becomes a partaker in the Holy Spirit and in doing so is made spiritual and holy.
6. If the Holy Spirit were one of the creatures, then His being would be limited in the same way that all things were made are also limited. Invisible creatures are limited by their particular characteristics even if they are not bounded by place and limitations. But the Holy Spirit’s being is not bounded, even though he is in many. When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach what He taught them, He filled them with the Holy Spirit by breathing into their faces. He said: Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20.22) as well as: Go and teach all nations (Mt. 28.19). So He sent all the Apostles to all nations. Yet, not all the Apostles were sent to all the nations. Some went to Asia, to Scythia and others were spread out among the other nations, as guided by and ordered by the Holy Spirit, whom they possessed in them. Just like the Lord said: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28.20). This is also in line with the other text: but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1.8). Therefore, if those who are placed at the farthest ends of the earth in order to bear witness to the Lord happen to be separated by the furthest possible distance and still the Holy Spirit is present and indwells both of them, then it is clear the being of the Spirit who indwells is without bounds. An angel would never be able to do such a thing and it would be beyond their ability. For example, an angel who came to an Apostle in Asia while he was praying could not be present to others placed in other parts of the world. But the Holy Spirit is not only present to separate human beings who are not in contact with each other, He also indwells and is present to each one of the angels, principalities, thrones and dominions. Just as He sanctifies and has a different nature to that of human beings, He also sanctifies other creatures and he is different from them in their being and nature. Every creature is not made holy from their own being and nature but by communion with another’s holiness.
7. The fact that angels are called holy in the Gospel is true, especially when the Saviour said the Son of Man would come in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Lk. 9.26). And it is written in the Acts of Apostles that Cornelius was divinely directed by a holy angel to invite Peter, the disciple of Christ, to his house (Acts 10.22). It is only through the participation in the Holy Spirit and through the participation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, who is holy and in communion with the Father, about whom the Saviour said: Holy Father! that the angels are made holy. Then we can only conclude that the angels are not holy by their own nature and is only a result of their participation in the Trinity then it is clear their beings are different to the being of the Trinity. In the same way the Father sanctifies and is not the same as the ones He sanctifies and the Son is equally not the same as those He sanctifies, the Holy Spirit’s being is equally not the same as those He sanctifies as He bestows sanctification from Himself. But if the heretics are asserting the angels are holy according to their own natural condition (like the Trinity) then it could safely be assumed (according to them) the angels are ὁμοουσίους (of the same being) with the Trinity and therefore share the same immutable holy nature. Yet, if they reject this claim and in reality say the angels share a nature that is common with the rest of the creatures and nonetheless do not have the same kind of holiness as the human beings, then they end up saying the nature of human beings is better than the angels. If this is true, human beings would obtain their holiness through communion with the Trinity, but the angels who have a holiness all of their own, would be foreign to the Trinity. However, perfect human beings who are approaching the completion of their holiness pray to become holy like the angels (Lk. 20.36). It is the angels who help human beings, angels do not need the help of human beings. Angels are servants of salvation and declare the one who bestows the salvation. This shows clearly that angels are more honourable than human beings and far superior to them because they take part in the Trinity with a great deal more understanding of them and are more complete than us.
8. In conclusion, we know the Holy Spirit is different from those He makes holy and He does not have a nature like the rest of us who receive Him. But if His nature is different to ours and His existence is according to His own Being then it is obvious that He is not made nor is He created. This can be supported by many passages of Scripture which clearly prove that His nature is different from all created beings. It is said there are certain kinds of people who are filled with the Holy Spirit, but it is never said anywhere that someone is filled with a creature, neither in the Scriptures or in the manner in which we speak do we say anyone is filled with a creature. Scripture nor ordinary language endorses anything that says anyone is filled with an angel, a throne or with a dominion. This means of “filling” is reserved only for the divine nature. However, what we say is there are certain people who are filled with power and teaching, such as, he is filled with the Holy Spirit, which shows us that they are filled completely and perfectly. It was written about John (the Baptist) and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb (Luke 1.15). And again, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1.41). A little further on And his father (John the Baptist’s father) Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied (Luke 1.67). It also says in the Acts of the Apostles that when many of the believers were gathered together And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2.4). What can be shared is the Holy Spirit Himself and His likeness and wisdom. One cannot call the Being of the Holy Spirit His own. The nature of the sanctification is the Holy Spirit fills all things and cannot be owned. To highlight this, some are said to be filled with the Holy Spirit as it is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles: and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4.31). For just as one who is well informed about someone else’s knowledge and is filled with it and can deliver a speech about it in a learned and precise way because they clearly grasp it, in the same way, one can speak the Word of God with confidence those who receive the Holy Spirit in such a way that they are obviously filled with Him, He is present to him equipping him with a word that is worthy of God. Some here said, Thus says the Holy Spirit (Acts 21.11) and the Apostle: Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5.18).In many passage in the Acts of the Apostles the Lord’s disciples were often described as filled with the Holy Spirit: Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom (Acts 6.3). It is also said of Stephen: But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7.55). It is also said concerning His chosen instrument: But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him. Furthermore, it points out concerning all believers in common: And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13.52). Now when an angel is present or any other similar created being they can never fill the mind nor provide understanding like the Holy Spirit because what is provided to them comes not from them but from elsewhere. Just as someone who partakes in the fulness of the Saviour is likewise made full of wisdom, truth, justice and the Word of God, they are also being filled with the Holy Spirit and is immediately filled with all the gifts of God such as wisdom, knowledge, faith and the rest of the qualities of God. Therefore, creatures are not able to fill themselves. They can only partake in the one who fills creatures with power and wisdom. Therefore, His unique characteristics are vastly different to the creatures. We also said elsewhere that the fullness of the divine gifts is intrinsic to the Being of the Holy Spirit.
9. It is only possible for anyone to receive the grace of God if they have the Holy Spirit because it is in Him that all the gifts of God is contained. But it is the Word who demonstrates very clearly that anyone who has the Holy Spirit also obtains the perfect word of wisdom as well as the other goods. We said briefly a while ago the goods of God are contained in the very Being of the Holy Spirit and offered this scripture as an example: heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11.13) and how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him (Matt. 7.11). Neither should we be of the opinion that the Holy Spirit is divided in Being because it says that He is a multitude of goods. He is impassible, indivisible and immutable. Because His actions and notions are so diverse, He is called by many technical terms. The reason is He does not give the same power equally to those who partake in Him in communion. He suits Himself as to what benefit each person needs with the goods whom He decides should manifest in them. Finally, Stephen was a first witness to the truth, and he was worthy of his name, was known to be filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit as a consequence of abiding in Him, its says in Scripture: chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6.5). And in another place it says: And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6.8). And still more: But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking (Acts 6.10). This man, fully of joy, was filled with the Holy Spirit and was made to partake in the faith which comes from the Holy Spirit as it says: But to another, faith by the same Spirit (1Cor 12.9). He had tremendous grace and strength according to the very same Spirit, performing great signs and wonders among the people. He abounded in the gifts of healing and power which is according to the very same Spirit. In the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians these gifts of God are numbered in the Spirit and according to the Spirit. Stephen overflowed with these gifts of divine grace to such a degree that none of the arguments of those who opposed him were able to withstand the Spirit’s wisdom that spoke in him. It was only according to the Lord and the Holy Spirit that he was wise. This is why Jesus instructed his disciples: “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute (Mark 13.12-15).
10. Let us refer to His testimony here: When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defence, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12.11-12). There is also another passage: So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute (Luke 21.14-15). That being so, we can see it is the Holy Spirit who gives words to the Apostles against those who dispute the gospel making it quite clear the speech in wisdom and knowledge is known to be from the very being of the Holy Spirit. Now is not the time to explain how the Saviour makes this work so that even the most gifted in speech are not able to oppose. The purpose now is to show that the gifts of the good qualities of the Spirit imply that the one who has Him is granted that he is also filled with the gifts of God. This is the reason why God says in Isaiah: I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, And My blessing on your descendants. Firstly, it is the Holy Spirit who must first come before one receives the spiritual blessings of God. When one receives the Holy Spirit the blessings will follow specifically in the form of knowledge, understanding and so on. The Apostle wrote in the following way about them: For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1.9-10). Those who are filled with the will of God will worthily progress in good deeds through works, speech and prudence. He places His Spirit upon them to fill them with wisdom, understanding as well as the rest of the spiritual goods. Wisdom and understanding are given by God through the Holy Spirit: For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Wisdom that comes from human beings is carnal and human and is not spiritual. On this point, the Apostle wrote: not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world (2Cor. 1.12). What he means by “carnal wisdom” is what humans think happens in the corporeal realm. The Spiritual and the wise understanding that goes with it deals with the invisible intellectual things where the Holy Spirit makes it real and active to those who receive it through His activity. There are many other passages that shows us that it is in the very Being of the Holy Spirit where the gifts of God reside as it says: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15.13).
11. It is God who is the Giver of the gifts and in the power of the Holy Spirit and gives to us the promised hope to those who have the Spirit. Joy and peace fulfils them and is calm like still waters, their thoughts are undisturbed and peaceful and their minds are set in tranquility of a fine spring day and the storm has passed. Whoever receives these gifts in the power of the Holy Spirit I have just spoken about has hold of the correct faith in the mystery of the Trinity. Keeping with the same epistle in this passage Paul says, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17). For those who are willing to hear it, by asserting that justice in the Holy Spirit, keeping in line with the virtues we have mentioned before, is in union with the joy of God, is clearly demonstrating that these gifts are within the very being of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, these gifts come to human beings from the overwhelming generosity of the Holy Spirit, the calling of the Gentiles brought in by the teaching of the Gospel is determined to be acceptable and holy by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the very Being of God Himself, the gifts He gives are Holy and acceptable gifts. Whoever is filled with these gifts acts in a reasonable manner, teaching correctly, living in an upright manner, performing signs and wonders in a true and a way leading to perfection. The Holy Spirit imparts His strength to him where it becomes evident that He is the cause of the fulness of the gifts. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, knew the nature of the gifts of God was the overflowing generosity of the Holy Spirit. When he was reprimanded for entering Cornelius’ house he said: Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11.17). He responded to his fellow disciples: And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith (Acts 15.8-9). This falls into line with many other passages that the Holy Spirit is given by God: “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit in Him; (Is. 42.1). Also, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, NB: The word “it” is referring to the earth (Is. 42.5). We have previously shown clearly now that the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are the same thing. Paul avers to this too: because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5.5). This too: because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Luke 11.13). It is said this Spirit is to be poured out by God on all flesh. When this happens, whoever receives Him will prophecy and see visions. This is what Joel was talking about in the person of God That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy (Joel 2.28). It is for sake of prophesying and seeing the beauty of truth in the mind that the Spirit is poured forth. The term “pouring forth” is a clear sign the Being of the Holy Spirit is uncreated. When God sends an angel or any other creature He does not say, “I will pour forth my angel, power, throne or dominion. For this particular way of speaking is used only in situations of those who have participated in others in the same context as we have spoken previously regarding the love of God, which is poured forth into the hearts of those who have received the Holy Spirit. Paul says: because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5.5). Because we can commune with the Saviour Himself, He is also said to be “poured forth” like perfume. Your name is like perfume poured forth (Song 1.3). When perfume is contained in a bottle has an odour which is contained in it and is prevented from dispersing out because it is contained in the bottle. When it is opened it sends its fragrance far and wide. In the same way, the fragrance of the name of Christ was contained within the people of Israel alone as if the Jews were contained in closed bottle: In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel (Ps. 76.1). When He was manifest in the flesh, the name of the Saviour spread throughout the earth, more specifically, through all creation bringing to fulfilment what was written: O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Ps. 8.1). The Apostle also said the same: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4.12). Furthermore, it says in the Psalms: For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name (Ps. 138.2). It was from this time forward that the following was accomplished: Your name is like perfume poured forth (Song 1.3). Now the term “pouring forth” expresses His lavish gift of great bounty and plentifulness.
