Tag Archives: the nature of the Spirit

Acts 5:3,4 and the nature of the Spirit

Let us come to the Spirit. Here is my contention with the trinitarian thinking. Please interrogate it if you may.

While the Father and the Son are both address directly by the title God, the Holy Spirit is never addressed by such a title. Neither is it ever worshipped in the Bible. Let us use Acts 5:3,4 to illustrate the underlying reasoning on the basis of which trinitarians turn the Spirit of God into God the Spirit.

In Acts 5:3,4 we read, “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”

So, the logic is:
Stage 1
Lied to => the Spirit
Lied to => God
The Spirit = God

Stage 2
God => is an eternal, all-knowing, etc. person
Spirit is an eternal, all-knowing, etc. person

Stage 3
Father and Son => are also eternal, all-knowing, etc. persons

Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son

Stage 4
There are three (co-)eternal persons

This is the logic that derives what the Spirit is (nature) from what the Spirit can or has done (capability). This logic is used for every verse used by trinitarians to make the Spirit of God a God the Spirit. The verses include Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 John 5:7 (though the SDA Church does not officially use 1 John 5:7 but some members, e.g. Doug Batchelor do), Romans 8:26, etc.

All this logic is necessary because no verse can be found which directly attributes the title God to the Holy Spirit. If there was such a verse, there would be no need for this logic. That’s why the divinity of the Father and the Son are not reasoned using such winding logic.

Let us consider stage 1. The premise is that if something is done an entity or if an entity does something and if it is said that the same has been done to or by God in that instance, then that entity is itself the God. The problem is that there are conditions under which this premise does not hold. Here are some examples from the Bible.
Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Now if we apply that premise, we have a problem because the one child received becomes him/herself Christ, a Christ the Child.

Received => child
Received => Christ
The child itself is Christ.

Not so, right? Why? Because what is done to the sent (the child) is done to the sender (Christ). This is the premise that holds every time and never fails. It is in the Bible, as it is in life outside the Bible.
In everyday life, if you lie to the police officer, you have lied to the head of the state. That has nothing to do with finding the nature of the police officer or how equal the police officer is to the head of the state. It has all to do with the fact that the police officer is sent on behalf of the state. In other words, what comes first is the sending of the police officer before the policer office can do or be done anything to.

To lie to the Pastor is to lie to God, but that does not make the Pastor a God.

Similarly, the Spirit of God is always first sent by God, who it is OF, before the Spirit can do or be done something to. As such, it is a huge mistake to analyse what the Spirit has done or been done to without keeping in mind that the Spirit is always doing anything as one who is sent by God the Father, to whom the Spirit belongs. That is true from the very first time the Spirit is mentioned in Genesis 1:2 (read Job 26:13). Thus, Acts 5:3,4 are a confirmation of the fact that the Spirit is sent by God. Acts 5:3,4 are not the basis of a long winding thesis about the nature of the Spirit.

This premise, that what the sent does or is done to is attributed to the sender is stated many times in the Bible including:

John 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Let me put forth the same argument from a different angle. Moses did many divine acts, which cannot be done except by God, right. He split the Red Sea into two, gave the law to Moses, commanded nature to make plagues on Egypt and so on. Can we then say that Moses is God because he did those things only God can do? No. Why? Because who Moses is not determined by what he does or is done to him, NO! Moses is Moses because he is introduced to us as Moses. When we see what he does, we understand that as being done by a Moses we already know. We do not try to use what he does to identify him.

According to the law of first mention, which we use to interpret the Bible, the first time the Bible mentions the Spirit, the Spirit is introduced to us distinctively as a SPIRIT that BELONGS to God. That word ‘OF’ if we can for a moment study its meaning, it is always a possessive. The Spirit belongs to God, that’s certain and not arguable. That same fact is repeated more than 80 times in the Bible.

As such, when we get to Acts 5:3,4 we have an indisputable fact that the Spirit of God is OF God. Whatever, the Spirit of God has done, just like Moses, in whom the Spirit of God was, is to be understood in the context that it is a SPIRIT that BELONGS to God and ALWAYS sent by God. It is very desperate to try to determine what the Spirit is only in Acts 5, when the Spirit of God have been identified for us so many times before. Whether the Spirit takes part in creation, intercession (Romans 8:26), witnessing (1 John 5:7), is lied to (Acts 5:3,4), speaks (Acts 8:29), all that is in the context that the Spirit is sent Of God. All that the Spirit does or is done to is not contrary to, nor does it modify the identity with which the Spirit is introduced to us as the Spirit of God. All that the Spirit of God does or is done to confirms that identity, that it is the Spirit belonging to God and sent by God.

