Sunday, August 31, 2014

Omniscience of the Persons of the Trinity

originally posted 6/5/2015


Omniscience is acknowledge by most people to be an attribute that only absolute deity can possess. Solomon stated that only the true God knows all the thoughts of human beings.

then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind),- 1 Kings 8:39
It is written in Jeremiah

"I the LORD search the heart
        and test the mind
,
    to give every man according to his ways,
        according to the fruit of his deeds."- Jer. 17:10


Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
        his understanding is beyond measure.- Ps. 147:5


Some translations of Ps. 147:5 have, His understanding is "infinite" (KJV, ASV, NASB, NKJV) or  "there is no limit to his wisdom" (NET).


The following are some evidences for the omniscience of the Holy Spirit and of Jesus implying the full deity of both along with the Father.

10    these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.- 1 Cor. 2:10-11

The Holy Spirit is said to search the deep things of God. This isn't discursive "searching." It does not necessarily imply the kind of successive acquisition of knowledge which belongs to  finite creatures, since Jehovah/Yahweh is said to "search" hearts in Jer. 17:10 and Rom. 8:27c. Jehovah's searching of human hearts does not imply finite searching, but rather the opposite. It is a colorful way to refer to exhaustive and omniscient knowledge. Therefore the Holy Spirit's searching the deep things of God implies that the Holy Spirit is as omniscient as God the Father is.

Jesus is said to know the Father exhaustively as the Father exhaustively knows the Son (John 10:15;  cf. Matt. 11:27). That too implies Jesus' omniscience and therefore full deity.

Also, in Rev. 2:23 Jesus claims for Himself the ability to to search the hearts of men. He's clearly alluding to Jer. 17:10 (quoted above) and He applies it to Himself. Unless, Jesus is God, He cannot claim the prerogatives of Jehovah in Jer. 17:10. Jesus not only alludes to Jer. 17:10 but also claims to be qualified to judge and reward people based on the same type of searching of hearts and rewarding Jehovah does in that passage.

Notice too that for the Holy Spirit to prayer for all Christians individually (knowing their particular circumstances and needs) suggests omniscience (or is consistent with it). Jesus is also said to intercede for believers (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; John 17:9-26; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1). Again, consistent with omniscience.

 The fact that Jesus listens to and answers prayer suggests His full deity. Not only because it would be consistent with omniscience, but because only God is the proper object of prayer. Jesus appears to answer prayer in the following passages John 14:13-14 (critical text as "Me" in verse 14); 2 Cor. 12:8-9; Acts 1:24-26 (see Robert Bowman's book Putting Jesus in His Place); 1 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 10:13; Acts 9:14, 21; 22:16 etc.

Jesus knows His sheep individually and intimately reminiscent of omniscience (John 10:14-15, 26-27).

For the evidence that we can pray to the Holy Spirit, here's a link to my blogpost:

Praying to and Worshipping the Holy Spirit

If we can pray to the Holy Spirit, and (as pointed out above) if the Holy Spirit prays for us, then that suggests omniscience.

Other verses/passages that suggests Jesus' omniscience (or at least being consistent with Jesus' omniscience):

John 21:17; 2:24-25; 18:4; 6:61, 64; John 16:19; in John 16:30 people didn't necessarily think Jesus was omniscient; Acts 1:24 might be a prayer to Jesus that appeals to Him omniscience ((see Robert Bowman's book Putting Jesus in His Place); Heb. 4:12 might refer to Jesus as the "Word of God" rather than to Scripture. If so, then it's possible that when Heb. 4:13 refers to "his," it's a reference to Jesus and not to God the Father.

More verses/passages consistent with Jesus' omniscience:

Matt. 9:4; 12:25; 16:7-8; Mark 2:8; 8:16-17; 12:15; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 9:46-47; 11:17; Jesus knowledge of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10); Jesus' encounter with the woman of Samaria (John 4:1-42) revealed Jesus' supernatural knowledge (possibly by inherent omniscience or by the revelation of God or of the Holy Spirit)

The fact that Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic man suggests both omniscience and full divinity (Mark 2:1-12; Matt. 9:1-8; Luke 5:17-26). It suggests omniscience on the part of Jesus because from all outward appearances Jesus was a mere human being. Who was he to forgive the sins of a person he knew nothing about. For all Jesus knew, the paralytic man was such a heinous sinner that that's why God punished him with paralysis. Who was he to reverse God's judgment? Or for all Jesus knew, the paralytic man was a relatively righteous person like Job who was suffering far beyond what he "deserved" relative to other human beings' just deserts and (incongruous) experience. Nevertheless, Jesus had the chutzpah (or nerve/guts/audacity) to forgive the paralytic of his sins.

Secondly, this incident suggests the full deity of Jesus because only God can forgive sins in that manner because ultimately all sin is an offense and an affront to God (directly, or indirectly because it's against humans who are made in God's image). The surrounding witnesses also knew and believed only God could forgive in that manner. There's a sense in which humans can forgive other humans for sins committed against them (i.e. the injured party). But the paralytic didn't sin against the human Jesus. They may have just met for the first time physically. The special sense in which Jesus forgave the paralytic was the kind of remission only God could rightfully dispense. That's why some in the crowd got angry at Jesus. It is true that later Jesus would grant the authority to remit sins to His disciples (John 20:23 [Possibly also Matt. 16:19; 18:18; 2 Cor. 2:6-10]). However, that was clearly a delegated authority which was only binding when it was consistent with the proclamation and reception of the gospel. The gospel of and about Jesus and His kingdom. The difference is that Jesus was the VERY FIRST human in a Jewish context to forgive sins. He did this contrary to all the cultural expectations of the orthodox Judaism of the time. He did so as if it was His inherent prerogative rather than merely a delegated one. Moreover, Jesus did so by appeal to His being "the Son of Man" while on earth. Apparently in contrast to the Son of Man while in heaven.

See my blogpost demonstrating the self-designation of Jesus as the "Son of Man" as a veiled claim to full deity here:

The Meaning of the Term "Son of Man"


The fact that the Holy Spirit is the source of truth and wisdom suggests (or is at least consistent with) omniscience.

The Holy Spirit the Source of Truth: John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13 [possibly 1 John 4:6] compare with Isa. 65:16 which states God is the "God of Truth" and John 14:6 where Jesus says He is "the Truth"

The Holy Spirit the Source of Wisdom/Understanding/Knowledge/Counsel: Isa. 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:13; 12:8; Eph. 1:17; Acts 6:3, 10; Exo. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Deut. 34:9; Dan. 4:8-9, 18; 5:11-12, 14; Job. 32:8; Col. 1:9

The reference to the "seven spirits of God" in Rev. 1:4-5 might be a reference to the Holy Spirit. Same with the reference to the "seven eyes" in Zech. 3:9 and Rev. 5:6 [cf. Zech. 3:9; Rev. 3:1; 4:5, although some of these verses might not refer to the Holy Spirit, but rather to seven angels]. The seven spirits of God might refer to the fullness and omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. Seven being the number of perfection. The seven eyes might refer to God's perfect knowledge of all things. In other words, omniscience. Many places in the Old Testament refer to the "eyes of Jehovah" (Gen. 6:8; Deut. 11:12; 12:25, 28; 13:18; 21:9; 2 Sam. 15:25; 1 Kings 15:5, 11; 22:43; 2 Kings 12:2; 14:3; 15:3; 15:34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2; 2 Chron. 14:2; 16:9; 20:32; 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 28:1; 29:2; 34:2; Ps. 33:18; 34:15; Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 22:12; Isa. 49:5; Zech. 4:10).

One of the most famous is 2 Chron. 16:9 which states that "the eyes of Jehovah  run to and fro throughout the whole earth." Apparently indicating God's providential eyes are watching everything. If the seven spirits of God and the seven eyes of God are identical and refer to the Holy Spirit, then that would imply that the Holy is omniscient. Which would again suggest the full divinity and deity of the Holy Spirit.

While some references to the "seven spirits of God" may refer to angels, the passage in Rev. 1:4-5 probably refer to the Holy Spirit because in that passage John is wishing the divine blessings of GRACE and PEACE from three sources to his readers. The three sources seem to correspond to the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus (i.e. the persons of the Trinity).

4    John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.- Rev. 1:4-5
The Father
The Son
The Holy Spirit




 Other resources I've linked to or recommended in my other blogposts provide evidences of both the Holy Spirit's and Jesus' divine attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence. I may write separate blogposts that deal with those specific divine attributes in the future.