12. The Holy Spirit does not say to one here and one there, “I will pour forth my Spirit.” It doesn’t say that. This is only said in the context that He is given in abundance to all nations. Titus is reminded by the Apostle that salvation was given to the nations: not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly (Titus 3.5-6). This shows clearly that the term “pouring forth” is a sign of an overwhelming and generous distribution of the Spirit. From this we can learn that the Being of Holy Spirit is uncreated because He has made it so that we can participate in Him. Immutability shows its capacity to be united and communed with which means eternity follows immutability. On the other hand, mutability shows its capacity to be able to participate and its being is created and mutable. Therefore, this is the reason a thing that is created cannot be immutable because no created thing is eternal. Thus the rationality in human beings is mutable and created and it is the same that is found in all creatures. In fact the Divine words tell us that the angels fell and headed to ruin. Although there are a multitude of angels, the virtuous ones along with the other powers persevered into blessedness and holiness. It was those that were similar in nature to them that changed. The ones who did not change remained in their original state not because their beings were immutable but because they were concerned with continuing in the Lord’s service. It is not possible for those who are co-equal to be different in nature. In the same way human beings are mortal, the entire human race is mortal, if superior human beings are immortal all those who of the same race as them must also be immortal.
13. If this is the way it is, then even if one angel is mutable then all the angels must be mutable. If they persevere in blessedness they need not change. How is it that all human bodies are divisible but not all are divided? Even if some of them are divided we know that the rest of them are similar in nature anyway. These statements show that the Holy Spirit has His own Being that is not only different from visible creatures but invisible ones as well. If what we are saying is true, it is the epitome of blasphemy that some people will try and group the Holy Spirit together with all things that have been made by God through the Word and conclude the Holy Spirit has been created. In the previous two points we have made, we have shown the Holy Spirit is not among the “all things” that are made. Rather His Being is beyond all things that are made. We have already shown that if the creatures are divided in corporeal and incorporeal and the Holy Spirit is created, then surely He has to be either invisible or visible, in other words, corporeal or incorporeal. We have also said that it is not possible for Him to be a body because He teaches and imparts knowledge and is able to be participated in the mind and the soul. We have also discussed that the Holy Spirit is not a creature. The is why Paul wrote in his epistle to the Hebrews that he is different to all the angels. He says: But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies, A footstool for Your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb. 1.13-14). Later on in the epistle he says: how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will (Heb. 2.3-4). Now the verse that says to “which of the angels” can be the same as saying, none of them because the noun “angel” signifies the type of being of all invisible creatures. It was not to an angel nor any rational creature that God said: “Sit at my right hand.” The text says, generally, that “sit at my right hand” does not refer to any creature. This is also true when we speak generally for creation. After this he declared about all invisible creatures and said they are ministering spirits and this is the reason he said: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service? Not all invisible creatures are sent individually. Nevertheless, because others of the same kind and rank are sent, having the same being and equality the rest are sent in the same way. How, then, is the Lord different from creatures? Now the Apostle did not want us to forsake our great salvation which began with the Lord when he said, How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? The Lord began this great salvation, we declared it, and it was established for us by those who heard Him. In addition, God gave proof to this salvation through signs and wonders showing He is different from all the ministering spirits. This is the same with the Holy Spirit. God gives the Holy Spirit according to His will and this bears witness to Him. He is not sent in bits and pieces. Instead it is by communion with those God decides to grant Him. The Holy Spirit has a being different to those in which He is poured forth and dispersed.
14. We have shown, without any doubt, in the true spirit of Scripture, that the Holy Spirit is different from all creatures. Therefore, it is pointless and irreligious for those to try and show He is created by the use of the passage that says: All things were made through the Word thereby attempting to make the eternal Being part of all things that were made. They try to use the words of the prophet where God says: I am the one who creates spirit, so we should show how totally bereft from understanding the truth they really are. Now regarding the prophet’s words has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit when we look at the context and flow of the words said. Amos is speaking in the context of God as follows: prepare to call upon your God, O Israel since, I am the one who gives strength to thunder and who creates spirit and who proclaims Christ to humanity, who makes the dawn and foggy mist, and who mounts on the high places of the earth: Almighty Lord is His name. Now we pay special attention to the context in which God says he creates spirit. At the same time He says this He connects it with gives strength to thunder as well as makes the dawn and foggy mist. We can see creates spirit in the right way in the following: When you call upon me, your God, who watches over the universe, who is the Creator of all things, who gives strength to the thunder and creates spirit, who makes the dawn and foggy mist for the benefit of humanity, be prepared to call on Me, O Israel, when you do so, you have prayed to Me the one who has established all that I just said. In this way, you may enjoy times of joy and plenty of produce because I am the One who guides all things year after year and order nature accordingly. As a result, the year will be full of fruitful abundance as the seasons come at the right time and that each dawn will salute you with favourable winds. So it is with an allegorical approach that we must tend to the task of interpreting thunder and the dawn and the foggy mist. They indicate something but is through figurative interpretation. Now if they argue otherwise that we are to take this literally concerning the Holy Spirit on the basis that the creation of the spirit is mentioned in the following: And who proclaims his Christ to humanity, then we have to address this.
15. This is quite necessary because the heretics falsely contend that the Father and God of the Saviour is not the same as the Creator. When they make this impious claim they cannot see past their own nose when they make this offensive assumption when it is contradicted by the very same passage when it says: “I am the one who gives strength to thunder and who creates spirit and who makes and organises other parts of the world, who proclaims my Christ to humanity. In this latter providential work of mine stands above all my other pieces. So much so that I am not just the cause of the externals, but also things which relate to the benefit of the soul and the mind.” The term who creates spirit I conclude to be the same as saying who creates wind. It is God’s providence which directs the wind as result of the motion of the air. We read elsewhere Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries (Ps. 135.7), but it is a good thing he did not say who created rather, He said who creates wind. Now if the passage was talking about the Being of the Holy Spirit, we can be certain it said, who created. God does create the same thing over and over again. Therefore it is just common sense that when He said who creates is about the wind because winds were not made once. Insofar as we do not question their existence, they occur daily. The fact that in this debate spirit is said to created without the use of the definite article was intended is no mere accident as when used in the Greek denotes uniqueness. When it is not used, the spirit is not holy. In almost every case when the definite article is used in naming the Holy Spirit it gives it uniqueness. Eg: The Spirit Himself—Αὐτὸ τὸ Πνεῦμα—testifies with our Spirit (Rom. 8.16); and, It is the Spirit who gives life— Τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐστιν τὸ ζωοποιοῦν (Jn. 6.63); and, so too no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God—τὸ Πνεῦμα θεοὺ—for the Spirit—τὸ Πνεὺμα γάρ—searches all things, even the depths of God. You will find many examples of such passages in the Sacred writings. When we find those few occasions when the Holy Spirit is named without the use of the definite article, then there are additional texts which indicates His majesty. There are other times where the absence of the definite article when it appears the focus is not on Him as such but indicates a participation in Him. Examples such as the Spirit of Elijah (2Kings 2.15) and Walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5.16) as well as many others.
16. Since these Scriptures which I have just mentioned, as well as many others, it is clearly demonstrated and shows the Holy Spirit is not a creature nor part of things created but is always placed together with the Father and the Son. Now we will show you by exploring how this is so. Paul wrote towards the end of his second epistle to the Corinthians: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2Cor. 13.14). This is clear language that shows He is one with the Trinity because whoever receives the grace of Christ has Him as much the Father’s issuing as by the Holy Spirit’s lavishing. The following passage describes the way in which the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ issue their grace: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 1.7). It is not as if the Father gives one kind of grace and the Saviour another, considering that as Paul writes that grace is given by both the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is also brought to completion in the Holy Spirit. According to the following passage, the Spirit himself is called grace as well: he was sanctified and has insulted the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10.29). According to the book of Zechariah God promised He would pour Himself out. He would abundantly grant Jerusalem the spirit of grace and tenderness. In receiving the Holy Spirit one has also received the gift from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus it shows the fact there is only one grace of the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ and is brought to perfection by the internal activity of the Holy Spirit demonstrating the Trinity is of the same Being. In another passage where it says The love of God be with you all (2Cor. 13.14), we see it is the Trinity who gives and also giving strength to the love. The Saviour says He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him. It clear here that the Saviour’s love towards those He loves is precisely the same as the Father’s love. The kind of love God has is the love that saves bearing in mind that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (Jn. 3.16). This is also true for the Son who is life. He wants those He loves to have improved life and health and be the better for it. This is the reason He says He loves any who is loved by the Father. The Prophets also said the same thing: And he himself will save them because he loved them.
17. This love is the fruit of the Spirit and the Apostle testifies to this. In the same way peace has been give both by the Father and the Son: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Gal.5.22). The Holy Spirit pours this love into the hearts of believers: because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5.5). When one communes with the Holy Spirit they have God’s wisdom in Word and Truth and also has made contact with the very holiness of the Father, Son and Spirit. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1Cor 1.9). John also writes with the Father in mind; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with him (1Jn. 1.9). Elsewhere also: and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1John 1.3). Therefore whoever has fellowship with the Holy Spirit at the very same time as fellowship with the Father and the Son. Whenever anyone has the love of the Father, it is given as a gift from the Son through the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, whenever anyone participates in the grace of Jesus Christ, it is the same grace given by the Father through the Holy Spirit. Based on the passages we have just mentioned it is clearly shown that the activity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is one and the same. This means where there is a unified activity there is a single Being. This is because things of a single Being—ὁμοούσια—have a unified activity. Things who are of a different being—ἐτεροούσια—have no unity and activities according to their own being.