Please engage with the points given.

16 October 2021


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What would you expect of one sent by God

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What would you expect of one sent by God the Father through the Son?

Brethren, I pray that you lend me your brotherly ear for a while, and carefully consider the points.

I want to present to you a question, from different angles. If you can answer this question, with a verse, then please teach the trinity. But if you cannot, I plead with you to re-study the subject.

Question 1 Context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says God, sends his Spirit all the time (to us (John 14:16); to create (Job 26:13); to bless (Isaiah 44:3); to bring us his messages (Revelation 2:7); to give “wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3); etc.

Question 1: If God sends someone or something to do that which God wants done, will that thing or someone be able to do that which God ONLY can do? (Ref the personal acts of the Spirit OF God)

Alternative question: Would you expect one sent to do what God wants to do, to do anything less than that which God only can do?

Alternative question: If God sent Moses to be a god to Pharaoh, would Moses do any less than that which God only can do?

My answer: One sent by God, to do that which God wants to do, will do that which God only can do, because God wants him to do it, but that does not make that person equal to God in nature and authority.

So to say, the Spirit sent by God, when it does that which God only can do, has become another being equal to, separate from, and of the same nature as the God who sent the Spirit is simple to stretch imagination too far.

That thinking that makes the Spirit of God another being equal to, separate from and of the same nature as God himself is a wild stroke of speculation going far beyond the simple clear statements of the Bible.

Question 2 context:

Irrefutable point – No man has in himself, in his nature, the ability to do miracles. God only inherently, as part of his nature has that ability.

Question 2: If a man does miracles, which ability is only from God, has the man become God, or another person equal to God? (Ref the personal acts of the Spirit OF God)

My answer: Having God’s power and being God’s power, as given by God, makes one able to do that which only God can do, but never equal to God who has given the power. Moses was never equal to God, though made a god by God, and able to perform that which God only can perform.

Hence the Spirit can never be another God by virtue of doing that which God has sent the Spirit to do.

Question 3 context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says those who trust in God will “partake of divine nature” (KJV), “to share the divine nature”(GNB), “so that his nature would become part of us” (CEV), “have our part in God’s being” (BBE) (2 Peter 1:4).

Question 3: Does having a part in the nature of God, i.e. being members of the godhead, make man another person equal to God? (Ref SOP statements such as heavenly trio, dignitaries, etc.).

My answer: God does whatever he pleases with what is His, including His nature. If one receives the nature of God from God, then that does not mean one has become equal to God.

That the Spirit is the third person of the Godhead (according to EGW), does not make the Spirit another God as trinitarians speculate.

Question 4 context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says thou shalt not bear false witness. If one bears false witness to his brother, he has borne false witness to God. Just like when we help others, we are doing that to Jesus. Lying to the church is lying to God. Lying to Peter is lying to God. Lying to the Pastor is lying to God. Lying to Moses is lying to God. All these are sent by God.

Question 4: If lying to a man is lying to God, by lying to one whom God has sent (one who is representing God), does that mean that man has himself become God, another person equal to God in nature and identity? Ref Acts 5:4.

My answer: The simple understanding is found right through the Bible.

  • Pharaoh rejected Moses who was sent by God, therefore rejected God.
  • Israel rejected prophets who were sent by God, therefore they rejected God.
  • When you do good to one of these little ones, you have done it to Christ and to God.
  • “And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.” (Matthew 23:22)
  • “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.” (John 15:23)

This is baby simple. If you lie to the Holy Spirit sent by God, you have lied to God who has sent the Spirit. Nothing there to make the Spirit equal to God in nature, identity and authority, or another person of God.

Question 5 context:

Irrefutable facts – SOP says the Holy Spirit, being sent by God from heaven, is a heavenly dignitary to God’s people {16MR 204.4}. The SOP also says, “The God of heaven uses His Spirit as it pleases Him.”

A dignitary is a person of a high office (1828 Webster Dictionary).