Thursday, August 28, 2014

Old Testament Passages Implying Plurality in God


In a previous blogpost I listed some interesting verses in the Old Testament that imply plurality in the Godhead or in God. I've found more and may find even more in the future. So, I'll post my original list and then post the new passages as additions at the bottom. That way I can continue adding at the bottom as I find more.


Here are some examples of implied plurality with respect to God in the Old Testament. At the very least they are suggestive even if they are not conclusive proof of multiplicity in God and/or the "Godhead".

Genesis 19:24 "Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens."
This passage suggests that there are (at least) two persons with the name [or who share the name of] YHWH. A YHWH on earth who had been speaking to Abraham and A YHWH in heaven who sends down fire and brimstone.

----------

1    Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.2 And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?"- Zech. 3:1-2

This passage, like Gen. 19:24, suggest two persons referred to as "LORD" (YHWH, AKA "Jehovah" or "Yahweh"). Notice that the Angel of Jehovah is called simply "Jehovah" at Zech. 3:2a and then this Jehovah says may Jehovah (i.e. another person also named Jehovah) rebuke you (i.e. Satan). This is one of many passages in the Old Testament where the Angel of Jehovah is simply called Jehovah or is identified as Jehovah either explicitly or implicitly. See for example the following excerpt from E.W. Hengstenberg's Christology of the Old Testament. Or listen to any one of Michael S. Heiser's lectures on the Jewish Trinity in the Old Testament.

The Angel of the LORD by E.W. Hengstenberg

The Jewish Trinity: How the Old Testament Reveals the Christian Godhead by Dr. Michael Heiser


Regarding these verses of Zech. 3:1-2 Hengstenberg in volume 3 of his Christology of the Old Testament wrote:
In the words, "the Lord said, the Lord rebuke thee," a distinction is made between the Lord and his Angel; and, at the same time, the latter is placed on an equality with the former, in respect of divine wrath and glory.- p. 323

And thus the prophet sees Joshua the High Priest on the present occasion, engaged as a priest in the service of the angel of the Lord, who is introduced in ver. 2 under the name of Jehovah, which belongs to God alone, and who attributes to himself in ver. 4 an exclusively divine work, the forgiveness of sins.- p. 319

----------
Isaiah 54:5: "For your Maker is your husband…" [Literally in the Hebrew : makers, husbands,] Notice that "makers" and "husbands" are plural.
Ecclesiastes 12:1: "Remember now you creator…" [Literally: "creators" plural]

Psalm 149:2: "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker." [Literally: "makers" plural]

possibly Job 35:10 too, see John Gill on that verse

Joshua 24:19: "…holy God…" [Literally: "holy Gods" plural]
John Gill says of this verse, "In the Hebrew text it is, 'for the Holy Ones [are] he': which may serve to illustrate and confirm the doctrine of the trinity of, persons in the unity of the divine Essence, or of the three divine holy Persons, holy Father, holy Son, holy Spirit, as the one God..."

An article on the Jews of Jesus website states:

While the use of the plural Elohim does not prove a Tri-unity, it certainly opens the door to a doctrine of plurality in the Godhead since it is the word that is used of the one true God as well as for the many false gods.
Plural Verbs used with Elohim
Virtually all Hebrew scholars do recognize that the word Elohim, as it stands by itself, is a plural noun. Nevertheless, they wish to deny that it allows for any plurality in the Godhead whatsoever. Their line of reasoning usually goes like this: When "Elohim" is used of the true God, it is followed by a singular verb; when it is used of false gods, it is followed by the plural verb. Rabbi Greenberg states it as follows:


"But, in fact, the verb used in the opening verse of Genesis is 'bara' which means 'he created'—singular. One need not be too profound a student of Hebrew to understand that the opening verse of Genesis clearly speaks of a singular God."
The point made, of course, is generally true because the Bible does teach that God is only one God and, therefore, the general pattern is to have the plural noun followed by the singular verb when it speaks of the one true God. However, there are places where the word is used of the true God and yet it is followed by a plural verb: 

Genesis 20:13: "And it came to pass, when God (Elohim) caused me to wander [literally: They caused me to wander] from my father's house…
 
Genesis 35:7: "…because there God (Elohim) appeared unto him…" [Literally: They appeared unto him.]
 
2 Samuel 7:23: "…God (Elohim) went…" [Literally: They went.]
 
Psalm 58:12: "Surely He is God (Elohim) who judges…[Literally: They judge.]

I believe the last passage should read Ps. 58:11 not 58:12.





Nick Norelli in his book The Defense of an Essential: A Believer’s Handbook for Defending the Trinity listed the following:

1. Plural Verbs

o Genesis 20:13
English Translation: God caused me to wander
Hebrew: ה התתְעוו ו אלתהים, א אלֹל ה היםם
Literally: They caused me to wander

o Genesis 35:7
English Translation: God appeared
Hebrew: נהגתְלֹו ו א אלֹלָיםו לָ ה א אלֹל ה היםם
Literally: They appeared

o 2Samuel 7:23
English Translation: God went
Hebrew: לָ הלֹתְכוו ו -א א אלֹל ה היםם
Literally: They went

o Psalms 58:12
English Translation: God that judges
Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם ששלפתְ ה טיםם
Literally: Gods that judge

2. Plural Adjectives

o Deuteronomy 5:26
English Translation: living God
Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם ח חים ה יםום
Literally: Living Gods8

o Joshua 24:19
English Translation: holy God
Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם תְ קדֹלששהיםם
Literally: Holy Gods

3. Plural Nouns

o Ecclesiastes 12:1
English Translation: thy Creator
Hebrew: בוולרתְ אֶ איםךלָ
Literally: Creators

o Isaiah 54:5
English Translation: For thy Maker is thy husband
Hebrew: בל ע עולֹחיִךתְ עולששחיִךתְ
Literally: Makers, Husbands9

o Malachi 1:6
English Translation: Master
Hebrew: ע אדֹולנהיםם
Literally: Masters10

o Daniel 7:18
English Translation: Most High
Hebrew: אֶ עולֹתְיםולנהיםן
Literally: Most High Ones

footnotes:
8 See also 1Samuel 17:26, 36 & Jeremiah 10:10, 23:36 for “living Gods”
9 See also Psalm 149:2 for “Makers”
10 Nearly every occurrence of the noun “Lord” ( ע אדֹולנהים ) in reference to God appears in the plural form.

This excerpt from Nick's book was taken from a larger excerpt that can be downloaded HERE

As Anthony Rogers says in one of his articles:
 When all is said and done, the Old Testament uses plural nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives for God.
Meaning, plural nouns, plural pronouns, plural verbs, plural adverbs, and plural adjectives for God.





----------
Hosea 1:7: "Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen."
Here YHWH speaks about another person as YHWH.

----------
Zechariah 2:8-9: "For thus says the LORD of Hosts: "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he that touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me."
This passage could be referring to the prophet (Zechariah) himself, or (possibly) it has YHWH speaking and saying that another person who is YHWH has sent Him (i.e. YHWH).

----------
Isaiah 48:16
" Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD [YHWH] and His Spirit Have sent Me."
Here's another passage where YHWH is speaking and says that another person whose name is also YHWH and YHWH's Spirit (evidently the Holy Spirit) has sent Him (i.e. YHWH who was speaking).

 ----------

There are places where God speaking speaks of "Us" as if there's a plurality in the Godhead.

Gen. 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."

Gen. 11:7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."

Gen. 3:22 "22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us..."

Isa. 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: " Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
Admittedly, the "us" might refer to God and His angels in heavenly counsel. Nevertheless, it need not include the angels, and it would be in keeping with the rest of the Old and New Testaments that imply a plurality in God.

----------

Also, I've recently heard the following argument that is based on Hebrew from an episode of the John Ankerberg show I watched on youtube.com I've posted the link that directly goes to the part in the video where the argument is made.

[The original link is dead. Here's another link that might eventually end up being dead too]


http://youtu.be/OiRY3yFR8mg?t=1m14s

In essence it said that there are three ways to say "god" in Hebrew. "EL" (singular), "ELOHIAM" (dual) and "ELOHIM" (three or more). "ELOHIAM" (dual) is never used of God in the Old Testment while "ELOHIM" which means 3 or more is used of God over 2000 times. Ankerberg cites Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar p. 244 which state "[The dual] in Hebrew, however, it is almost exclusively used to denote those objects which naturally occur in pairs." If this argument is true, then that would support (though not prove) the doctrine of the Trinity. However, I'm not sure this argument is true. I need to confirm it since I believe this is the same Gesenius who some claim foisted the anachronistic hoax that pluralis majestiticus (royal plurality of majesty) was a concept known and used by ancient Semitic cultures. This is according to Robert Morey in his book Trinity: Evidence and Issues. Though Morey's scholarship is itself suspect at times (cf. his so-called "scholarship" on Islam).