18. Not only do these passages I have shown before mention the unity of the Trinity, there are many countless others as well. We now need to refer to them one by one. In the passage where Peter exposed Ananias as a fraud, he tried to convince Peter that he was offering all the money he had received from the sale of his land. Peter clearly showed the Holy Spirit’s unity with God not according to number but according to His Being when he said: But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5.3-4). It is obvious there is a connection here between the Holy Spirit and God because if we lie to God then we lie to the Holy Spirit and if we lie to the Holy Spirit then we lie to God. The only way this can be clearly understood is if the very same holiness that exists in God must also exist in the Holy Spirit. Now we have mentioned already that the Holy Spirit and the Father share the same divinity in their Person and His divinity is not different to the Son’s. The Saviour said to His disciples: When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defence, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12.11-12).; So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute (Luke 21.14-15). Take note of what He says after these passages: “They should not worry about how they respond to their opponents because at that very moment they will be taught the suitable response by the Holy Spirit,” He immediately proves it providing grounds for confidence; So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But when the time comes to respond He says they will be taught the suitable response by the Holy Spirit, He says: for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.
19. What these passages prove is the wisdom given to the disciples by the Son is the very same wisdom as the Holy Spirit. The teaching of the Lord is also the teaching of the Holy Spirit and the partnership between them is unified in character and will. And since we have shown previously that the Spirit is identified by His characteristics with the Only-Begotten God and God the Father where the Father and the Son are one according to the passage: I and the Father are one (Jn. 10.30). This shows the character of the Trinity is united and unable to be torn apart in anyway. In one of the other Gospels it says: For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matt. 10.20). We can conclude from this that it is the Spirit of the Father who speaks in the Apostles teaching them the suitable response. If wisdom is what the Spirit teaches them which only through the Son we can understand, then it is clear the Spirit shares the same characteristics as the Son and the Father in whom the Spirit originates from. In addition to this, the Father and the Son are “one” meaning the Trinity is united in Being.
20. There is another example in Scripture that shows the single power and nature of the Trinity. Just as we have taught so often, the Son is called the Hand, the Arm and the Right hand of the Father where these terms shows clearly there is no difference in their nature and character. The Holy Spirit is so called the finger of God because He is united in His nature and character with the Father and the Son. When some people in one of the Gospels were disparaging Him concerning one of His miracles, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” He responded to them, “For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11.15). Another one of the evangelists wrote about this same event and has the Son saying; But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12: 28). In these passages, it shows the Holy Spirit is the finger of God. Therefore, we know the finger is joined to the hand and the hand is joined to the one who eternally is then there is no doubt the finger is joined to the very being of God Himself.
21. Take care not to begin your thinking from those who are lower and drift away from what we are discussing. Do not let your imagination get away with you where you start to picture limbs and their sizes trying to categorise them according to how big or small they are saying, “a finger is much smaller than a hand and the hand is somehow different from the hand of the one who eternally is. Scripture uses these terms purely for the purpose of the demonstration of spiritual realities showing not their dimensions but the unity of Being. Just as the hand is not divided from the body through which everything is done and accomplished, just as the hand belongs to the one who eternally is, the finger also cannot be divided from the hand and is in unity with the eternal one. Therefore when you think about God, reject discussions regarding inequalities and measurements and understand the union contained in the finger, the hand and the entire body. Now it is this very Finger of God that the Law was written on the tablets of stone. It is quite easy to show proof of our faith in another one of our writings. God is called Only-Wise (Rom 16.27) and does not receive wisdom from another. He is also not wise by participating in someone else’s wisdom. Many are called wise not because they are wise in their own nature but through communion with wisdom. God is called Only-Wise and is not made wise by participating in another’s wisdom from anywhere else. He is the source of wisdom and therefore makes others wise. What is the wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ? Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1Cor 1.24). The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Wisdom. In the Old Testament it shows Joshua, the son of Nun was filled, by the Lord, with the Spirit of Wisdom (Deut 34.9). Thus, since God is the Only-wise, He did not receive His wisdom from anywhere else. He is the source of wisdom and makes others wise by His own wisdom. All who are called wise by His name are so because He is wise. The more wise people there are, the safer the world will be (Wisdom 6.25), They themselves know that they are wise (unknown), Keep company with the wise and you will become wise (Prov. 13.20). Thus the Holy Spirit receives no other source of wisdom other than Himself so He is the spirit of wisdom. His Wisdom is His Being, the spirit of wisdom and is characteristic of the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of God and is no other. We have already spoken at length about this in the book of the Sects, so there is no need to go over this again and again. What we have discussed is more than sufficient.
22. Because the Spirit of Wisdom and Truth is inseparable from the Son, He is also Wisdom and Truth. The Holy Spirit is in the same circle of unity and being, exhibiting the same wisdom and truth. We see and understand this when we refer to the Son Who is from the Father and is in total harmony with His Being. Now the Son is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1.15) and the exact representation of His Person (Heb 1.3). Whoever is fashioned according to this Image will be led into likeness with God. The ability of such is only achieved within the limitations in the capacity of human form. Using this as an example, the Holy Spirit is the seal of God sealing those who conform to the image of God leading them to the seal of Christ where He fills them with wisdom, knowledge and, most importantly, faith. There are a variety of effects but the same God who works all things in all persons (1Cor 12.6). The numerous and multiple fulness of gifts is manifested by the Father, multiplied by the Son and resides in the Being of the Spirit. For one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit (1Cor 12.8-9). When the Apostle lists the rest of the gifts, he says: But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to one individually just as He wills (1Cor 12.11).
23. From this we learn that the unique characteristics of the Holy Spirit is that He works as He distributes. Thus we should not be swayed by those who say the Holy Spirit is just an activity of God. He is the very Being of God. Many other passages say this clearly that the Holy Spirit is of the same being as the Apostle writes in this passage. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us (Acts 15.28). The expression, it seemed good does not appear to indicate merely an activity but a unique characteristic since we find this expression used about the Lord: as it seemed good to the Lord, so it was done (Job 1.21 Septuagint translation). Now we need to take the Spirit ‘s own words into consideration which we read frequently in the Scriptures. In the following passage referring to the disciples of Christ: While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13.2). This divine and authoritative voice is a clear sign His is no ordinary created Being but uncreated. He did call Barnabas and Paul to a work that was not just of the Father and the Son because the ministry endowed by the Spirit and handed over to them is also of the Father and the Son. This is what Paul says in Galatians: for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles (Gal 2.8). Both are directed to their respective nations by the authority of the Holy Spirit. In the same way, the Spirit completes the ministry of Christ working in the Apostles. This is why they declared that they spoke in Christ, saw Him with their own eyes, they were ministers of the Word meaning they were stewards of God. Finally, the apostles, as the leaders of the priesthood, Christ showed they possessed and were initiators of His faith and said, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28.19). Paul wrote accurately: one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4.5). Who then will be other than compelled to see their is no difference in the Holy Trinity? There is one faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit so the baptism is presented and confirmed in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
24. I don’t think anyone would be so foolish and insane by proposing that any baptism in the name of the Father and the Son would be perfect without adding the Holy Spirit. Or to even give a baptism in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit would be perfect if the Son was left out. Or to give a baptism in the name of the and Son and the Holy Spirit would be perfect without the Father first mentioned at the beginning. Though one can exist with such a heart of stone (so to speak) and not of sound mind and might try to baptise in such a way that leaves out one of the prescribed names, this kind of person would arbitrate against the law of Christ and his baptism would be incomplete and those he baptised would not be free from their sins. From these texts we can draw the conclusion the Being of the Trinity is without division where the Father is truly the Father of the Son and the Son is truly the Son of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is truly the Spirit of the Father and God and in particular the Spirit of Wisdom and Truth, which is of the Son of God. It is this salvation the people believe and the distribution of the ecclesiastical teaching discipline is completed in the Trinity. The Saviour sent his disciples to preach the gospel to teach the teachings of truth. The Father is said to have laid down the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (1Cor 12.28). In the same way the Apostle says something similar; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts (1Thess. 2.4). The ones Christ commanded to be teachers are also approved by the Father. It is also correct to say the Holy Spirit establishes the leaders and administrators of the church. At the time the Apostle Paul gathered the elders from the church he planted in Melitus and the many congregations in the area, he said, Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Now if Christ sent these kind of people to evangelise and baptise the nations and it is by the Holy Spirit as well as appointed by the decree of the Father then we can be certain the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are single in their activity and unified in their approval. This shows clearly that the Trinity shares the same Being. We need to take into consideration that the creature cannot live in the heart and mind the way God does but this is what God, His Word and the Holy Spirit do. For example, the Father says to some: “I will dwell in them and walk among them (2Cor. 6.16). Also, in speaking to Him, Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel (Ps. 22.3), because the Creator dwells in exalted places. The true and Only-begotten Son dwells in the hearts and minds of the believers. They Apostle says it is through faith that Christ dwells in the inner person in the Spirit when he wrote: through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph. 3.16-17), saying this of himself: Christ lives in me (Gal. 2.20), and further, Christ who speaks in me (2Cor. 13.3). The Saviour said: I and my Father will come (referring to the ones who keeps His command) and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (John 14.23). The following text is added: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (John 14.23).
25. We are the house in which Jesus has made His home where the Spirit also dwells. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he says: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (2Cor 3.16). If the Holy Spirit is in the same house and temple where the Father and Son dwells, this surely proves the Being of the Trinity is without division. Further on, in the same epistle Paul says: do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? (1Cor 6.19). Since we now know that the Holy Spirit, with the Father and the Son, dwells within the mind and the inner person, it senseless, let alone intolerable, to say that he is speaking as if He is a creature. From what we understand, it is possible through virtues and skills and those contrary to commotion and incompetence might possibly have an impact on lives accidentally. However, it is impossible for a created nature to dwell in the mind. Now if we are to believe the Holy Spirit clearly dwells in the heart and soul, then it stand to reason we are to believe that He is also uncreated along with the Father and the Son. Therefore, all that has been discussed previously show in precisely the same way as the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is clearly considered to be incorruptible and eternal. This is absolutely clear and without doubt and is not based on loose facts that He cannot be classified with created beings. He is the Spirit of God who comes from out of the Father just as the Saviour says: “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me. The Holy Spirit has been given the name Counsellor as a result of His activity. He is given this name because he not only consoles those He has found worthy of Himself and sets them free from all sadness and distress but also He gives them an amazing joy and gladness. So much so that anyone who thanks God for being worthy can say: You have put gladness in my heart (Ps. 4.7). Those who have the Holy Spirit in them, everlasting joy abides in their heart. The Spirit is the Counsellor who is sent from the Son. He is not sent in the same way as the angels, prophets and apostles are sent to minister but He is the indivisible Spirit of the wisdom and truth of God and possesses His characteristic good nature. When the Father sent the Son He is not separated from Him but remains in Him and He has the Father in Himself. In fact, the Spirit of Truth comes forth from the Father and the Son, sent in the same way above. He does not go and leave them behind. He goes from this only source. To say otherwise is impossible and blasphemous. If the Spirit goes to a place, and the Father is in another place this means the Spirit is limited in the same way as created beings. Just as the Father is not confined by anything and is beyond all created being, so it is with the Spirit of Truth who is no way confined by any created boundary. He too is beyond all created being and surpasses them in every way.
