What is the Difference Between Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit?
At first, I refrained from entering this debate on whether there is any difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit.
Then, the answer seems very obvious to me. However, as I examine the Scriptures, I realize that there is indeed a need for “a comfortable place to land”.
The first occurrence of the Holy Spirit occurs in the Psalm.
“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).
Thus, the first difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit, the latter only rests on a man while the former lives in us (1 Samuel 10:6; John 14:17).
It’s because He was removable that King David requested of God not to take away his Spirit (Psalm 51:11). But the Spirit of Christ Jesus is a permanent gift that God gives us (John 14:26).
Read, when does the baptism of the Holy Ghost tales place?
“But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them” (Isaiah 63:10).
Is The Holy Ghost A Gift?
And the third and last one:
Jesus explains that He is a gift from God. One we only receive when we explicitly request it from Him.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
Who is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Spirit is the Lord God, for He is a Spirit (John 4:23). Jesus Christ is not a spirit but a man.
The Holy Spirit is also the Father. He’s Father of all: of Jesus Christ and of all humanity and of heaven and earth.
But even then you may declare that “the Holy Spirit” and “the Holy Ghost” appear synonymous. And you would definitely be correct.
As the breeze and the wind and the gust are similar so too are these two terms. Then why say there is a difference?
According to Don Stewart over at “Blue Letter Bible”, the two “Committees” responsible for the translation of the Bible from Greek to English, made an error.
Holy Ghost and the Translation
He contends that when they should have consistently used Holy Spirit, instead they used Holy Ghost.
Stewart also asserts that “There is no theological reason why the Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost.”
He says “the reason” is in the translation.
However, could the difference between the usage of both be far more important than many could perceive? Could the reason be in something besides the translation?
On the other hand, this takes us to the first usage of the “Holy Ghost”, in the Bible. You will find it in the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus of Nazareth Anointed With the Holy Ghost
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18).
Therefore, He is the father of Jesus Christ. There are eighty-eight other places in the New Testament (NT) where you will find references of Him.
However, they are all connected to Jesus Christ and or to the Church in some way.
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
The third and final reference:
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
Let’s Understand The Godhead
Therefore, the Old Testament (OT) Scriptures use “Holy Spirit” to denote the Spirit of the Lord but the NT utilizes “Holy Ghost” to explain the power of Christ Jesus Christ in His Church.
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Jesus Christ which returned to earth after he ascended into heaven.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord God (not the spirit of Jesus Christ) and we will find its usage mainly in the OT.
However, to comprehend the seeming disparity between the two usages we must understand the Godhead.
There are only three manifestations of the Godhead. The Lord God is the Father in Creation; He is the Son (Jesus Christ) in Redemption, and He is the Holy Ghost (not the Holy Spirit) in the Church.
Yet, He’s one Lord God. These are the three distinct roles of the Lord God.
This demarcation is not mere semantics but necessary for us to perceive the oneness of God.
The role of the Father is finished. He will never create anything else. Consequently, the Bible declares that He rested on the seventh day.
In other words, He finished “all His work” (Genesis 2:2).
He is Still Active in the Church
Similarly, the Son’s role is completed. Jesus Christ has redeemed and reconciled humanity to God. This transpired when his sinless blood spilled on the cross; when he was buried; resurrected and ascended to heaven. He purchased our salvation.
Finally, the Father of Jesus Christ is still active in the Church. He is the power of Christ.
So, to differentiate the power of the Son of God from the power of the Lord God Scriptures utilize the Holy Ghost for the former and the Holy Spirit for the latter.
Now, this is not a theological reason but a celestial one.
Why is this important?
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
The Lord God wants us to understand that there are not three gods in heaven. God is not a man; therefore, there are not three persons in the Godhead. God is one.
The Holy Spirit Keeps Books
The Lord God is a God of order. He’s organized. The Father or the Word or the Holy Ghost “bear[s] record”. He keeps a record because He has “books”.
And one of those “books” chronicles all the activities of the Word (Jesus Christ) and of the Holy Ghost (the power of the Son) in all the earth (Revelation 20:12).
Everything that we do in the earth relative to the three manifestations of the Lord God, He keeps a record of it.
What will your excuse be on that Day of Judgment when the Lord God opens His books?
Will the “record” show that you believed the Word or that you believed in the power of the Word; the Son of God?
Accept Jesus Christ today. Believe on his name and receive eternal life for he is the true Son of God.
Is the Holy Ghost Identical to the Holy Spirit ?
The Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit are identical in nature. They both emanate from the same source; the Lord God.
However, since the Word will judge every person because of his or her attitude to Him and to the Holy Ghost; therefore, there must be a distinction in names; hence Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit.
There will be no confusion in judgment. The Word will not judge us because of our attitude to the Father.
Neither will He judge us because of how we dealt with the Son or the Holy Ghost.
But he will judge us regarding our works to each.
In closing, Scriptures use Holy Ghost to reference Jesus Christ. But they utilize Holy Spirit to relate to the Lord God. There’s no error in translation. God is true and He’s one!