Additional Passages

It's also interesting that the Shema refers to God three times regardless of how one translates it1.


  1. Yahweh (is) our God, Yahweh alone.
  2. Yahweh our God (is) one Yahweh.
  3. Yahweh our God, Yahweh (is) one.
  4. Yahweh (is) our God, Yahweh (is) one.
  5. Our one God, (is) Yahweh, Yahweh

Regarding the Shema and Mark 12:29, David H. Stern notes in his Jewish New Testament Commentary:

...Likewise, here in the Sh'ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) there are two such r'mazim: (1) the triple reference to God, and (2) the use of the word "echad," which often means a multiple unity (such as "one" cluster of grapes or "one" bundle of sticks) instead of "yachid," which nearly always excludes multiple oneness. -page 97
Notice that Stern does not make the common Christian mistake in claiming that "echad" [always] means "compound unity." Echad merely means, "one." Whether it is compound or simple oneness. By "triple reference to God" Stern is talking about the fact that God is mentioned three times in the Shema. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD [1st reference] our God [2nd reference], the LORD [3rd reference] is one."


R'mazim is plural for remez.
 (2) Remez ("hint") — wherein a word, phrase or other element in the text hints at a truth not conveyed by the p'shat. The implied presupposition is that God can hint at things of which the Bible writers themselves were unaware. - page 12
(1) P'shat ("simple") — the plain, literal sense of the text, more or less what modern scholars mean by "grammatical-historical exegesis,"...- page 11
See Wikipedia's article on PaRDeS

Notice also that this Jewish concept of God hinting at deeper meanings is consistent with the Christian understanding of Progressive Revelation.

 ----------
"I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me,"declares the LORD.- Amos 4:11
This verse might suggest there are two divine persons mentioned. However, it's possible that the Hebrew word "God" is elohim. If so, then a Unitarian might argue that the passage is referring to spiritual beings other than the one true God. Namely, angels whom God commissioned to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. While that interpretation might be correct, it also might not be correct. For all we know the passage is an allusion to the pre-incarnate Christ.

Compare with:

As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.- Jer. 50:40

----------
5 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'- Jer. 23:5-6
While I've been familiar with this verse, I never really quoted it for the sake of showing two different persons named YHWH. The reason was because in response Unitarians often cite Jer. 33:16 which says that in the future Jerusalem will one day also be called, "the LORD our righteousness." They would point out that just because the city is named "the LORD our righteousness" it obviously doesn't entail that the city is Almighty God. So, even if they grant that Jer. 23:5-6 is a prophecy of Jesus, it doesn't necessarily entail that Jesus is Almighty God. I agree with that point and that's why I've only used the passage in the past to point out that Jesus MIGHT possibly be Jehovah/YHWH based on this verse coupled with 1 Cor. 1:30 and how other Jehovah compound names seemingly have their fulfillment in Jesus.

----------
8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:9 "Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me.10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD.11 And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.- Zech. 2:8-11
Earlier I quoted Zech. 2:8-9 to suggest multiple persons referred to as Jehovah/YHWH. I realize now that verses 10 & 11 also suggest it as well. In verse 11 Jehovah speaks and says Jehovah sent Him.

----------
I will make them strong in the LORD, and they shall walk in his name,"declares the LORD. - Zech. 10:12
Here again Jehovah speaks and refers to Jehovah in the third person. Thus once again suggesting that two persons are named YHWH/Jehovah.

----------
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.- Zech. 12:10
Though I've been familiar with this passage for decades, I normally don't use it as evidence that suggests multiple persons in the Godhead. The reason is because Unitarians rightly point out that when it is quoted in John 19:37 and Rev. 1:7 it has the word "him" rather than "me/Me" as it does in the Masoretic. So, it's not a knockdown argument. But in this blogpost I'm not necessarily looking for knockdown arguments. At a minimum this blogpost's purpose is to supply OT verses that are suggestive of plurality in God. Therefore, it's appropriate for me to do so now. If "Me" is the correct  (as the Masoretic has it), then for those who believe in the inspiration of both Testaments, it suggests that Jesus is YHWH and that there are two persons being referred to as YHWH in this passage. It suggests Jesus is YHWH because Jesus the one who is pierced in the New Testament even though in this passage YHWH is speaking and says He Himself ("Me") is pierced. It also suggests two persons as YHWH because the pierced one is both "Me" (the speaker), and "him" (not the speaker). This is the case even though the New Testament quotes it using the word "him" since an inspired paraphrase of the Old Testament in the New Testament doesn't nullify the inspiration of the original. Having said that, there are other criticisms Unitarians make about this passage (e.g. here). But again, this blogpost is not about knockdown arguments but suggestive ones.

----------
Another plural name of God is Adonim; "If I am (Adoaim) Lords, where is my fear?" (Mal.. 1:6) now, though this may be said of one in the second and third persons plural, yet never of one in the first person, as it is here said of God by himself; "I am Lords"; and we are sure there are two, "The Lord said to my Lord", &c. (Ps. 110:1). In Daniel 4:17 the most high God is called the watchers and the Holy Ones; "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the Holy Ones"; which respects the revolution and destruction of the Babylonian monarchy; an affair of such moment and importance as not to be ascribed to angels, which some understand by watchers and Holy Ones; but however applicable these epithets may be to them, and they may be allowed to be the executioners of the decrees of God, yet not the makers of them; nor can anything in this world, and much less an affair of such consequence as this, be said to be done in virtue of any decree of theirs: besides, this decree is expressly called, the decree of the most High, (Dan. 4:24) so that the watchers and Holy Ones, are no other than the divine Persons in the Godhead; who are holy in their nature, and watch over the saints to do them good; and over the wicked, to bring evil upon them: and as they are so called in the plural number, to express the plnrality of them in the Deity; so to preserve the unity of the divine essence, this same decree is called, the decree of the most High, (Dan. 4:24) and they the watcher and Holy One, in the singular number in (Dan. 4:13).
-John Gill,  A Body of Doctrinal Divinity  [Book 1, Chapter 27 Of A Plurality In The Godhead]


The following is taken from my blogpost: All Three Persons of the Trinity Mentioned In Scripture (Directly or Indirectly)
I've only included the Old Testament passages below. The New Testament passages are in the original blog.

I've color coded the apparent allusions. Green regarding the Father (because in the Old Testament God likens himself to a green fir tree in Hos. 14:8). Pink regarding the Son (because we have redemption through Christ's blood according to Eph. 1:7). Yellow regarding the Holy Spirit (because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who gives light to our eyes [cf. Dan. 5:11, 14; John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; Rev. 4:5; Isa. 11:2]). Keep in mind that there will be times when I will color a reference to God as green indicating a reference to the Father, even when it might as well be a reference to the Son or Spirit in context. Since, if Trinitarianism is true, then all three persons are God and YHWH. Which means, whenever a text doesn't specify which person of the Trinity is being alluded to, it might refer to all three persons together, or anyone of the three persons, or specifically to one of the three persons but it is just not specified which one.



1    Who is this who comes from Edom,
        in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
    he who is splendid in his apparel,
        marching in the greatness of his strength?
    "It is I, speaking in righteousness,
        mighty to save."
2    Why is your apparel red,
        and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
3    "I have trodden the winepress alone,
        and from the peoples no one was with me;
    I trod them in my anger
        and trampled them in my wrath;
    their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
        and stained all my apparel.
4    For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
        and my year of redemption had come.
5    I looked, but there was no one to help;
        I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
    so my own arm brought me salvation,
        and my wrath upheld me.
6    I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
        I made them drunk in my wrath,
        and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."

7    I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
        the praises of the LORD,
    according to all that the LORD has granted us,
        and the great goodness to the house of Israel
    that he has granted them according to his compassion,
        according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8    For he said, "Surely they are my people,
        children who will not deal falsely."
        And he became their Savior.
9    In all their affliction he was afflicted,
        and the angel of his presence saved them;
    in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
        he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
10    But they rebelled
        and grieved his Holy Spirit;
    therefore he turned to be their enemy,
        and himself fought against them.
11    Then he remembered the days of old,
        of Moses and his people.
    Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
        with the shepherds of his flock?
    Where is he who put in the midst of them
        his Holy Spirit,
12    who caused his glorious arm
        to go at the right hand of Moses,
    who divided the waters before them
        to make for himself an everlasting name,
13    who led them through the depths?
    Like a horse in the desert,
        they did not stumble.
14    Like livestock that go down into the valley,
        the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
    So you led your people,
        to make for yourself a glorious name.