26. Since what we believe about spiritual things is not impious we therefore say that as the Son has come out from the Father so it is with the Holy Spirit, which the Saviour says: for I proceeded forth and have come from God (John 8.42). Places and changes of place are separate from spiritual realities. This is how we distinguish which things come from where and what is internal from them or external from them since they belong to bodies which can be touched or extended. This language is inexpressible and is a conversation that requires faith: for I proceeded forth and have come from God (ibid) and that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father – the same Father speaking by the Spirit who proceeds from Me. One might have possibly have said, from God, from the Lord, or, from the Almighty but neither of these were used. Instead, from the Father was used. This does not mean the Father is no way different from Almighty God because it would be wrong to say this. Instead, the Spirit is said to proceed from the Father (John 15.26) proceeding forth with the same abilities and characteristics that He shares with the Father. It is permissible to say the Saviour has come out from God, which the Saviour on many occasions said regarding Himself. He maintains the distinction but assumes the intimacy. When He talks about the Father, He says, I am in the Father and the Father is Me (John 14.10) and elsewhere He says, I and the Father are one (John 10.30). The reader will find many other similar passages in the Gospel. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father where the Lord says: He will testify about Me (John 15.26). He brings a side-by-side testimony which is the same testimony as the Father and the Lord says it like this: They testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me (John 5.36). When the Son sends the Spirit of Truth who is called Counsellor, the Father also sends Him at the same time. It is not as if the Son is absent when the Father sends the Spirit. It is because the Father and the Son have an identical will. This Saviour speaks through the Prophets in such manner (it is clear if one reads through the entire passage) And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” This leaves little doubt that he sends both His Son and the Spirit. The Apostle also says: but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (1Pet. 1.12). In the book of Wisdom which is so named by those who have been given grace by God, this voice which gives thanks to God: Who, then, can ever hope to understand heavenly things? No one has ever learned your will, unless you first gave him Wisdom, and sent your holy spirit down to him. In this way people on earth have been set on the right path, have learned what pleases you (Wisdom 9.16-18). This text shows the Father that He not only gives Wisdom, which we know to the Only-Begotten Son, but He also sends the Holy Spirit.
27. It is preached in the Gospel that it is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit. The Saviour says: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth (John 14.16-17). It is mentioned again: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things (John 14.26). In these passages the Father is giving another Comforter. The Son promises to come to them as a Comforter but the Father will also send another Comforter, the Holy Spirit, as it says in this passage: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things (ibid). By naming another Counsellor is not to show their characteristics are different but to show there is diversity in how they operate. The Person of the Saviour has the role of Mediator and represents us and on our behalf is High Priest who is always alive and intercedes for our sins forever saving those who through Him have come to God. He is always alive interceding for them with the Father. Now the Holy Spirit is also Paraclete and has the role of consoling us in our time of sorrow. This does not necessarily mean they exhibit different characteristics because they have different activities. Now in another place we find the Comforter Spirit acting as our ambassador to the Father at it says here: In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8.26-27).
28. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, consoles in the hearts of those who are in need of the Saviour. It is written: But God, who comforts the depressed (2Cor. 7.6). In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul. This is the reason that those who have taken hold of this benefit give Him praise saying: O Lord, according to the multitudes of sorrows in my heart, your comforts have given joy to my soul, or Your consolations delight my soul. Both are variations from different versions. The Father Himself is called the God of all comfort (1Cor 1.3) and is said to comfort those who are troubled who are afflicted so they may gain salvation and health and through patience are able to obtain the crown of glory. The Spirit is therefore the Counsellor and Comforter and is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth who is given by the Father so that He may always reside in the disciples of Christ. The Saviour Himself says, Behold I am with you always even to the end of the ages (Matt. 28.20). The Son and the Holy Spirit are always present to the Apostles so it stands to reason that the Father is also in union with them. Those who receive the Son also receive the Father. The Father makes His home in those who are worthy of His presence. At the same time wherever one finds the Son, they will also find the Holy Spirit. You will find in the Prophets it is the Holy Spirit who is helping them to predict the future as well as other activities which is to do with the Holy Spirit, it is said the Word of God has come upon them. It is customary for the Prophets to declare, Thus says the Lord where it says something like, the Word which came to Isaiah, or to whichever prophet is concerned.
29. We know that the Holy Spirit is in the Prophets when they are speaking. He said, Whatever I have commanded my servants, the prophets in the Spirit (Sept. Zach 1.6). What the Saviour in the gospel indicates, the righteous men who foretold of His coming, where completely filled with the Holy Spirit. When asking the Pharisees concerning what they thought about the Christ the Saviour, He heard them say it would be the son of David, He said, How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand.” If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son? (Matt. 22.43-45). It was more than suitable for Peter to say to his friends in faith, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas (Acts 1.16). Further on it says who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? (Acts 4.25; Ps. 2.1). The Word of God commanded the Prophet Isaiah and this is what he prophesied through the Holy Spirit as written at the end of Acts: The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing, and the rest (Acts 28: 25-26). Paul said it was the Lord, the Holy Spirit who made the announcement: Then I heard, says Isaiah, the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Hear with your ears, after this it is the Lord Himself saying, Understand with their hearts, and return and be healed. Immediately the prophet replied, How long Lord? (Is. 6.8-11). Even though the Lord told the prophet what to write down and even though he replied to the Lord when he was commanded to say How long Lord? Paul claims that what the Lord said to the prophet was actually declared by the Holy Spirit. We have clearly shown so often that the Lord and the Holy Spirit have a united will and share the same characteristics and the name of the Lord is to be understood when the Spirit is concerned. It says in Corinthians we give the title God to the Father and the title Lord to Jesus Christ. This does not take away the power of the Father’s Lordship nor the deity of the Son. For the same reason where the Father is Lord and the Son is God the Holy Spirit is also called Lord. If the Holy Spirit is Lord, then it is because He is God, as we said earlier when we referred to Peter where Ananias withheld money, because he was referring to the deity of the Holy Spirit.
30. From this line of enquiry we can conclude: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things (Jn. 14.26). From the language in this verse, let us see if we can find any agreement with what we have said so far. The Saviour affirms it is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit in His name. In the proper sense, the name of the Saviour is the Son and this name indicates a sharing of characteristics and, in a manner of speaking, the marked qualities of the Persons in question. This name of the Son in whom the Father sends the Holy Spirit, is not a servant, not a stranger to them and is not meant to mean in any way to be divided from the Son. Now in what manner does the Son come in the name of the Father, as He says: I have come in My Father’s name (Jn 5.43)? He comes as the Father’s Son and thereby comes in His name maintaining what is proper of the Son to the Father and what is proper of the Father to the Son. On the other hand, no one else comes in the name of the Father but the Word of Grace, the Lord, and God, and Almighty God! We can see this clearly and is at the heart of what we read in the prophets. Now Moses, God’s great minister and servant, came in the name of “Him who is” as well as the name of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God said to him, Go tell the children of Israel, “He who is” has sent me to you (Ex. 3.4), and again, You shall say to them: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has sent me to you (Ex. 3.15). Since these servants were righteous, he said in the following passage: all that I command by my Spirit to my servants the prophets (Sept. Zech 1.6), this mission was in the name of God. Since they presented themselves as worthy to God, they came in the name of God. As they progressed onto better things and came under His authority, they came in the name of Almighty God. Because the children of Israel were living in Egypt they learned to worship and honour gods who were not gods and to honour the fathers of this world with divine honours. As a result of Moses being sent to them under the name of He who is, he rescued them from the gods who were not gods and brought them to the true God, that is, the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
31. How is it that the servants come in the name of the Lord? In doing so, they are subjected to His service, point to Him in their communications and tell others what is proper to Him and thereby they are servants of Him after all. In this way, the Son also comes in the name of the Father, Who also communicates to us all that the Father says and what is proper to His name. All the things He said means we can accept that He is the Only-Begotten Son. Therefore, it is in the name of the Son that the Father sends the Holy Spirit containing all the properties and characteristics of the Son in that He is also God. However, He is not another Son but is united to the Son. As the Spirit of the Son He makes sons and daughters of those who receive Him through adoption: but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8.15). It is the Holy Spirit who comes in the name of the Father. He will teach all who are perfected in the faith of Christ, that is, all things spiritual and intellectual, which will lead to perfection in wisdom, truth and the all other assurances. But He will not teach in the conventional way through a teacher or a master who specialises in and is familiar with a particular object of study. Rather, He is the Object of our study, the Teaching, the Wisdom and the Truth lies in Him and He invisibly imparts the knowledge of Himself to the mind. In fact, this is the way the Father teaches all the disciples. Just like the one who was taught by Him has said, O God of my fathers, for thou has given me wisdom and power (Sept. Dan. 2.23). Another so boldly says: O God, You have taught me from my youth (Ps. 71.17). So this is the way they are all taught. God, the Son, is the Wisdom and Truth of God and those who participate in Him, His Wise and True instruction is imparted to them. There is no method or technique to it. It is the unique characteristics of who He is, which is the teaching that is received. This is the reason why the disciples say that it is only the Master who teaches. It is this kind of teaching that the Father and the Son gives into the hearts of believers, to those who have stopped living like animals: But a natural (Latin: like an animal) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; especially those who think what He says is foolishness. But the one who cleanses his mind of these disturbances is filled with the teachings of the Holy Spirit thus completing him by His words of wisdom and knowledge. In the one who makes Him welcome it says: For to us God revealed them through the Spirit (1Cor. 2.10). The ones who have made the effort to prepare themselves in this way and acquaints themselves with Him, God gives to them the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. They are not made wise by any other means but through the Holy Spirit and it is because of Him they understand the Lord and whatever is God’s purpose. They know what it is the Lord has given them because He reveals Himself and know it is this Spirit which He has given to them. They also know that when they obtain the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation they are able to preach the teachings of truth because they are relying upon the knowledge of God rather than on human skill alone. This is what we can hear when the Apostle says: and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (of God) (1Cor. 2.4). We cannot allow any other beside Christ our Lord to explain or expound Him except the Spirit who is equal in power. He said to His disciples: but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1.8). The angel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (Luke 1.35). Therefore the creative power of the Most High, the Holy Spirit enters into the Virgin Mary, using her as a temple, creates the body of Christ and He was born without the seed of a man.
