In my article "The Fundamental View of Monotheism," I briefly explained what monotheism means and how understanding the concept of One God in light of Old Testament scriptures was very important. Now, we are going to look at one of the most important pieces of this Godhead puzzle. And that is, what is the difference between the "Spirit of God" and the "Holy Spirit" in light of the Godhead.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD
There is no controversy concerning the Spirit of God. Everyone pretty much believes that the "Spirit of God" is that one divine God and Father of all, as already stated earlier. So, I don't need to elaborate on this.
THE HOLY SPIRIT (HOLY GHOST) IN THE O.T.
In light of the "Trinitarian" viewpoint, now we have to look into the question; is the Holy Spirit a separate person in the Godhead and was the "Holy Spirit" there before creation. And since one of the questions relates to pre-creation time, we are just going to examine the Old Testament concept first.
If you do a search for the term "Holy Ghost" in the Old Testament, you will not find one verse. And yet, the Apostles make reference to the Holy Ghost as God moving in the Old Testament.
The term "holy Spirit" is only found in three verses of the entire Old Testament. The word "holy" in all three verses (Psa 51:11, Isa 63:10-11) means, to be set apart, sancified, consecrated. This word describes the very character of the Holy Spirit of God.
Now, since Jews only acknowledged ONE DIVINE deity, we have to figure out if the "Holy Spirit" (Holy Ghost) is actually God Himself or a third person in a trinity. And since the Old Testament scriptures only mention three verses concerning the "holy Spirit (and none for holy ghost)," then we have to see who those three verses are really talking about.
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Isa 63:10-11 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (11) Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?
As we can see above, all those scriptures are referring to the Holy Spirit of God Himself. They do not make any mention of a work of the "Holy Spirit" operating as a separate, individual, co-equal deity. So, to interpret that the "Holy Spirit" is a co-independent deity is saying that there is two individual spirits of God that are at work independently... which isn't proven in the scriptures above.
THE HOLY SPIRIT (HOLY GHOST) IN THE N.T.
Now, lets figure out if the "Holy Spirit" (Holy Ghost) is a third person in a trinity within the New Testament scriptures. The term "Holy Spirit" itself is only in the new testament 4 times and "holy ghost" is mentioned 89 times. Because of space, I won't list them all here.
What we need to understand is that there is NOT ONE VERSE in the bible, where the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is actually talking to God... NONE!!! And since we have already proven that the holy spirit and the holy ghost are the same one devine God, we then must understand exactly what is meant when scripture says that God gives us the Holy Ghost.
Do a search for the term "Holy Ghost" in scripture and you will see that it is a part of God himself that moves on people in the Old Testament, is a Comforter to believers, and is the Spirit of God that a believer can receive when they are saved. We also have to understand that the term "Holy Ghost" most always refers to how God works with humanity.
From a trinitarian viewpoint, this is where they get a 3rd person in a trinity. But, that would mean when a believer is filled with the Holy Ghost, they would have two Spirits in them... which scripture doesn't teach. From a Oneness viewpoint, it isn't two indepentent Spirits working in a believer, but it's simply God giving us a portion of His own Spirit. Please understand, scripture says that ALL THE FULLNESS of God was in Christ... but that isn't so with us... we only get a portion of God's Spirit in our lives... a.k.a.. The Comforter!
THERE IS ONLY ONE SPIRIT
Since the Old and New Testaments only teach that there is only ONE divine spirit of God, and that God is the Holy Spirit; now we need to make a connection that God the Father is that one and the same Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).
Eph 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Paul is emphatically stating that there is only ONE SPIRIT, and is referring to God himself. If looking at it from a Trinitarian viewpoint, you would have to break scriptural interpretation regarding the word "ONE." You can't have a second "Spirit" (Holy Spirit person in a trinity) if there is ONLY ONE SPIRIT OF GOD!
THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD
Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
If a person was to divide God up into individual, co-equal spirits (God's), then a person would have to apply that same reasoning to the scripture above for it mentions "seven Spirits of God." They would have to teach that God is not actually a trinity but a "Septuplet" Godhead. Of course that don't make sense; no one would ever teach that!
In another article, I am going to explain this kind of wording (multiple spirits - Father, Son, Holy Ghost) in more detail, and show you how to properly apply what seemly looks like individual entities, into the simple truth of the many various ways God manifests Himself to us.
It is very clear that there is only ONE Spirit of God. And to divide Him up into co-equal, co-eternal and independent spirits is not in harmony within the proper use of scripture. We must take scripture as a whole to properly come to a conclusion about who God is. After all, scripture says that God is A SPIRIT (not Spirits - with an "s").
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Now, since the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are the one-and-the-self-same being, then it is obvious that there was no individual and co-equal third person "God the Holy Spirit" before creation. Instead the Holy Spirit was already God Himself. So, of course God was there in the beginning!!