15    Look down from heaven and see,
        from your holy and beautiful habitation.
    Where are your zeal and your might?
        The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion
        are held back from me.
16    For you are our Father,
        though Abraham does not know us,
        and Israel does not acknowledge us;
    you, O LORD, are our Father,
        our Redeemer from of old is your name.
17    O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways
        and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?
    Return for the sake of your servants,
        the tribes of your heritage.
18    Your holy people held possession for a little while;
        our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.
19    We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,
        like those who are not called by your name.- Isa. 63:1-19
This entire chapter of Isaiah has Trinitarian fingerprints all over it. We have at least three references to each of the three persons of the Trinity. As I said above, some of the passages where "LORD" is used might also be referring to any one or all three persons of the Trinity. That's also true for the word Father in the Old Testament since it might be referring to God generally, and not specifically the first person of the Trinity, God the Father. Remember Jesus is called "everlasting Father (i.e. possessor of the attribute of eternality) in Isa. 9:6. While only the first person of the Trinity is Father within the ontological Trinity, any one of the persons of the economic Trinity can be Father in relation to creation or with respect to redemption. Also, the early references to the LORD as a warrior wearing a splendid garment who treads in the winepress is reminiscent of Rev. 19:11-16 where Jesus is similarly described as a warrior treading a winepress and wearing a robe that is dipped in blood (similar to the imagery of the LORD's robe being stained with red grape juice in Isa. 63:2). The parallels are striking and obviously intentional. Either because Jesus does in the New Testament what the Father did in the Old Testament, or because it was Jesus who did it in the Old Testament as well. Notice that the "arm of the LORD" is mentioned twice. Most everyone who believes in the New Testament agrees that that is a prophetic and veiled reference to Jesus (cf. Isa. 53:1; Luke 1:47,51; Isa. 40:10-11 etc.). The angel of God's presence is mentioned repeatedly elsewhere in the Old Testament and is also universally understood to refer to the pre-incarnate Christ. Finally, the three references to the LORD in verse 7 could just as well have been colored using all three colors.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.- Ps. 33:6
 Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there." And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.- Isa. 48:16
While the ESV doesn't capitalize "me," both the NASB and the NKJV do because rather than Isaiah speaking, the translators agree that Jehovah/YHWH is speaking. If that's the correct interpretation, then it is the pre-incarnate Christ, as Jehovah who is speaking about his future ministry.

He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.-Ps. 147:18

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name."- Dan. 9:19

For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.- Isa. 33:22

And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"- Isa. 6:3 [cf. Rev. 4:8]

As I've written elsewhere, it's often pointed out that the use of triples in the above passages doesn't necessarily allude to the Trinity since the same grammatical repetition is used of other things in the Old Testament and in the Hebrew language in general. That's true. But we have to ask ourselves why three rather than two or four or five is the number of times to be used for the full, complete and highest degree of absolute emphasis? Might it be that God Himself implanted, directly or indirectly by His providence, in the historical development of the languages and Semitic cultures of that time a subconscious echoing knowledge and understanding of the Absolute, the ultimate reality? That is, of the reality of  God as a Trinity? Might it be the other way around? That rather than the use of triples in reference to God MERELY being a hinting at and pointing toward the Trinity, might it also ultimately be the case that the Trinity itself is the very source and grounding of that linguistic feature found in various Semitic cultures?

Anthony Rogers points out in one of his articles:

  • The word Elohim is used thousands of times for “God”; Adonai is used hundreds of times for “Lord”; both of these words are plural nouns in Hebrew.
  • A number of passages speak of the “faces” or “presences” or “persons” of God (Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 4:37; and Job 13:8).
  • God refers to Himself as “Us,” “Our,” and “We” (Genesis 1:26, 2:18 (LXX), 3:22, 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, and 41:21-24),2 a phenomenon that is reflected in virtually every English translation.
  • The OT says of God, “they caused me to wander” (Genesis 20:13), “they appeared” (Genesis 35:7), “they drew nigh” (Deuteronomy 4:7), “they went” (2 Samuel 7:23), and “they judge” (Psalm 58:11).
  • The OT calls God our “Creators” (Ecclesiastes 12:1), “Makers” and “Husbands” (Job 35:10; Psalm 149:2; Isaiah 54:5).
  • The OT says that God is “holy” (Joshua 24:19; Proverbs 9:10, 30:33), another plural.



See Also these other blogs of mine:

The Aaronic Blessing Is Highly Suggestive of the Doctrine of the Trinity

All Three Persons of the Trinity Mentioned In Scripture (Directly or Indirectly)

Quotes from "Of A Plurality In The Godhead" by John Gill

Proving That There Is A Plurality In The Godhead


See Also these books by John Gill:

The Doctrine of the Trinity Stated and  Vindicated (or HERE) [FULL BOOK]

A Body of Doctrinal Divinity [FULL BOOK]

Regarding Jewish Professor Dr. Sommer's Comments About the Trinity

The Great Mystery; or, How Can Three Be One? [The Trinity in Early Judaism]

The Jewish Trinity: How the Old Testament Reveals the Christian Godhead by Dr. Michael Heiser





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quotations About the Trinity

I'll be collecting and posting interesting and notable quotes on the Trinity and Trinitarianism in this blogpost.

In the declaration, then, of this doctrine unto the edification of the church, there is contained a farther explanation of the things before asserted, as proposed directly and in themselves as the object of our faith, — namely, how God is one, in respect of his nature, substance, essence, Godhead, or divine being; how, being Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he subsists in these three distinct persons or hypostases; and what are their mutual respects to each other, by which, as their peculiar properties, giving them the manner of their subsistence, they are distinguished one from another; with sundry other things of the like necessary consequence unto the revelation mentioned. And herein, as in the application of all other divine truths and mysteries whatever, yea, of all moral commanded duties, use is to be made of such words and expressions as, it may be, are not literally and formally contained in the Scripture; but only are, unto our conceptions and apprehensions, expository of what is so contained. And to deny the liberty, yea, the necessity hereof, is to deny all interpretation of the Scripture, — all endeavours to express the sense of the words of it unto the understandings of one another; which is, in a word, to render the Scripture itself altogether useless. For if it be unlawful for me to speak or write what I conceive to be the sense of the words of the Scripture, and the nature of the thing signified and expressed by them, it is unlawful for me, also, to think or conceive in my mind what is the sense of the words or nature of the things; which to say, is to make brutes of ourselves, and to frustrate the whole design of God in giving unto us the great privilege of his word.- John Owen, Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity

“The Old Testament may be likened to a chamber richly furnished but dimly lighted; the introduction of light brings into it nothing which was not in it before; but it brings out into clearer view much of what is in it but was only dimly or even not at all perceived before. The mystery of the Trinity is not revealed in the Old Testament; but the mystery of the Trinity underlies the Old Testament revelation, and here and there almost comes into view. Thus the Old Testament revelation of God is not corrected by the fuller revelation that follows it, but only perfected, extended and enlarged.” —Benjamin Breckinridge Warfied, Biblical Doctrines (New York: Oxford University Press, 1932; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 141-42

Nothing could be more relevant to your life than the doctrine of the Trinity. For life is meaningless to you unless you know life’s meaning. And the meaning of life, the ultimate purpose of life, the greatest good, the supreme value, is love. And the doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation for that, because it means that love ‘goes all the way up’ into ultimate reality, into the very essence of God. The doctrine of the Trinity means that God is love.- Peter Kreeft, Because God Is Real, (Ignatius Press, 2008), p.87.
This is why I believe the intra-Trinitarian love is the basis and ground of creaturely morality. I plan to eventually write a blog on this concept.


An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God – that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying – the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on – the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Christian (and Jewish Messianic Believer in Jesus) Dr. Michael L. Brown, wrote
Interestingly, Dr. Benjamin Sommer, a professor in Bible and ancient Near Eastern languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary (that’s right, the Jewish Theological Seminary), came to similar conclusions in his recent book, The Bodies of God. He wrote: “Some Jews regard Christianity’s claim to be a monotheistic religion with grave suspicion, both because of the doctrine of the trinity (how can three equal one?) and because of Christianity’s core belief that God took bodily form. . . . No Jew sensitive to Judaism’s own classical sources, however, can fault the theological model Christianity employs when it avows belief in a God who has an earthly body as well as a Holy Spirit and a heavenly manifestation, for that model, we have seen, is a perfectly Jewish one. A religion whose scripture contains the fluidity traditions [referring to God appearing in bodily form in the Tanakh], whose teachings emphasize the multiplicity of the shekhinah, and whose thinkers speak of the sephirot does not differ in its theological essentials from a religion that adores the triune God.”
So, it appears that there are Jewish scholars who do not believe in Yeshua who can see what my dear friend Rabbi Blumenthal cannot. Let’s continue to pray for Rabbi Blumenthal!
More quotes regarding Sommer's book Here.