32. As we already have briefly shown in our work On Doctrines, this shows the Holy Spirit is the Creator. It is said to the Lord in the Psalms: You take away their spirit, they expire, And return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground. (Ps. 104.29). It should not surprise anyone that the Spirit prepared the Lord’s body as He, combined with the Father and the Son, creates all things the Father and Son create. It says You send forth Your Spirit, they are created (Ps. 104.30). We have shown so often that the Holy Spirit shares the same activity as the Father and the Son and interact as a single Being showing they are ὁμοοὐσια (the same in Being) and they work in harmony with each other. So to keep us and assist us in our faith of the Holy Spirit we will turn to another passage that is written in the Gospel: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you (Jn. 16.12-15).
33. This is what the word of the mysteries teach us that even as much as He taught His disciples Jesus still said, I have many more things to say to you. It is not directed at beginners with only limited understanding or those who are ignorant of the grace of God, but for those who hear it but are yet to achieve it. What He told them was enough for them to take in and He put off anything further for the future so they would better understand because they were not able to know without the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not given to humanity before His Passion. The Evangelist says: for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (Jn. 7.39). Now being glorified is saying Jesus tastes death for all. After the resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and He breathed into their faces: He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20.22). And again, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1.8). When He acquires the hearts of the believers, they are filled with words of His wisdom and knowledge. They are spiritually accomplished, receiving the teaching of the Holy Spirit where He launches them into the whole Truth. When the time for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit was not yet at hand, He said to them: I have many more things to say to you (Jn. 16.12). Consequently, He added: but you cannot bear them now (Jn. 16.12). They were still seeing the shadow which served as the type of the Law so were unable to see the Truth before them. They needed His spiritual support so they could see it. He said: But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, that is the Comforter, Advocate etc, He will guide you into all the truth (Jn. 16.13). It is through what He teaches and instructs He transfers you from death of the letter (of the law) and into the Spirit of life. The truth of Scripture resides in Him alone. He therefore is the Spirit of truth and when He comes into the mind that is pure and uncomplicated, He seals the knowledge of truth in you joining His new knowledge of Himself to your old knowledge and will guide you into all that is true.
34. When someone is prompted to pray to the Father, he says: Guide me into your truth (Ps. 25.5) meaning “in your Only-Begotten” He testifies to this when He says, I am the Truth (Jn. 14.6). God brings this to completion by sending the Spirit of Truth who guides those who believe into the whole Truth. The consequence being, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete, who is sent by the Father, the Saviour (who is the Truth) says: for He will not speak on His own initiative (Jn. 16.13). This is to say, “not without Me and also not without the Father’s choosing as we are all united in our will so what He says We all say anyway. His Being is united to ours so what He says is what the Father and I say. I speak the Truth and the Truth I say is the fountain from which the Holy Spirit speaks. To “say and to speak” in the context of the Trinity is not the same as the way we speak to each other in such a way that we let everyone have their say in turn. Rather it is according to their divine characteristics that makes them Triune who insert their purpose and goodwill into the believers who are worthy and hear it. This is what we mean by “to say and to speak.”
35. When we human beings speak to one another on any given matter, we usually think about what we want to say before we speak. Then when we want to share what we think so that it enters the mind of another, we use our tongue like as you would an instrument, plucking it on the back of our teeth like a plectrum on strings and we emit the proper sound. Not only are we responsible for how we control the action of our tongue on our palate and teeth to make appropriate sounds and control the air to make conversation to communicate what we have in mind, it is also the responsibility of the listener to attentively listen without distractions and pay attention to what is being said so that what he hears and knows lines up with what the one speaking has in their mind. Moreover, God, who bears simple characteristics that cannot be divided into distinguishing definitive parts, we cannot assume therefore that He has ears nor organs to speak. He has a sole Being that is beyond our ability to grasp making it difficult to conceive them in members or parts. It is the same when considering the Son and the Holy Spirit.
36. Therefore when we read in the Scriptures: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand” (Ps 110.1), and somewhere else: God said, “Let there be light! (Gen. 1.3), we have to take these passages and others like them in a way that is fitting for God. So when the Father proclaims what He desires to the Son, who is Wisdom and Truth, it is not as if He is ignorant of this. The Son is wise and true, He is Wisdom and thus contains in His Being everything the Father proclaims. When the Father talks, the Son hears, or, when the Son talks the Father hears. It indicates the same authority. The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Wisdom, will not act as if He does not know what is going on when He hears the Son speak because He is precisely what the Son is talking about. That is, the Holy Spirit is Truth who proceeds from the Truth. It is the Counsellor who proceeds from the Counsellor, He is God of God. Finally, so no one discriminates the Holy Spirit from the fellowship of the Father and the Son, it is written: But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak (Jn. 16.13). Which reminds us of what the Saviour said Himself: As I hear, I judge (John 5.30). And in another place: the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing (Jn. 5.19). Now the Father and the Son are one. Not in the manner according to Sabellius who confuses the issue of the Father and the Son, but according to their equality of their existence or Being. He can’t do anything without seeing what the Father is doing. If He could not see Him, then their works would be different. The Son is not on a second level from the Father when He sees what He is doing. Rather, the Son sees the Father working and He does likewise, and is of equal rank. If the work of the Father was one thing and the work of the Son another then what they made would not be equal. It is written: for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (Jn. 5.19). Now if the Father is not first and the Son is not second, then they work simultaneously and everything they do, they do at the same time and not differently. The Son cannot be separated from the Father. In the same way, the Holy Spirit cannot be separated from the Son because their characteristics and their will are the same. The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own but everything He speaks is God speaking according to His Word and Truth. This position we take is confirmed by what the Lord says: He will glorify Me, that is the Paraclete, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you (Jn. 16.14). The word “take” here is to be understood in a way that is fitting to their divinity.
37. How is it that when the Son gives He is not, for example, after giving, deprived of what He gives and therefore suffers the loss of what He gives? Is it possible that the Holy Spirit did not have anything until the Son passed on to Him His benefit? Is it possible when the Son has the benefit, upon giving it to the Holy Spirit, He is now empty handed? Now that we have understood, what we have discussed previously, the characteristics of the incorporeal, when the Holy Spirit receives from the Son, we should accept there is unity between these incorporeal natures. The Son is not a Giver and the Holy Spirit a Receiver in the same way humans give and receive. Rather, they are of the same being because the Son is said to receive the same thing from the Father which already belongs to His own Being. What else could the Son be except all those things which have been given to Him by the Father? What else could the Holy Spirit be except all those things which have been given to Him by the Son? Therefore we say these things because in the Trinity we believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share the same characteristics.
38. Whatever we say as humans can only indicate within our limited human capacity and when it comes to the Trinity, which is the subject of our discussion. He is beyond all created being, and is beyond our grasp to define in specific terms. Therefore no single word can properly capture and be applied to Him to define His Being. When we speak about what is beyond our created being, it is in general, especially when it comes to subject matters such as the Trinity. Everything we say about the Trinity is καταχρηστικῶς (understatement) or can only be loosely applied. Yet, the Holy Spirit discloses the glorious reality of the Son. He makes it open and clear to those who are pure in heart who appropriately seek to understand Him by letting them actually seeing Him. Then they are able to know the magnificence of His Being expressed in His image of the invisible God! The Image Himself (the Holy Spirit discloses) also discloses the glorious reality of the Father to those who have pure minds keen to know Him, working this knowledge of the Father into those who do not know Him, he said: He who has seen Me has seen the Father (Jn. 14.9). Those who are not able to know Him and are keen to know Him, the Father discloses the glorious reality and power of His Only-Begotten Son and by knowing Him they have reached the summit of His knowledge. The Son presents the Holy Spirit to those who humble and prepare themselves to receive Him and give to them supreme insight into His glory and power so they are glorified. Now there is a way of explaining when He said, “He will receive from what is mine, we can deduce from what He also said: All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you (Jn. 16.15). In a manner of speaking He is saying: “Though the Spirit of Truth proceeds from the Father and God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him,” all that the Father has, He says, “are Mine,” the Spirit of the Father, He also says “are Mine” and He will also receive from “what is Mine.” Take care not to be burdened down with a disabled way of thinking and believe the Holy Spirit is a kind of object they possess. Instead, the Father according to His Being, is eternal, unchanging, incorruptible, steadfast goodness, which is who He is, and also exist like this in the same way in His Son. Furthermore, whatever there is in the Son and whatever belongs to Him, the Father has the very same thing. Keep far away from those lurking around who like to argue everything! They have exiled themselves from the truth with their clever words and impiously have said: “The Father is the Son and the Son is the Father.” Now if He had said, “All things whatsoever of God are mine,” then the opportunity for devising and wickedness would creep in through a lie. What He really said is: All that the Father has are mine (Jn. 16.15). He used the name “Father” and thereby names Himself the “Son.” He does not avoid the fact of His own “Fatherhood,” even though that through His grace He chose many saints to be the fathers according to what we read in the Psalms, If your sons keep . . (Ps. 132.12) and If his sons forsake My law (89.30). But this kind of language sets a precedent showing what belongs to the Son also belongs to the Holy Spirit and what belongs to the Holy Spirit also belongs to the Son, just like what He said, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (Jn. 16.13). It is through the Spirit of Truth that the holy men were given knowledge of the future. The prophets who were filled with the same Spirit use to discern what was to happen in advance regardless of what was happening in the present time. Enough, perhaps even more than enough, has been said regarding this chapter of the Gospel. Considering the poverty of our talent, it is sufficient. If the Lord reveals to others another aspect of what we have said that is within the vicinity of the Truth and are more able than us to discern it, if it is better than what we have, then we support it if it is supported by the Spirit of Truth. We ask those who read this to forgive our ignorance as we are only eager to offer everything we can to God, even though we may be too impure to fulfil all that He desires.
