Treatment of the Holy Spirit

  1. The fourth line of proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit is: a treatment is predicated of the Holy Spirit that could only be predicated of a person.

We read in Isa. 63:10, R. V., “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and Himself fought against them.” Here we see that the Holy Spirit is rebelled against and grieved. (Cf. Eph. 4:30.) You cannot rebel against a mere influence or power. You can only rebel against and grieve a person. Still further we read in Heb. 10:29, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Here we are told that the Holy Spirit is “done despite unto,” that is “treated with contumely.” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.) You cannot “treat with contumely” an influence or power, only a person. Whenever a truth is presented to our thought, it is the Holy Spirit who presents it. If we refuse to listen to that truth, then we turn our backs deliberately upon that divine Person who presents it; we insult Him.

Perhaps, at this present time, the Holy Spirit is trying to bring to the mind of the reader of these lines some truth that the reader is unwilling to accept and you are refusing to listen. Perhaps you are treating that truth, which in the bottom of your heart you know to be true, with contempt, speaking scornfully of it. If so, you are not merely treating abstract truth with contempt, you are scorning and insulting a Person, a divine Person.


In Acts 5:3, 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?” Here we are taught that the Holy Spirit can be lied to. You cannot tell lies to a blind, impersonal influence or power, only to a person. Not every lie is a lie to the Holy Spirit. It was a peculiar kind of lie that Ananias told. From the context we see that Ananias was making a profession of an entire consecration of everything. (See ch. 4:36 to 5:11.) As Barnabas had laid all at the apostles’ feet for the use of Christ and His cause, so Ananias pretended to do the same, but in reality he kept back part; the pretended full consecration was only partial. Real consecration is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The profession of full consecration was to Him and the profession was false. Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. How often in our consecration meetings today we profess a full consecration, when in reality there is something that we have held back. In doing this, we lie to the Holy Spirit.


In Matt. 12:31, 32, we read, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Here we are told that the Holy Spirit may be blasphemed. It is impossible to blaspheme an influence or power; only a Person can be blasphemed. We are still further told that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a more serious and decisive sin than even the blasphemy of the Son of Man Himself. Could anything make more clear that the Holy Spirit is a person and a divine person?

Published by

Reuben Archer (R.A.) Torrey


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