In no other subject is error more dangerous, or inquiry more laborious, or the discovery of truth more profitable. - Augustine De Trinitate 1.3.5 
God created us so that the joy He has in Himself might be ours. God doesn't simply think about Himself or talk to Himself. He enjoys Himself! He celebrates with infinite and eternal intensity the beauty of who He is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we've been created to join the party!- Sam Storms, A Christian Theory of Everything

 Before going on, notice the practical importance of this. All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that ‘God is love’. But they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love.- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The Trinity eternally had communion. The uni-personal God, only one Person, no Trinity, is, to a gracious mind reflecting on the subject, an impossible thing. For a moment reflect. Eternally alone, eternally silent, eternally without communion, no creatures made, no Fellow with Himself, what an awful thought! Unitarianism is the utmost blank, and the most terrible conception imaginable. But the Trinity in Unity, the Father un-begotten, the Son begotten, the Spirit proceeding from Them both, Three Persons equal in essence, power, and glory, but distinct in Personality, distinct, but not different, having eternal communion; this received by faith is a glorious truth to a soul. On this eternal communion between the Three Persons in the Godhead, is built the communion of the saints; communion of saints follows. Think for a moment what it would be if we had no fellowship of any kind with one another, or any creature. What a blank this world would be! What a blank would the house be, no fellowship, no interchange of any sort of thought, or plan, or love, or wish, or design, always in yourself! It is a great thing if we are enabled to believe with a God-given faith in the Trinity. - J.K. Popham, The Testimony of the Trinity
The late Martin Hengel exposed many of the tenuous arguments put forward for an evolutionary process of christological development, He argued: "The time between the death of Jesus and the fully developed Christology which we find in the earliest Christian documents, the letters of Paul, is so short that the development which takes place within it can only be called amazing."6 If that is the case, then "more happened in this period of less than two decades than in the whole next seven centuries, up to the time when the doctrine of the early church was completed."7- How Jesus Became God, p. 13

6. Martin Hengel, "Christology and New Testament Chronology: A Problem in the History of Earliest Christianity," in Between Jesus and Paul (London: SCM, 1983), 31

7. Martin Hengel, The Son of God: The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religion (London: SCM, 1975), 4. This reminds me also of G. B. Caird's remark (New Testament Theology [ed. LD. Hurst; Oxford: Clarendon, 1994], 343): "the highest Christology of the NT is also its earliest."- How Jesus Became God, p. 207


"Martin Hengel, perhaps the greatest living scholar of Christian origins, is correct in saying,
The discrepancy between the shameful death of a Jewish state criminal and the confession that depicts this executed man as a preexistent divine figure who becomes man and humbles himself to a slave's death is, as far as I can see, without analogy in the ancient world.17

17 The Son of God: The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), 1."
"- James R. Edwards, Is Jesus The Only Savior?, p. 55.






Praying to and Worshipping the Holy Spirit


Years ago I was virtually stumped by the question, "What Biblical evidence is there that we can pray to the Holy Spirit?" When asked by Unitarians like Jehovah's Witnesses, the implication is that if there's no Biblical encouragement to pray to the Holy Spirit, we have no warrant to do so. If we have no warrant, then maybe it's illegitimate and impermissible to do so. If we cannot or may not pray to the Holy Spirit, then it would appear that the Holy Spirit can't be God, even if the Holy Spirit were personal. 

Well, normally the Bible presents the Holy Spirit as 1. the one who helps Christians to pray, and 2. who also prays/intercedes for Christians (as Christ who is God also does). Therefore, it's only natural for there to be few (if any) passages that would teach or suggest we can pray to the Holy Spirit.

But even if there weren't any Biblical data supporting prayer to the Holy Spirit, that would not itself invalidate the practice. Since, if there's sufficient evidence elsewhere that imply or teach (directly or indirectly) that the Holy Spirit is God, then it would naturally seem to be permissible. Since, by definition, God is worthy of our prayer. Moreover, it's a positive fact that there is no prohibition to pray to the Holy Spirit unlike the Scriptural prohibitions regarding our licit and illicit interaction with angels.

Having said the above, I nevertheless think the following argument suggests we can pray to the Holy Spirit. According to Biblical teaching, while we human beings are on earth (i.e. before our deaths) we're not allowed to initiate communication with the spirits of dead human beings or with angels. The Old Testament prohibits necromancy and the book of Colossians prohibits a preoccupation with or worship of angels (e.g. Col. 2:18). Instead, the book of Colossians encourages us to focus on Christ as God and as the all sufficient atonement and mediator between humanity and the Father. This entails that if we're going to initiate any form of spiritual communication with unseen spirits it should only be toward God. Specifically, to the Father through the Son since Christ is the sole mediator between God and man. Christ being both God and man (Col. 1:29; 2:9).  Though, there is evidence in the New Testament of prayers offered to Christ. But that's a different topic addressed in other blogposts.

The only exception to the above prohibition is that we are allowed to communicate with angels if the angels initiate the communication with us themselves. But only with God's permission, sanction or commission. Even then, any claimed angel of God must be tested by Scripture since the Bible also teaches that demons can disguise themselves as God's holy and good angels (2 Cor. 11:14). I say this as a continuationists. But if one were a cessationist, then he too would have to admit that at least during the lives of the Apostles the rule I described above applied. 

Yet, the fact that the Bible encourages us to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit suggests that the Holy Spirit is fully God since, as argued above, we're never to initiate fellowship with any other immaterial spirit being or personality (angelic or human). Moreover, fellowship normally entails communication. What other kind of communication then would that be than that of prayer? 

Also, if the Holy Spirit was merely an impersonal means by which we communicate with God, analogous to a telephone or electronic impulses, then we wouldn't be able to fellowship with it.


Here are some of the New Testament passages that encourage us to fellowship with the Holy Spirit.


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.- Phil. 2:1 NASB

The ESV uses the phrase "participation in the Spirit." However, the NASB, ASV, NKJV (et al.) use the phrase "fellowship of the Spirit."


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.- 2 Cor. 13:14

Similar to the question above, I've been asked whether there's Biblical evidence for worshipping the Holy Spirit. The implication being that if there's no Biblical encouragement to worship the Holy Spirit, we have no warrant to do so. If we have no warrant, then maybe it's illegitimate and impermissible to do. Yet, if the Holy Spirit is God, then it should be licit (yes, even incumbent on us) to worship the Holy Spirit. And similar to the answer I gave above, if there's sufficient Biblical evidence to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is fully God, then regardless of whether there's any direct permission or admonition to worship the Holy Spirit, it would still be legitimate and licit.

The opposite of worship is blasphemy. Yet the New Testament talks about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That suggests 1. the Holy Spirit can and should be worshipped, and therefore 2. the full deity of the Holy Spirit. How so? Well, we have to ask "What is blasphemy?" It is any reviling of God's name or person, or any affront to His majesty or authority. Or anything that takes away from the proper reverence and worship that God alone is rightly due.

 As I noted in another blog:

 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.- Matt. 12:31-32
Blasphemy, therefore is normally in reference to God. So, the first reference to blasphemy in the passage refers to God the Father. Yet, interestingly the passages also talks about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This would suggest that the Holy Spirit is God since it makes no sense blaspheming an impersonal force. Notice too that Jesus clusters criticisms against Himself in conjunction with blasphemy against the Father and the Holy Spirit. It may be claimed that a word against Jesus doesn't necessarily imply that it's blasphemy since it can be forgiven; therefore Jesus isn't necessarily God. However, using that logic, the Father isn't God either since blasphemy against the Father can be forgiven as well. Moreover, the fact that blasphemy against the Father and the Son can be forgiven while the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can't, strongly suggests the full deity of the Holy Spirit since it makes no sense for it to be more severe to blaspheme the Holy Spirit above God the Father if the Holy Spirit isn't God. Analogously, that would be like saying insulting the electricity and gasoline of your father's prized Porsche is worse than insulting your father directly.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?- 1 Cor. 3:16

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,- 1 Cor. 6:19

The fact that Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit strongly suggests that the Holy Spirit is God. For, as Thomas Aquinas wrote long ago, "Now, to have a temple is God's prerogative." Moreover, based on the revelation of the Old Testament the Jewish understanding was that it was God who dwelt and lived in the tabernacle in the wilderness and in the Temple building in Jerusalem. This God is the same God whom they were required to worship. Hence, the Holy Spirit can be worshipped and is fully God.