39. Let us consider the testimony of the Apostle’s Epistle to the Romans which is fitting with regard to the present matter before us and it seems suitable to this discussion: so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. In this particular chapter, the Apostle explains the fellowship the Spirit has with the Father and the Son. For Paul, the justification and the spiritual law is carried out by those who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. The words of the Apostle shows us what walking according to the flesh is allowing the body to function in a defective way. Walking according to the Spirit is walking in the precepts of the Gospel of God rather than the law and the order of commandments. Following the passions of the body is defective as there is a tendency to only think about its pleasures, desire and urges. On the contrary, walking by the Spirit means thinking of eternal, heavenly realities and only what the Spirit is concerned about. All that can be gained by progress in the flesh pursuing its knowledge of the pleasure and urges of our body is death. Now the wisdom of the Spirit grants tranquility and peace of mind, life, and even eternal life. Those who possess it, all sorts of vices, disorders and even demons and anything that is contrary, will be trampled underfoot. Therefore, as wisdom of the flesh is joined to death, it is hostile to God. These enemies have their own laws to suit their own ends but they are hostile to God. It is always opposite and fights against the will and law of God. As long as one chooses to serve their pleasures, it is not possible for them to be servants of God. The Apostle is not concerned with the body in which we live in which our soul is contained, his word is for all the saints and God has pleasure for them including the body and the soul. What he is concerned about is the precepts that go against God’s law that is perpetrated against human society and this is You shall love the Lord your God (Deut. 6.5) and Do not do to any man the things which you yourself hate (Tobit 4.15 Sept.) and so on. However, you, being a disciple of Christ, have received the Spirit of Wisdom, His Life and His peace. You do not live by the flesh, that is, in the work of the flesh, for your works are not perpetrated by the flesh because the Spirit of God is in you. The Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are the same who bring the person and couple him in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this next verse it is written, But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (Rom. 8.9).
40. So we learn from this text there is communion between the Holy Spirit, Christ and God. But in fact, in the Epistle of Peter there is proof that the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ: As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit (1Pet. 1.10-12). The Holy Spirit is said to be the Spirit of God, not only in this instance but in so many other places. For example, Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2.11). After the above passage where it says But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him, it comes as a shock to say, If Christ is in you (Rom.8.10) which shows very clearly that the Holy Spirit is inseparable from Christ. Wherever the Spirit of Christ departs, Christ also withdraws. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (Rom. 8.9). We can look at this another ways to silence the mockers: If anyone belongs to Christ, then Christ is in Him, then the Spirit of God is also in Him. One can safely assume the same thing in regard to God the Father. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. One can safely assume the contrary of this by saying: If anyone belongs to God, the Spirit of God is in Him. This is why it is written: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Cor. 3.16). And in the epistle of John: By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (1Jn 4.13). The clearly demonstrates that the Being of the Trinity is united and is unable to be torn apart.
41. Therefore, when he says, Christ is in you, though your body is dead because of sin (Rom. 8.10), does not mean the body is driven by sexual pleasures and erratic emotions. By the body’s death it is dead to sin and will not be made live by it. Christ is in those who put their bodies to death and the Spirit of Life is present and revealed as they turn towards works of justice, virtue and eternal life showing the faith of Christ and living according to His faith. The Apostles make use of a compound syllogism ἀξίωμα that is a well known prepositional rule used more significantly by the logicians, and he said: But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Rom. 8.11). Don’t you think that the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the same Jesus Christ, dwells in you, and consequently gives life to your mortal bodies and soul by the same One who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, the Chief and firstborn of the resurrection? Since it is the Holy Spirit who has shown how divinely gracious He is, we are to live of the Spirit and not of the flesh. It says according to James: and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1.15). Ezekiel also writes: The person who sins will die (Ez. 18.20) when it turns away from the life that resides in the wisdom of the Spirit.
42. If one puts to death the deeds of the flesh and passes beyond the life of the flesh by the Spirit, your life will be filled with eternal happiness as one of the children of God directed on the right path by the Holy Spirit who is also called the Spirit of God. for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Rom. 8.13). And then it says: For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Rom. 8.14). Once again he refreshes them and encourages them to hope for better things, in which he said, For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again (Rom. 8.15). Let’s put this another way: The reason you abstain from vices is not out of fear and punishment as if you were a slave. Rather it is because the Father has given to you the Spirit of Adoption, which is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God Himself, the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Wisdom. It is the Spirit who adopts the children of God and has given them dignity by indwelling them. Work out for yourself what will happen if you neglect this. In this Spirit of Adoption, those who are adopted as God’s children of the Father know it as it says: by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The very Spirit who adopts us as children through the Spirit taking hold of us, this testimony furnishes us with our own participation of Him because we are God’s children. It follows, that like a loving father, He grants us a rich and bountiful inheritance of spiritual gifts. We are joined together with Christ, a brother to us all inasmuch we are His brothers and sisters through His goodness and loving-kindness. We will be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ as we suffer with Him and are glorified with Him in His sufferings.
43. What we have been able to explain regarding the truth thus far, we will examine a chapter of the prophet containing references to the Holy Spirit. In this way, we can learn about the faith not only from the New, but from the Old Testament as well. In fact, we have said before that the Holy One is in all those who are holy, including those who were after the coming of the Lord and those who lived prior to His coming, in particular the patriarchs and the prophets, and He filled them with various gifts and virtues. How the one God and His only-Begotten Son enabled them to participate in His righteousness and raise its standard before and after His coming. They took hold of His knowledge of the truth and in doing so they were able to lay hold of the grace of the Holy Spirit. As we have shown in many of the passages previously, the Holy Spirit is inseparable from the Father and the Son. And so it is written in the Prophet: I shall make mention of the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion, And according to the abundance of His loving-kindnesses. For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled
And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them, Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses (Is. 63.7-12).
44. They frequently obtained the benefits of God knowing what they had done was not on their own efforts but through His grace and mercy. They acted in unity and agreement in mind and said: I shall make mention of the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord. When they reflected on the many gifts, they gave thanks to this. Not only was He merciful but the manifestations of the Lord’s virtues were many and was performed for the people for the perfection of their soul, which, through the Law and the Prophets, they were instructed on the benefits of Moses commandments. In the Scriptures the name “power” means both. They remembered His mercy and virtues in all His bounty to them, not according to their righteousness but according to His mercy and goodness of the Judge over the “house that sees” and the one who sees the Lord with a discerning heart. In our language the word “Israel” is translated from the Hebrew as “The mind that sees God.” Although a judge might resort to instruments of torture in response to a judgement he has made, however, when someone looks deeper into their own motives, they might see the purpose of the one who is trying to correct their wrongdoing and sees their good intent saying: He treats us according to His goodness. For if He judges the sins of our hearts, would anyone be left standing? On top of that, in the Lord there is merciful forgiveness. The Lord and Saviour involves us in His goodness and mercy providing everything we need to continue in it. He gives it to us to us according to His merciful judgment and the kind of justice He serves is the bestowing of mercy and goodness in us.
45. The arguments presented by the heretics against this chapter are wrong. They try to separate righteousness from goodness and invent one god who is righteous and another god who is good. In this present chapter you can see He is God who is both good and righteous. His righteousness and goodness resides in His being Being making Him equally good and righteous. In vain they try to prove that God of the Gospel is good and God of the Old Testament is just. In our defence in many places and in this current conversation of this prophet God is “the Good Judge” which is something they deny. In Paul, the Apostle’s letter, who is a preacher of the New Testament, he says there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me (2Tim. 4.8). The God of the New and the Old Testament is the same who is the Creator of the visible and the invisible. The Saviour also gives clear testimony that the Father is also righteous and good: “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You (Jn. 17.25). And in another: No one is good except God alone (Mk. 10.18). In the Old Testament there are some places where God is called good and other places where He is called righteous. In the Psalms: For the Lord is righteous, He loves deeds of righteousness (Ps. 11.7). While the opposite is said in Jeremiah: Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! (Ps. 73.1). This is strictly the position we take against the heretics. It is time for us to return and continue with the topic of the prophet. And he said: For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” He said they will not be like those who were born and raised and ended up despising him who brought them into this world. And He has become my salvation (Ps. 118.14), in reference to this: For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely. Because they did not go astray nor turned away from the Father, He became their salvation, in fact, the source of their salvation. The shepherds received assurance from the angels that they were joined in with Christ the Lord’s salvation: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Lk. 2.10-11). He made it so that all those who placed their trust in His hands have the best chance of eternal salvation. He is the Saviour of the whole world coming to seek those who are lost. The saints sing in chorus about Him: God is to us a God of salvation. (Ps. 68.20 Sept.)(Second half of verse: Yahweh, the Lord, belongs escape from death.).
46. Because it is God who is the source Himself of eternal salvation, it is said: Neither messengers nor angels. That is, no prophet, no patriarch and not even Moses, the giver of the Law saved them. For those just mentioned were only able to serve on behalf of the people as messengers of the Lord. Finally, when Moses interjected on behalf of his people But now, if You will, forgive their sin. He begged for forgiveness for forty days for God to be merciful while in distress of his soul. Not one of these mentioned representatives can be the Saviour because they all need the only One who can grant them salvation. For instance, the angels and the spirits who sent to minister and to report to those who have obtained salvation are not the source of salvation. They only speak on behalf of the Author of salvation. Therefore, it is neither messengers nor angels but the Lord is the One who has given to them salvation. There is no other reason but for their sake than this: In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them. When it says spare, He means his creatures as it also says elsewhere: But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls (Sapienta 11.27 Vulgate). This is the reason the Father did not spare the safety of His own Son, delivering Him over to death and by His Son’s death He destroyed the one who had dominion over death, the devil, and redeemed all those who were held in bondage to him. So we can see it here: He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them. The Saviour takes them and raises and redeems them. He takes them in His excellence on His wings of His goodness, learning the knowledge of the truth. He dwells in them and is with them, not just for a day here and another day there but for all the days of eternity. As the author of salvation, He bestows life in them even to the consummation of the ages. He brings Light into their hearts for all the days of the age so they do not wander into darkness and error and this is what I think is the meaning of this verse: carried them all the days of old.
47. Since they were not consistent in their ways and fell into darkness and error, they forgot about the benefits God had granted them, abandoned His ways and put them aside. They grieved the Holy Spirit who granted the benefits of God. They fell into their own ways as if they were children who defied the One who gave birth to them and raised them. They have abandoned the Lord, They have despised the Holy One of Israel (Is. 1.4). This certainly described this verse: But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit. This current conversation places the Holy Spirit in united company with the Lord. Whoever abandons the Lord and no longer places their trust in Him, is provocative towards the Holy One of Israel which grieves His Holy Spirit. It is this same kind of grievance towards sinners that is ascribed to the Holy Spirit as is equally ascribed to the Holy One of Israel. So this is an example that shows the Trinity is united in action. The Scriptures say Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy those who grieved the Holy Spirit and that He handed them over to everlasting torment not just for what they said against the Holy Spirit but for their actions against Him. The Lord Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them, subjecting them to manifold and lengthy torments so that neither in the present time nor in the future they may obtain the forgiveness of sins. This is because they had grieved the Holy Spirit and blasphemed against Him.
