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What is the Spirit in the Bible?

Updated on March 21, 2013

To see or not to see a spritit.

When we hear the word spirit, we think about gosts, angels, dead ones or demons. So what does the Bible talk about when it tells us about sprits?

In the original text the writers used the Hebrew word ruach and the Greek pneuma. All of them refer to that which is invisible to human sight and which gives evidence of force in motion!

These words are used with reference to:

1 wind,

2 the active life-force in earthly creatures,

3 the impelling force that issues from a person’s figurative heart and that causes him to say and do things in a certain way,

4 inspired utterances originating with an invisible source,

5 spirit persons, and

6 God’s active force, or holy spirit.

Ruach - the wind (east wind)

Exodus 10:13  And over the land of Egypt, Moses stretched his staff, and Yahweh brought up and east wind over the land and it blew all that day and night. By morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. (The Jerusalem Bible)

The active force in earthly creatures

Luke 1:40, 41 Well, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the infant in her womb leaped; and Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit,

This God fearing woman was filled with holy spirit and in the Bible we can see how she now pronounced a prophecy, knowing that Marys child was Messiah: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Luke 1:43 So how is it that this [privilege] is mine, to have the mother of my Lord come to me

Scriptures refer to the ru′ach, or life-force, as being not only in humans but also in animals.


To say and do things both 3 and 4

A person that is open minded to recieve Gods blessings develope these nine qualitites:

(Galatians 5:22, 23) . . .the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. . .

This is also what Jesus said that through the fruits we will recognize the true Christians. Look for these people. Searth for this religion! Matthew 7:17-20 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men].

A person that is always true and reliable, obeying Gods word, will hence be recognized.


God himself, Angels, Demons are invisible persons.

According to many scriptures, God is a Spirit - a person that we cannot see. Exodus 33:20 says: .You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live.” We earthly humans do not have eyes to see Him or any other spirit. We are made for material living. John 4:24 God is a Spirit!

Other sprits are angels. Angels are designated by the terms ruach and pneuma. They are messangers and co-workers with God. He sends them out and His will is done. The Apostle Paul writes in Hebrews 1:7  .Also, with reference to the angels he says: “And he makes his angels spirits, and his public servants a flame of fire. Angels are sometimes termed spirits; that which is spirit is invisible and powerful.

We have different kinds of angels too. The Archangel is one - Jesus Christ with his heavenly name Michael. Jude 1:9. Besides the Arch angel Michael, only one more angel has his name in the Bible. This is Gabriel that told Jesus mother Mary that she was going to give birth to Gods son.

We have Seraphs that work closely with God. Isaia 6:2,6 Thereafter come the Cherubs that get assignments of importance. Gen 3:24 Many many more Angels are Messanger. The Greek word aggelos mean messenger.

Last and least we have the angels that have choosen Satans side. We usually call them Demons or wicked spirits. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul writes: ..."the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places".

So the Angels are invisible to us today. They are very active though. Working both for God and against Him. And they are MANY (Daniel 7:10) . . .There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. . .

God’s active force, or holy spirit.

By far the majority of occurrences of ru′ach and pneu′ma relate to God’s spirit, his active force, his holy spirit.
God’s holy spirit is not a person but is God’s active force by which he accomplishes his purpose and executes his will.

The first time it is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (King James) This make sense since God used his Holy power to create everything.

In many religions the doctrine is that God, Jesus and Holy spirit are one. Nowhere in the Bible, you can find this. God is the Highest creator, Jesus Christ his son and Holy Spirit the force he send out to accomplish His will!


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    • celafoe profile image


      5 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      demons are not fallen angels nor are demons.Heb 7:26-28

      26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.


      Jude 6-7

      And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;


    • irenemaria profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Sweden

      True that people saw angels then. But since the Bible says that nobody can see God and live, it must be His messenger, an Angel they saw. Compare: Exodus 3:2 "There the Angel of the Lord".... and then verse 4 "when the Lord saw ....he called to him. " Hence God is using his angels to communicate with humans.

      (Exodus 24:11) . . .but they got a vision of the [true] God . . . note - a vision - not God himself.

    • NicholeMarina profile image


      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi there,

      Interesting Hub. I'm glad you went back to the Hebrew and Greek, as many people don't do that. I would've liked to see a bit more scripture research, perhaps. I wouldn't say that angels or demons, or even God, is invisible. Throughout the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to people through angels. People saw angels. People even saw a form of God (specifically, Abraham and Jacob, the latter even proclaiming that he had seen God face-to-face and survived). I also wouldn't say that nowhere in the Bible do you see that it says God/Holy Spirit/Jesus are one, especially when Jesus Himself says "I and the Father are one." Once again, interesting Hub. I'll have to take a look at your other writing.

      - Nichole


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