And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"- Isa. 6:3


....."Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"- Rev. 4:8b
If the triple use of the word "holy" hints at the reality of the Trinity, then the Holy Spirit is being worshipped in the triple use of the word along with the Father and the Son.

Similarly, if the Aaronic Blessing hints at the Trinity (as I've shown HERE), then the Holy Spirit is invoked in prayer and worship along with the Father and the Son.

The book of Revelation's use of the phrase "was, and is, and is to come" (and its variations). Revelation 1:4 clearly speaks of the Father because Christ is referred to in the next verse. However, it might be the case that sometimes the phrase hints at the Trinity rather than a specific person of the Trinity. If it does sometimes hint at and make reference to the Trinity; then I personally suspect the following in those instances:

1. The "was" refers to the Father because He is the first person of the Trinity (especially if there's any truth to the doctrines of the eternal generation/filiation of the Son, and eternal procession/spiration of the Holy Spirit.

2. The "is" refers to the Holy Spirit who is the true "vicar of Christ" (contrary to Papal claims) who takes the place of Christ while He is in heaven. This "dispensation" and Era or Age being especially that of the Holy Spirit as He convicts the world, regenerates the elect, sanctifies the saints, and leads believers into ever increasing truth. The church, along with the Holy Spirit who "arrived" on earth at Pentecost, call for the the Lord Jesus to "come" and return to earth. "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come." (Rev. 22:17a). So, it's appropriate for the Holy Spirit to be the one who "is."

3. The "is to come" refers to Christ who is the one especially expected to arrive in the eschaton at His second Advent. The Church eagerly anticipates His return (Rev. 22:20).

By the way, it's often pointed out that the use of triples in the above passages doesn't necessarily allude to the Trinity since the same grammatical repetition is used of other things in the Old Testament and in the Hebrew language in general. That's true. But we have to ask ourselves why three rather than two or four or five is the number of times to be used for the full, complete and highest degree of absolute emphasis? Might it be that God Himself implanted, directly or indirectly by His providence, in the historical development of the languages and Semitic cultures of that time a subconscious echoing knowledge and understanding of the Absolute, the ultimate reality? That is, of the reality of  God as a Trinity? Might it be the other way around? That rather than the use of triples in reference to God MERELY being a hinting at and pointing toward the Trinity, might it also ultimately be the case that the Trinity itself is the very source and grounding of that linguistic feature found in various Semitic cultures?

It's interesting that the Shema refers to God three times regardless of how one translates it 1.

  1. Yahweh (is) our God, Yahweh alone.
  2. Yahweh our God (is) one Yahweh.
  3. Yahweh our God, Yahweh (is) one.
  4. Yahweh (is) our God, Yahweh (is) one.
  5. Our one God, (is) Yahweh, Yahweh.


 See the following link for the case for the full deity of the Holy Spirit:





The Full Deity of the Holy Spirit


The evidences I've collected ARE AFTER the recommended links. To skip down and go directly to the evidence, CLICK HERE.


I don't post much on the full deity (and by extension personhood) of the Holy Spirit for a number of reasons.

1. If the full deity of Christ can be established, then the evidence for the full deity of the Holy Spirit will be more plausible to those who question or doubt the doctrine of the Trinity. The reverse isn't the case because the evidence for the deity of the Holy Spirit is less ubiquitous (though, not less certain). Also, unless the full deity of Jesus is established, the full deity of the Holy Spirit will likely not even be considered or taken seriously by opponents or doubters of the doctrine of the Trinity.

2. The arguments for the full deity of the Holy Spirit often have parallels with the arguments for the full deity of Christ. So, the arguments for the Spirit's divinity won't be as fully appreciated as they could be unless and until the arguments for the full deity of Christ have been established.

3. Other works dealing with the doctrine of the Trinity have done a superb job demonstrating the full deity of the Holy Spirit. Many of those works can be accessed on my main Trinity page HERE.

However, for the sake of making it easier to demonstrate the full deity of the Holy Spirit for readers of this blog, I've collected some of those links below (along with some others that aren't in the main page).

Here's a link to chapter 6 of Edward Henry Bickersteth's The Rock of Ages (which may be the same book as The Trinity).

Chapter SIX. That Scripture proves the coequal Godhead of the Holy Spirit with that of the Father and of the Son

Bickersteth's online book The Trinity




More links:

http://www.suscopts.org/messages/lectures/pneumlecture2.pdf

http://www.sbts.edu/resources/files/2013/08/SBJT-16.4-Barrett-p-32-53.pdf

http://www.dtl.org/trinity/article/holy-spirit.htm

http://www.dtl.org/trinity/study/person.htm

http://www.gci.org/God/deityHS

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-holy-spirit-personality-deity.htm

 http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-holy-spirit.htm

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Holy_Spirit/index.htm

http://christiandefense.org/Articles.For.htm#Holy%20Spirit%20Art.

https://bib.irr.org/category/holy-spirit

Horae Solitariae; Or, Essays Upon Some Remarkable Names and Titles of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit Occurring in the Old and New Testaments, And Declarative of Their Essential Divinity and Gracious Offices in the Redemption and Salvation of Men
http://books.google.com/books?id=3IpAAAAAcAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

[the above link contains both volumes on christ and the Holy Spirit in one book]

Links to ONLY Volume 2 on the Holy Spirit
http://books.google.com/books?id=6WrdMeMMRWUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
or
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZWcrAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
or
http://books.google.com/books?id=NglMAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

The Names of the Holy Spirit by Elmer L. Towns
http://trinitynotes.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-names-of-jesus-and-of-holy-spirit.html



Neuter Pneuma and Neuter Pronouns Mean Not a Person: Bad Arguments against the Personhood of the Holy Spirit #1

Arguments from Silence: Bad Arguments against the Personhood of the Holy Spirit #2

Luke 1:35 and Definition by Parallelism: Bad Arguments against the Personhood of the Holy Spirit #3

More links to come.....






See also my other blogposts:

 Praying to and Worshipping the Holy Spirit

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Contradicts the Accidence of Personality
 

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

Also, some of my blogposts in defense of the full deity of Christ have tangential comments or arguments for the full deity of the Holy Spirit.





Ongoing Miscellaneous Arguments for the Full Deity of the Holy Spirit


In both Testaments, unless it refers to an attitude or the wind or breath, whenever the word "spirit" is used, it normally refers to a conscious person. For example, angels are said to be spirits and humans are said to have spirits. Therefore, it only makes sense that the Holy Spirit is a person too. Notice how in 1 Sam. 16:14 the Spirit of the LORD departs and is replaced by an evil spirit. If the latter was personal (i.e. the evil spirit), then the previous spirit was personal too (i.e. the Holy Spirit). Since the Holy Spirit has ALL the attributes of a person. He has a mind, will and emotions. He possess attributes and performs actions ONLY persons can do.

The Holy Spirit....

Has a Mind: Rom. 8:27

Has a Will: He chooses and makes decisions 1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 13:2 [possibly Heb. 2:4]


Is credited with Acts and Deeds: This is something persons do, not impersonal forces. For example the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters in Genesis one. The Hebrew implies "brooding" like a mother bird incubating her eggs waiting for it to hatch. The Holy Spirit creates according to Job 33:4; Ps. 33:6; 104:30.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.- Ps. 33:6
 If Ps. 33:6 hints at the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in creation, then it makes sense that the Holy Spirit is a person since "the word of the LORD" would refer to Jesus and the "LORD" of the "word of the LORD" would refer to the Father. If both "the word/Word" and "the LORD" are personal, why wouldn't "the breath of his mouth" be personal too? The word for spirit/breath/wind are all the same in both Hebrew (ruach) and Greek (pneuma). This argument doesn't assume or depend on the truth of Trinitarianism. Even a Unitarian could see a veiled reference to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this verse. Trinitarians would just see more. There are many other such triadic passages in both the Old and New Testaments (See HERE for documentation). The above are just two acts or deeds that are credited to the Holy Spirit. There are many more listed below.

Has Emotions: He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), vexed (Isa. 63:10). To be able to be offended is a mark of personhood and personality. Though computers can make calculations like humans they can't be offended because they are impersonal and inanimate. While the Holy Spirit has the traits of being a person and of being alive. See below for the evidence that the Holy Spirit is the source of Life. Can the source Life itself not be alive?