48. You might be willing to apply this passage in regard to the Jews who crucified the Lord the Saviour and therefore grieved the Holy Spirit. In reference to this passage, we can understand it this way: They were handed over to the Romans is when the wrath of God came upon them in the end. Throughout the entire world in every country they wander as exiles away from their homeland in foreign lands no longer possessing their ancient city nor their own country. They received in due course precisely what they had done to their prophets and their Saviour. Because they were so insanely mad, they were bloodthirsty and seized the prophets who had been sent to them and stoned them. They did not stop there. The reached the heights of their unbelief by betraying the Lord their Saviour, who came down to be with them on this earth and then had Him crucified. This is why they were expelled from the city which had been stained by the blood of the prophets and Christ. Accordingly, therefore, it is in this sense that we are are to understand the Lord fought against them, not just for a short time but for every age until the consummation of the world. They wander aimlessly as captives and refugees throughout all the nations neither possessing a city or nation of their own. Yet, the One they fought so hard against is kind and compassionate, he freely grants them the opportunity to change their mind about Him, if they want to change for the better. Therefore, it is said, Then His people remembered the days of old. He remembered in the future when it was the right time to disclose to them, then allowed the full number of the Gentiles to enter, then all Israel (that is those who had made themselves worthy to be in this) will be saved. Without giving any real thought about what they were doing, they killed the One who been sent on their behalf saying: “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matt 27.25). But God raised Him from the earth after He spent three days and three nights, the Shepherd of His sheep. This fits in with the text: He led the Shepherd of the sheep from out of the earth.
49. The Gospel teaches us clearly that the Shepherd of the sheep is God which is described by the Prophet in the text under discussion. We know this Shepherd to be Jesus Christ because the Saviour says: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (Jn. 10.11) and again: My sheep hear My voice (Jn. 10.27). After all that has been said in these passages, the prophet said: He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them. The prophet is amazed how they had reached the heights of good fortune then dived to the depths of despair. It is as if he is saying” Where is the One who redeemed them, had placed the Holy Spirit on them, made His dwelling in them, where is He now? Where has He gone? He left them because they first left Him and grieved the Holy One of Israel. Not that long ago, He placed the Holy Spirit of God on them while they were good and relied upon Him and His commands. It is to these God puts the Holy Spirit into, that is, those who have turned away from their wrongs and live by the faith of Christ through them. If they fail to do this, then little by little, their lives became worse and worse as they begin to work against the Holy Spirit in them and then they turn against Him. It is like what the Apostle wrote to the Thessalonians: For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but to be in His holiness (1Thess 4.7).
50. Therefore he who rejects the Holy Spirit (what we find in the Greek is those who rebel against) are not rebelling against an ordinary man but are rebelling against God who gave you the Holy Spirit. In these words God is calling them through faith into His sanctification and binds them to the Holy Spirit. As long as they preserve the teachings of God, the Holy Spirit whom they had received continued with them. When they slipped away from this true love and collapsed into undignified ways, they rebelled against the Lord and wandered away from Him. The One who had given them the Holy Spirit, who made them holy and they, instead, served the lusts of indignity. Therefore the penalty for committing such is not because they turned against a man but because they turned against God. And as we know the Holy Spirit to be God, we learn from what the prophet Isaiah says which leads to the a part where the Lord says to a certain person: My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth (Is. 59.21). This kind of language shows those who receive the Spirit of God, together with Him also possesses the Words of God, which are the words of wisdom and knowledge. In another place the same prophet of God also says: I have put My Spirit upon Him (Is. 42.1). He who puts on the Holy Spirit will recall that Moses was made holy by His right hand and made to see the essence of God and and given unique access into the mysteries of God. The Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun: Moses is my servant, or the Law which is the Old Testament tool. I often remember reading Moses is mentioned in reference to the Law as the Apostle says: But to this day whenever Moses is read (2Cor. 3.15). And Abraham said to the Rich Man when He was suffering They have Moses and the Prophets (Lk. 16.29). It is clear here that when reference is made to Moses it does not mean the man himself but the Law.
51. Moreover, who is this right hand that led Moses but our Lord and Saviour Himself? He is the right hand of the Father through whom He brings salvation, exalts in power as it says elsewhere in reference to God: his right hand, and his holy arm, have wrought salvation for him (Ps. 98.1 Sept.) and the same again: the right hand of the Lord has wrought mightily. The right hand of the Lord has exalted me: the right hand of the Lord has wrought powerfully. I shall not die, but live, and recount the works of the Lord (Ps. 118:15-17 Sept.). Most certainly the words regarding this Godly man can be drawn out! The Only-begotten Son of God was to assume from the Virgin because He is the right hand of God, just like it is written in the Acts of the Apostles. He was made from the seed of David according to the flesh, begotten of a Virgin when the Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. David prophesied about Him in the Spirit that He rose from the dead and was taken up into the heavens and sits at the Right Hand of God. It is written here, however, in this manner: he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven (Acts 2.31-34). There is no doubt the Right Hand of God exalted the Lord Jesus Christ when He raised Him from the underworld, just as the Scriptures testify. For the One who rose from the dead says: I lay down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord will help me (Ps. 3.6 Sept.).
52. Therefore the Word of God proclaims that He was lifted up and taken up into the heavens by the Right Hand of God, which we have said before, and we received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and it is poured out on all the believers so that mighty works of God is spoken in all the languages. This Lord-Man received fellowship with the Holy Spirit as it is written in the Gospels: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan (Lk. 4.1), and elsewhere: And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Lk. 4.14). However, we must not misrepresent this Lord-Man and show due respect to who we are dealing with here. We do not mean the Lord is one thing and Man is another. The nature and character of God is revealed in the Lord as Man meaning the two are one. This is because the Word of God, the Only-begotten Son of God is not any more or any less God or any more or any less Man as He is the fulness of all things good.
53. We have said more than enough in this discussion of the prophet’s testimony. Now let us continue to the rest of the discussion. The Father and the Son are holy and equip believers with their Goodness through fellowship with Them. So it is with the Holy Spirit who through participation has the effect of making believers holy and good. Therefore, what we teach is the Holy Spirit is of the same Being with the Father and the Son. It is said to the Lord in the Psalms: Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (P. 143.10). Now there are some versions that say Let your Holy Spirit. In addition we know in some copies of Esdra the Spirit is unequivocally called good: You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them (Neh. 9.20). The Apostle writes it is the Father who sanctifies, saying: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely (1Thess 5.23). The Saviour said: Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (Jn. 17.17). Clearly this is what He is saying: “Sanctify them in Me, I am your Word and your Truth, when they place their trust and keep company in Me.” In other places it is said that God is good: No one is good except God alone (Lk. 18.19). Earlier we have shown that it is the Son who sanctifies which is consistent with what Paul says: For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one (Heb. 2.11). He is signifying that the One who sanctifies is Christ and the sanctified can say: But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification (1Cor 1.30). He is also called the Spirit of sanctification. This is what He means when He says: and all his sanctified ones are under thy hands. (Deut. 33.3 Sept.). Our Lord Jesus Christ is good and is begotten of the Father meaning He comes out from within His goodness in which he says: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good (Ps. 118.1). The ones who confess to Him they are sinners, they are the ones who pray in thanksgiving for giving them forgiveness and partaking in His benefits. The Spirit is also the Holy Spirit who condescends Himself to fill creatures, as we have mentioned before, many are able to participate in Him and many are able to receive Him at the same time. For the present, the following testimony of Paul shows He is the liberal Giver of sanctification when He says: But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth (2Thess. 2.13). It is best for us to understand the gifts of God exists in the Holy Spirit and we only possess faith and truth through the sanctification by the Holy Spirit Himself.
54. Therefore, since what we have said is true, right and Godly the words: sanctification, benevolent kind goodness are titles which equally apply to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is called “Spirit” where the Lord Himself said God is spirit (Jn. 4.24). The Spirit in this context always refers to the Holy Spirit. This is not because He is considered with the Father and the Son to having merely a shared name. There are characteristics that are common to all the Persons of the Godhead thus they have a shared name. Because the term “spirit” has many meanings, we need to briefly enumerate some the ways it is applied. The “spirit” (πνεύματι) is called wind as it says here in Ezekiel: a third part you should scatter to the wind (πνεύματι) (Ez. 5.2). This is the wind. If you feel this following passage needs to be put in a historical context: With the east wind (πνεύματι) You break the ships of Tarshish (Ps. 48.7), the “spirit” (πνεύματι) means simply “wind.” Furthermore, Solomon had many gifts he received from God and he also received the gift of knowing the “violence of the spirits” (πνεύματι), in other words, he knew the blowing of the wind in accordance with its nature and what causes it to stop. The spirit can be defined as soul as in the epistle of James: For just as the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26) and so on. It is quite apparent here that the use of the spirit here is nothing more than the soul. According to Stephen, we also find the word spirit here is referring to his soul, he says: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” (Acts 7.59). It also says in Ecclesiastes: Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth? (Ecc. 3.21). You might want to consider whether the soul of the animals are also called spirits. It is also important to take into account the spirit of a man aside from the soul and the Holy Spirit about which Paul writes: For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (1Cor 2.11). Now if anyone wants to argue here that the spirit is something to do with the soul, who then is this man whose thoughts and private opinions, especially the secrets hidden in the heart, no one else knows but the spirit? Now if one tries to understand this as the body alone then he is nothing but a fool!
55. If this foolish person uses cunning and deception to make such fraudulent claims about what the Holy Spirit testifies, if they take heed of these words and take them into account, they will stop asserting this lie. For so it is written: For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2.11). On the one hand you have the human being and on the other hand you have God. The spirit of the human being is distinguished from the Spirit of God who is in Him. Now the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit as we have repeatedly shown so many times before. In another place, the Apostle places our spirit and the Spirit of God in two different categories, he says: The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8.16). This indicates to us that the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit, testifies to our spirit, which we have just said, is the human spirit. To the Thessalonians he also says: may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete (1Thess. 5.23). He is specific here in showing there is a difference between the soul and the body. Now he prays that that the body and soul be preserved. Now it would be extraordinary and even blasphemous to think that the spirit in this passage means the Apostle is praying for the Holy Spirit to be preserved, considering that He can have neither impaired progress nor power. Thus the Apostle’s words in this passage testify of the human spirit.