Question 5: If God sends a person as it pleases Him, is that person not a dignitary to those to whom he is sent (think of Moses, or Elijah, as dignitaries or high officers) and would that make that person equal in nature to God who has sent him?

Alternative question: If God wants His Spirit to be a dignitary to us, why would that make the Spirit equal to God in nature and identity?

My answer: God, His Son and His Spirit, (the latter two sent by God as he pleases all the time) are all of higher office and power, which authority and power comes from the God who has sent and given them the authority/power. That does not warrant an assumption that they are three co-equal in nature and authority. God remains the one who sent and the source of the power by which the Son and the Spirit are sent.

Question 6 context:

Irrefutable facts: In Genesis 18:2, Abraham received three men who were actually two angels and Christ. EGW comments on this as follows:

“We read [in Genesis 18] of visitors coming to Abraham as he was sitting in the door of his tent…. These were angels of God, and one of them was no less than the Son of God.” Manuscript 19, 1886. {CTr 73.5}

Question: If the Son of God, being equal to God, came with two men/angels, and were referred together as three men, and being on the same mission, does that mean they were three EQUAL men/angels?

Alternative question: Could Abraham say, “three men, three angels, three heavenly dignitaries, three powers, the heavenly trio, the three living persons, etc. came to me?”

My answer: The mere mention of three entities in a single sentence, collectively referred to such as dignitaries, men, powers, trio, etc. does not make them equal to each other in nature, identity or even in authority and power. There is no need to make such a wild assumption.


I could continue with this line of thought with more examples, but the questions above make the point.

My brother, if you get the point you will see that it is illogical to assume that the nature or identity of someone based on what they do, that if they do that which God only can do as sent by God, or are lied to after being sent by God, then that someone has become equal to God Himself. If God appoints us into his divinity, or as third, fourth or hundredth person in His divinity, or makes you a dignitary carrying his words like Moses, or any such act and consciousness performed by any being on behalf of God, how can that make that person equal to God in nature and identity, when it is clearly stated that God has sent him? Does not the very fact that one is sent mean that his nature and identity has already been separated from the God who is sending?

This is what I am answering to. You see, if you ask the trinitarians, “why do you say the Spirit is co-equal to God”? The answer you will get is all about what the Spirit has done, felt, etc. which is what God alone can do, feel, etc. whilst ignoring that God has sent the Spirit to do and feel on His behalf. What would you expect the Spirit to do or feel if it has been sent by God, and acting on His behalf? Would you expect the Spirit to do and feel anything less than that which God can do and feel?

Or to put it in other words. Moses was sent by God, and he did that which only God can do (miracles, power over nature, power over death, etc.). Would you expect Moses to do anything less than that which God can do, while acting on behalf of God? And if Moses did that which God only can do, does that change the fact that Moses was sent to do that by God, with the ability of God given to him to do it? Would that make Moses equal to God in nature and identity because he has done that which God inherently can do?

Is there any way to make one see the unwarranted assumptions that are in this statement: “Father, Son and Spirit, three co-equal and co-eternal persons”?

Hence the truest and greatest statement ever made about the trinity doctrine was made by a Seventh Day Adventist trinitarians.

“While no single Scripture passage states the doctrine of the Trinity, IT IS ASSUMED AS A FACT… only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity.” — (Adventist Review, Vol. 158, No. 31, p. 4) (emphasis added)

“The concept of the Trinity, namely the idea that the three are one, is not explicitly stated BUT ONLY ASSUMED.” — Fernando L. Canale, The Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopaedia, Volume 12, page 138, ‘Doctrine of God’ (emphasis added)

It does not get clearer than that. The idea of a three in one god is a wild unreasonable assumption, against all logic and biblical reasoning. It is tantamount to re-writing the Bible.

Let me put it in a more succinct form.

All the verses used by trinitarians to make God the Father’s own Spirit another person equal to God the Father and His Son tell us about the capabilities of the Spirit. By that I mean, the Spirit is lied to, intercedes, thinks, is grieved, is a dignitary, has divinity, plays a role in baptism, etc. From all these capability statements of the Spirit, the trinitarian mind assumes identity of the Spirit. That is unnecessary. The identity of the Spirit is clearly given. It is a Spirit belonging to God the Father, sent by God as God pleases. Simple!

God bless you all.

TRF Ministries.