The Holy Spirit loves (one of many emotions): The statement in Rom. 15:30 "I appeal to you [or beseech you], brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit". This is a plea exactly corresponding with one Paul had used shortly before "I appeal/beseech you, therefore brothers, by the mercies of God..."(Rom. 12:1).

The Holy Spirit can approve of things: Acts 15:28; and disapprove of things by being grieved Eph. 4:30

The Holy Spirit speaks: Acts 8:29; 10:19-20; 11:12; 13:2; 21:11; John 16:13; Matt. 10:20; Mark 13:11; Acts 28:25; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7; 10:15; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 14:13; 22:17; 2 Sam. 23:2-3; Gal. 4:6; [Possibly also Ezek. 11:5 NET]

The Holy Spirit, like other persons, hears and listens: John 16:13; Acts 5:3; 2 Cor. 13:14

You can fellowship with the Holy Spirit: 2 Cor. 13:14; [Possibly also Phil. 2:1 NASB; Phil. 2:1 NET; Phil. 2:1 NKJV]

The Holy Spirit prays and intercedes according to the will of God: Rom. 8:26-27 [possibly Zech 12:10]

The Holy Spirit helps us to pray: Zech. 12:10; Rom. 8:15; Jude 1:20; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 6:18; 2:18; Phil. 1:19 [Possibly also Rom. 8:26; Matt. 10:20; Luke 12:12; Mark 13:11]

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides: John 14:26; Luke 12:12; 1 Cor. 2:12-13, Heb. 9:8; Job 32:8
Reminds: John 14:26
Reveals: John 16:14, Luke 2:26
Later in this blog there is a list of attributes that the Holy Spirit and God share. Related to the fact that the Holy Spirit teaches is the Divine attribute of being the Source of Wisdom/Understanding/Knowledge/Counsel (Isa. 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:13; 12:8; Eph. 1:17; Acts 6:3, 10; Exo. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Deut. 34:9; Dan. 4:8-9, 18; 5:11-12, 14; Job. 32:8; Col. 1:9)

The Holy Spirit leads and directs: Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18; Ps. 143:10; Luke 2:27 (Geneva and NET [cf. footnote 80]  translations); Matt. 4:1//Mark 1:12//Luke 4:1

 The Holy Spirit comforts: Acts 9:31; John 16:7 (depending on translation)

The Holy Spirit commissions and sends people out: Acts 13:4; Isa. 48:16

The Holy Spirit Appoints and Calls Ministers by consecrating/separating them and setting them up: Acts 20:28; 13:2,4

The Holy Spirit refers to Himself with the pronouns "I" and "Me" in Acts 13:2

The Holy Spirit forbids things as God sovereignly would and does: Acts 16:6, 7 [compare with James 4:15; Acts 18:21; Rom. 1:10; Rom 15:32; 1 Cor. 4:19; 1 Cor 16:7; Heb. 6:3]

One can lie to the Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3; and by so doing one is lying to God: Acts 5:4
Hence the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit must also be a person since you can't lie to non-persons. It makes no sense to lie to a television or to the electricity that powers it. So, the Holy Spirit cannot be an impersonal force.

One can Tempt/Test the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:9) in violation of the command not to test YHWH (Deut. 6:16; Exo. 17:2, 7; Num. 14:22; Ps. 78:18, 41, 56; 95:9; 106:14; Mal. 3:15.)

One can disobey, resist or rebel against the Holy Spirit: Ps. 106:33 NASB; Isa. 63:10; Acts 7:51; Heb. 10:29d


The Holy Spirit, like any other person, can be sinned against: Matt. 12:31. You can't sin against an inanimate object (e.g. a TV) or impersonal force (e.g. electricity).

The Holy Spirit, like any other person, can be insulted and outraged: Heb. 10:29

The Holy Spirit, as a person (even a divine person) convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment: John 16:8

The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ: John 16:14

The Holy Spirit is "another" parakletos (allon parakleton) according to John 14:16. The word has been variously translated into English as "advocate," "comforter," "counselor," "helper," "encourager." Jesus is the primary parakletos according to 1 John 2:1. Since Jesus' function as an advocate requires His personhood, then it follows that the Holy Spirit who is another advocate must also be a person.

Just as the Father sent the Son (John 3:16-17), so the Father and Son (John 14:26; 15:26) send the Holy Spirit when Jesus returns to the Father (John 14:16, 26). As the Son descended from heaven to earth, so the Holy Spirit descended from heaven to earth. The difference is that the Son was incarnated, while the Holy Spirit dwells within humans. The Holy Spirit takes the place of Jesus while He is in heaven. This makes most sense if the Holy Spirit is a person and not a mere force.

Christians are said to be "born of the Spirit" (John 3:6,8). Being "born of" something implies that that entity is alive. This would go against the idea that the Holy Spirit is merely the power or "electricity" of God. The fact that there is a parallel between Christians being "born of the Spirit" in the Gospel of John and "born of God" in 1st John (1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18) also suggests the fully deity of the Holy Spirit in that each performs a work only God can do. There's a fusion or an identity between a unique activity and work of God and that of the Holy Spirit.

Being a temple of the Holy Spirit is being a temple of God (hence the Holy Spirit is God): 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22; cf. Rom. 8:9-10. To say that the Holy Spirit isn't a person because one can't be filled with a person contradicts Jesus statement that both the Father and the Son can dwell (make their home and abode) in believers (John 14:23); just like the Holy Spirit a few verses earlier (John 14:17). If being filled with the Holy Spirit disqualifies the Holy Spirit from being a person, then John 14:23 also disqualifies both the Father and the Son from being persons.

The Holy Spirit bears witness/testimony even though only persons can testify: John 15:26; Acts 5:32; 20:23; Rom. 8:16; Heb. 10:15; 1 Pet. 1:11; 1 John 5:6-8.

The author of John violates Greek grammar by using masculine pronouns for the Holy Spirit even though the Greek noun for "spirit" is neuter in order to affirm the Holy Spirit's personhood.
[Click HERE for proof]

Regarding the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:

What is blasphemy? It is any reviling of God's name or person, or any affront to His majesty or authority. Or anything that takes away from the proper reverence and worship that God alone is rightly due.

Blasphemy, therefore is normally in reference to God. So, the first reference to blasphemy in Matt. 12:31-32 refers to God the Father. Yet, interestingly the passage also talks about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This would suggest that the Holy Spirit is God since it makes no sense blaspheming an impersonal force. Notice too that Jesus clusters criticisms against Himself in conjunction with blasphemy against the Father and the Holy Spirit. It may be claimed that a word against Jesus doesn't necessarily imply that it's blasphemy since it can be forgiven; therefore Jesus isn't necessarily God. However, using that logic, the Father isn't God either since blasphemy against the Father can be forgiven as well. Moreover, the fact that blasphemy against the Father and the Son can be forgiven while the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can't, strongly suggests the full deity of the Holy Spirit since it makes no sense for it to be more severe to blaspheme the Holy Spirit above God the Father if the Holy Spirit isn't God. Analogously, that would be like saying insulting the electricity and gasoline of your father's prized Porsche is worse than insulting your father directly.

The opposite of worship is blasphemy. Yet the New Testament talks about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Therefore, that suggests 1. the Holy Spirit can and should be worshipped; and therefore 2. the full deity of the Holy Spirit.



Divine Attributes


The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God like:

Eternality (Heb. 9:14);

Foreknowledge (John 16:13);

Power to Create (Job 33:4; Ps. 33:6; 104:30);

Sanctifies (1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 15:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13);

Renews and Regenerates (Titus 3:5);

Resurrection of believers will be by the Holy Spirit  (Rom. 8:11; Rev. 11:11; Ezek. 37:5-6, 9-10, 14; Rom. 8:2)

Resurrection of Christ was by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4; 8:11; 1 Pet. 3:18-19)

Omnipresence (Ps. 139:7); This is also suggested by the fact that the Holy Spirit can dwell within millions of Christians in diverse locations simultaneously. Just like the Father and the Son (John 14:23 compare with John 14:17). Therefore, an indication of full deity.

Omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10-11). The Holy Spirit is said to search the deep things of God. This isn't discursive "searching." It does not necessarily imply the kind of successive acquisition of knowledge which belongs to  finite creatures, since Jehovah is said to "search" hearts in Jer. 17:10 and Rom. 8:27c. Jehovah's/Yahweh's searching of human hearts does not imply finite searching, but rather the opposite. It is a colorful way to refer to exhaustive and omniscient knowledge. Therefore the Holy Spirit's searching the deep things of God implies that the Holy Spirit is as omniscient as God the Father is. By the way, Jesus is said to know the Father exhaustively as the Father exhaustively knows the Son (John 10:15;  cf. Matt. 11:27). That too implies Jesus' omniscience and therefore full deity. As I wrote in another blogpost:
Both Matt. 11:27 and Luke 10:22 coupled with John 10:15 should, upon theological reflection, suggest Christ's omniscience since no finite creature can exhaustively know the infinite Father, yet Jesus is said to so do. Hence, Christ is divine and omniscient. Additionally, the statement that "no one knows the Father..." is supposed to affirm the divine incomprehensibility and transcendence of the Father. If so, then when it also says that "no one knows the Son...", that should also suggest His divine incomprehensibility and transcendence as well. Only another divine person can fully know a divine person. Hence, Jesus is fully God, along with the Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10).
Also, Jesus is said to search the hearts of men (Rev. 2:23 alluding to Jer. 17:10 and applied to Jesus by Himself). Which is another indicator of Jesus' full deity. Notice too that for the Holy Spirit to prayer for all Christians individually (knowing their particular circumstances and needs) suggests omniscience. Just as Jesus' also interceding for believers suggests it (Rom. 8:34). Click HERE for more on the Omniscience of the Persons of the Trinity.

Sovereignty and Freedom/Liberty (John 3:8; 1 Cor. 12:11; 2 Cor. 3:17); 

Inspires Revelation (2 Pet. 1:21; Acts 28:25; 2 Sam. 23:2; Luke 2:26);

Holiness (He is named the HOLY Spirit. He is Holy, and produces holiness in believers), cf. Ps. 51:11; Isa. 63:10; Rom. 1:4 etc.);
 As noted above; the Holy Spirit Sanctifies (1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 15:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13); Renews and Regenerates (Titus 3:5);

Goodness (Jesus said only God is Good [Matt. 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19], yet there are passages that teach God's Spirit as being Good. Therefore the Holy Spirit is God. See Neh. 9:20; Ps. 143:10 cf. Gal. 5:22 where part of the fruit of the Spirit is goodness);

Quoting another blogpost:

17    And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.- Mark 10:17-18
This passage has universally and perennially been used by skeptics, and Unitarians like Arians, Socinians, Muslims (et al.) to prove that Jesus claimed not to be God since Jesus says only God is good. However, in the same book demons are recorded to have referred to Jesus as the "Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24 cf. Isa. 49:7; 54:5 and 55:5) with the author's apparent endorsement. So, clearly Jesus was good. In light of that, here's a relevant quote from Richard N. Davies' book The Doctrine of the Trinity page 18-19
QUOTE: Christ said to a certain ruler: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark x, 17, 18.) Christ did not deny that he himself was "good," nor did he deny that he himself was God; but the ruler had not acknowledged him to be God, and our Lord's question to the ruler was based upon that fact. It was as much as to say, As you do not confess me to be God, why call me good? Our Lord said: "There is none good but one, that is, God." It would follow from this that whoever is perfectly good must be God; but our Lord is perfectly, infinitely good, hence must be God........The dilemma, as regards the Socinians, has been well put (see Stier II, 283, note), either, 'There is none good but God; Christ is good; therefore Christ is God;' or, 'There is none good but God; Christ is not God; therefore Christ is not good.' " (Alford, in loco) END QUOTE [bold and underline by me]
Unitarians must pick one of the horns of the dilemma. Either affirm that Jesus is Almighty God, or affirm that Jesus is not truly good and holy (and so contradict Mark 1:24 which has demons calling Jesus the Holy One of God, with Mark's apparent approval).
If the Holy Spirit is both truly Holy and truly Good in a way that only God can Holy and Good (as proved above), then the Holy Spirit is God.

Source of Grace (Heb. 10:29; Zech. 12:10 [Possibly Rev. 1:4; see my comments below HERE] compare with 1 Pet. 5:10 where God is said to be the source of "all grace");


Source of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13 [possibly 1 John 4:6] compare with Isa. 65:16 which states God is the "God of Truth" and John 14:6 where Jesus says He is "the Truth");

Source of Wisdom/Understanding/Knowledge/Counsel (Isa. 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:13; 12:8; Eph. 1:17; Acts 6:3, 10; Exo. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Deut. 34:9; Dan. 4:8-9, 18; 5:11-12, 14; Job. 32:8; Col. 1:9)
 As noted above:
The Holy Spirit teaches and guides: John 14:26; Luke 12:12; 1 Cor. 2:12-13, Heb. 9:8; Job 32:8
Reminds: John 14:26
Reveals: John 16:14, Luke 2:26
Source of Life (John 6:63; Rom. 8:2, 6, 10, 11; 2 Cor. 3:6; Job 33:4; John 3:5-8; Gal. 4:29; 5:25; 6:8; 1 Pet. 3:18 [assuming the "water of life" refers to the Holy Spirit then the following verses also apply John 4:10-14; 7:37-38; Rev. 7:17; 21:6; 22:1, 17]) Compare with God the Father being referred to as "the Living God" (Matt. 16:16 and many other passages) and Jesus referring to Himself as "the Living One" (Rev. 1:18; compare the phrase, "El Chai" ("the Living God"), at Joshua 3:10, Psalms 42:3, 84:3).



***********************************************
4    John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.- Rev. 1:4-5
From this passage the seven spirits of God are said to also be a dispenser of God's grace. The writer apparently wishes grace upon his readers to come from the Father, the Holy Spirit, and from Jesus Christ. If the "seven spirits of God" in THIS passage are seven angels and not the Holy Spirit, then we have the author invoking in worship seven creatures to dispense God's grace. So, it makes most sense to consider these "seven spirits" to be a reference to the Holy Spirit. This is not to say that in every instance in the Bible the mention of "seven spirits" or "seven eyes" or "the eyes of the Lord" is necessarily a reference to the Holy Spirit and never to angels. [cf. Zech. 3:9; Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6]


--------------------


1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.- Rev. 22:1-2
This passages might hint at the deity of the Holy Spirit because the river of the water of life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. If God and the Lamb are both God because of their proximity to the throne, then why not the Holy Spirit as well who is being referred to as "the river of the water of life"? This is reminiscent of Jeremiah 2:13 which states, "for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,  and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." By God's own self-description, God is analogous to a fountain of living waters. If the Holy Spirit is God in the fullest sense, then it makes perfect sense that the river of the water of life flowing from the throne is none other than the Holy Spirit. Hence, all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned there. It might be objected that the passage refers to literal water. Even if it did, it could still be symbolic of the Holy Spirit. But it need not refer to a literal river since the passage also describes the Lamb. No one thinks that a literal lamb that was slain with seven eyes and seven horns is being described in Rev. 5:6 or here in Rev. 22:1-2 which refers to the same lamb.

Compare that with:

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.- John 7:37-39; cf. John 4:10,13-14

--------------------
.
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?- 1 Cor. 3:16

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,- 1 Cor. 6:19

The fact that Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit strongly suggests that the Holy Spirit is God. For, as Thomas Aquinas wrote long ago, "Now, to have a temple is God's prerogative." Moreover, based on the revelation of the Old Testament the Jewish understanding was that it was God who dwelt and lived in the tabernacle in the wilderness and in the Temple building in Jerusalem. This God is the same God whom they were required to worship. Hence, the Holy Spirit can be worshipped and is fully God.

In John 14:23 Jesus says that if anyone loves Him and keeps His word, both He (Jesus) and the Father will come to him and make their home with (or in) him. If the Father is God and can make His home with or in a believer, then it isn't a stretch to conclude that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God because they can make their home with or in the believer as well.


--------------------

Regarding 2 Cor. 3:18, John Gill wrote in his famous commentary the following:

by the Lord of the Spirit, and understand them of Christ, others read them, "by the Lord the Spirit", as they very well may be rendered; and so are a proof of the true and proper deity of the Holy Spirit, who is the one Jehovah with the Father and the Son. The ancient Jews owned this;

"the Spirit of the living God, (say (k) they,) היינו הבורא, this is the Creator himself, from him all spirits are produced; blessed be he, and blessed be his name, because his name is he himself, for his name is Jehovah.''

(k) R. Moses Botril in Sepher Jetzirah, p. 40. Ed. Rittangel.

--------------------

 The Holy Spirit cannot merely be the power of God since that would render many Biblical passages redundant.

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.- Acts 10:38
The phrase "with the Holy Spirit and with power" would mean "with the power and with power."

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.- Rom. 15:13
The phrase "by the power of the Holy Spirit" would mean "by the power of the power."

Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.- Zech. 4:6

The phrase "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" would mean "Not by might, nor by power, but by power." Which would seem contradictory. Not by power but by power???