56. The heavenly and rational powers which Scripture give them names like angels and forces are also give the term spirit, as it says here: Who makes his angels spirits (Ps. 104.3 Sept.) and also, Are they not all ministering spirits (Heb. 1.14). I think this is what it is referring to and is the way it should be understood in the following passage in the Acts of the Apostles, which says: the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him (Acts 8.39). The angel of the Lord lifted Phillip up and took him to another place. Also the other rational creatures who were once good and now are bad through their own volition are called wicked spirits or unclean spirits, just as it says here: “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man (Matt. 12.43), and in the next one: Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself (Matt. 12.45). In the Gospels, these demons are also called spirits. Now it is important to note, they are never simply a spirit without some addition explanation. The Gospels signify that a spirit who is an adversary is indicated by the term unclean or demonic spirit. When the term is simply “spirits” then it is holy and needs no qualification.
57. We should note that the word spirit denotes human will and the thoughts of the mind. Now the Apostle who wishes for the virgin to be holy in all that she thinks and does, that is, her body works out of the flow of what is in her heart, he said, that she may be holy both in body and spirit (1Cor 7.34). What he meant by the “spirit” was her will and what he meant by “body” was the actions she carried out. This might ring true with what Isaiah says: And they that erred in spirit shall know understanding (Is. 29.24 Sept.). Due to their error of judgment, they might choose which they believe to be good. When they begin to understand that their judgment was an error, they may then choose to do what is the good and the right thing to do. Just like it says: the strength of your breath, shall be vain (Is. 33.11 Sept.). Consider whether this further substantiates what I am trying to say. More so than anything else going after the spirit gives a deeper, more profound understanding that is “not of this world” way of grasping the Scriptures, like it says here: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (1Cor. 3.6). What this verse is literally saying is, it is not the obvious simple most straightforward way the historical narrative is traditionally understood. Rather the spirit gives us knowledge of what is holy and spiritual of what we read. The following verse supports this approach: for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3.3). For those who do not circumcise the flesh but circumcise the heart through the spirit, removing everything that is simply a waste of time and hostile to it They are the true secret Jews and true Israelites, and in them is no deceit. They go far beyond the shadows and vague images that is cast over the Old Testament and become true worshippers: true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth (Jn. 4.23). We worship in spirit because we have gone beyond what is material and lowly ways of worship and we now worship in truth. We leave behind the patterns, types, copies and shades and have engaged with the Being of Truth Himself. We hold all else with contempt and have reached the summit of the knowledge of Spiritual Law.
58. In the meantime, with as much skill as is possible for us, we have established many things in our attempt to define what “spirit” means. Now it the right time to lay out what each one means, if Christ will let us bring it all together. Sometimes our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, is also called the “spirit”: For wisdom is a loving spirit (Sap. 1.6). In another place it says: the Lord is the Spirit (2Cor. 3.17). We have said it before and it is in harmony with: God is Spirit (Jn. 4.24). This is not only a communion of names but the sharing of the unique characteristics of Being. Every now and then, beings that have different characteristics might share the same name. The term for this is called: homonym. For those who have identical characteristics and being, when their name shows the equality of their characteristics, logicians have a term for this, which is: synonym. Therefore the term “spirit” is a name that is synonymous with the whole Trinity which we find with words like holy, good and other similar words, such we have discussed previously.
59. Moreover, it is necessary to have this discussion because the word spirit is scattered throughout the divine Scriptures and we need to make sure we do not fall into error. When applying this word in the many ways it is used we need to consider its use within the context for which it is written. We should look carefully at how this word is applied in each context and pay attention to how it is used making sure that we are not taken in any false ways by destroying the fallacies of logic and dishonest ways of luring one into traps with their claims the Holy Spirit is only a creature. When readers read the prophet Amos: For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind (Amos 4:13) they are ignorant of the way this is suppose to be read and believe it refers to the Holy Spirit. In actual fact, it clearly refers to the wind. In addition, in Zachariah they hear God that He forms the spirit of man within him (Zach. 12.1), they hold the opinion that in this chapter the Holy Spirit is what is being referred to here. They are not taking into account that it can refer to either the human soul or spirit. (There are three: spirit and soul and the human body). Therefore, firstly, we should consider how each term is used so that we do not fall into error through ignorance. As in other matters, when these terms have a shared use, this can cause confusion where the one gone astray can feel a little embarrassed. On the other hand, there are those who were once at the lofty and the divine and then have slipped into wicked ways of understanding. This kind of error leads to eternal punishment in in the infernal regions. This is particularly so if one is deceived and does not come to their senses and shamelessly defends this error. It might be fitting at his point that we conclude this chapter.
60. However, they question the truth of our prior discussion. Nevertheless, we decided to pass over these wicked and impious interruptions so that our holy flow of conversation would continue unimpeded. Now is the time to make a formal response to answer their propositions and leave it to the reader to make up their own minds in regard to these matters. We have argued thus far that the soul, spirit and the mind of a man cannot be filled by any being that has been created but by only the Trinity because the mind is filled with a combination of created things such as the activity of misguided desires or good qualities of character. The opinion we hold has been questioned and the view they propose is as if they have destroyed our belief. They say that it says in the Scriptures this created being called Satan enters into people and fills their hearts. The Apostle Peter said to the man who kept back half of the proceeds of the sale of the field while declaring he was giving the lot: Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? (Acts 5.3). Then the Saviour says regarding Judas: After the morsel, Satan then entered into him (Jn 14.27). We will work our way towards a response later one at a time. Let’s provide a counter argument for their interpretation of why has Satan filled your heart? How can Satan enter into them and the seat of the mind and fill the heart? Does not the power to do this lie with the Trinity alone? However, through the use of cunning, evil, fraudulent deception, Satan tugs at the emotions of the human soul and draws them in through wicked thoughts and vices with false promises, all of which is his hallmark. Finally, Elymas the sorcerer, the son of the devil, lived an evil and wicked existence and was full of deceit and trickery. Satan, his father, had so written these things into his soul that it was almost came naturally to him to behave this way. The Apostle Paul confronted him with a rebuke: You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil! (Acts 13.10). This man worked hard to manipulate people to his own advantage using so much deceit and fraud, he is called the son of the devil. He had completely consumed him with wickedness and fraud and drew him into his own world through deceit. So much was he completely filled with Satan that he may have appeared to almost be Satan himself. Such was his wickedness that he was Satan’s very own servant replicating all his evil work.
61. Now let us tend to the second example: Satan entered Judas, Is this true? As the devil was observing Judas emotions and his actions, he noticed the main flaw in Judas’s character was his overwhelming desire for wealth. Then the opportunity emerged to put this greed to work by planting in the mind a way of obtaining this money. Judas sought to gain this money by becoming the betrayer of his own Lord and Saviour. He made and exchanged his devotion to Him by taking money from the Pharisees and the Jews for his crime. Thus the opportunity had been created for Satan to enter into the heart of Judas to give him the evil intent. Satan did not enter into his being but motivated him in the task at hand, since entering into someone’s being is for the Uncreated which can be participate in by many. It is not possible for the devil to participated in any as he is not the Creator but only a creature. Since, he was capable of change and alteration, he fell from holiness losing all divine virtue. We have said previously that the word: τό μετοχικόν (relevant to a relationship) is incorruptible and immutable and consequently eternal. That which is able to undergo change is created and has a beginning point. Furthermore, that which is incorruptible can look back and forth through the ages. Therefore it is not what some people think that there is a participation in the character or being of the devil in a person. Rather it is the deception, fraud and disregard for others that fills the person. It is this kind of fraud that the devil used against the elders when they turned their love for Susanna into cruelty. They filled their souls with a burning lust for her even in their old age. It is written: the two elders came also full of mischievous imagination (Dan. 13.28 Sept.). Plots such as these even filled the whole of the Jewish nation, as the prophet said: Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! (Is. 1.4). Obviously they are the seed of the wicked devil and are his children, full of sin and iniquity, and are sinners. If the Scriptures say that it is not possible for these sons to receive the devil through participation in his being, which is impossible for anything created to do as we have frequently shown, then it stands to reason that no one else can do this too. It is only through participating in his corrupted will. After all that we have said in this study, creatures can either be actively involved in good or evil. However the Being of the Trinity is characterised by Truth and it alone can enter into others.
62. In my opinion, I think we have answered the objections that have been put to us. However, inept and stupid as it seems to respond to such idiotic matters those impious try to put forward when all they do is create distress by the wicked things they say. As much as we wish to oppose them all, we still have to deal with the corrupt things they claim. I choose not to respond to them except to give them nothing but silence. They try to throw sacrilegious claims such as these against us: They say that if the Holy Spirit is not created then He must be the brother of God, the Father, and the uncle of the Only-begotten Jesus Christ. If this is not the case then He must be either the Son of the Son of God which will make Him the Grandson of the Father or, even further, they claim that He also must be the Son of God which will make Him the brother of Jesus Christ! What miserable and wretched people who attempt to make what is intangible and invisible to everyone and define them within the incomparable created characteristics of what is tangible and visible! The names, brother, uncle, grandchildren or son are the result of our created state and reflect the weakness and feebleness of our human condition. The Trinity is so far above our ability to not only fully comprehend but to properly define with human names and titles. Whenever He condescends to a human title, reading too much into this title will only result in inconsistent and unsuitable outcomes that do not properly reflect the very nature of who He is. The Holy Scriptures has no other names of the Trinity except God is the Father of the Saviour and the Son is begotten by the Father. We should only express and think from that which has been written. Therefore, it is reasonable and consistent to clearly understand the Holy Spirit is uncreated, whose Being is not created and is rightly united to the Father and the Son.
63. Considering the poverty expressed in the manner of our speaking, all things said above should be sufficient to clearly show how great my fear is when speaking about the Holy Spirit. For whoever blasphemes against him will not be forgiven, neither in this age nor in the age to come. Those who do so will not be spared and no mercy nor forgiveness will be given to those who trample on the Son of God and insult the Spirit of grace in whom He has been sanctified. We should hold the very same in regard to the Father. For those who blaspheme against Him with intent on impiety, will be without forgiveness and undergo torment because no one will pray to the Lord on His behalf as it clearly says in Scripture: but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him? (1Sam. 2.25). Now if anyone denies the Son before people, they too will be denied by the Son before the Father. Therefore, since there is no forgiveness for those who blaspheme against the Trinity, we need to be careful not to slip up when we are discussing this topic, no matter how short our discussion is. Even more so, if anyone was to read this volume, we pray they will cleanse themselves of every evil work and impious thoughts so that once the heart is illuminated they will understand all that has been written. With this wisdom and holiness they will be able to excuse the parts which have not quite reached our intended purpose and read it all in its entire context rather than hanging on specific words. We have made every attempt to carry this out with a pious mind knowing full well that as good as our rhetorical style and our ability to weave a sound response, we still fall far short of this subject of study. As we study the Holy Scriptures, we aim to understand what is written when dealing with this dispute, so ignore any lack of skill and limited capacity on our part in this discussion.