Last updated: April 2017
Remember the scriptures say to prove all things!
What is The Holy Ghost and is there a difference between The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost? You probably think you already know the truth and nothing but the truth. Do you believe in proving all things? Are you going to always accept what others tell you? Or are you always going to allow God to mold you into what He wants you to become? Let the Lord guide you!
First of all, the bible never says The Holy Spirit is a separate "person" from the Father and it never says The Holy Ghost is a separate "person". The Holy Spirit is of course the essence of the Father. It is God, His energy and His mind. It's not a separate Person with separate hands and feet. It is God's Spirit. It has always existed. God (Syrian Aramaic Strong's concordance word Elohim) is not a trinity. The scripture most used for a trinity is 1 John 5:7.
1 John 5:7
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
However, that verse was not originally written in the scriptures and was added much later! Notice Scofield Bible Commentary "It is generally agreed that (1 John 5:7) has no real authority, and has been inserted." Please see our Why The Holy Ghost is not a Trinity article.
Now, even though I am going to lose the support of even more of you, let's really get down to it. Is The Holy Ghost the same thing as The Holy Spirit? It is true that in the Greek translations the same Greek word "pneumatov " or "pneuma" is used for Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost. That would make a person think that there is no difference between Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost. But the translators of the King James Version Bible (and other translations) realized that there is a difference in the context and so they translated the same Greek word into different English words to show this. Not only does the King James Bible use the term The Holy Ghost, but all earlier English Bibles did as well. The Holy Ghost is found in Wycliffe's translation 1395, Tyndale’s New Testament 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Douay-Rheims version and in more modern times it is also found in Montgomery’s New Testament, the Revised Version, the KJV 21st Century version and the Third Millennium Bible.
Just because the same Greek word is used for "spirit" and "ghost" does not mean that it has to mean the exact same. For example, in the Chinese language the word "ma" can mean mother, hemp, horse, or scold! How is that possible? It would be according to the context in which it is used and how it is pronounced by the speaker. To confirm this is the case with the Greek, God allowed me today to use the "ma" example and then allow me to see that the greek word "pneuma" includes the "ma" within it!
There are a total of 6 Greek words translated as Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost: pneuma, pneumati, pneumatov, pneumata, pneumatwn, pneumasin. Both Ghost and Spirit can be traced to all 6 words. It's a matter of grammar which Greek word is used in each sentence. Therefore we need to examine the context to determine whether each instance refers to The Holy Spirit or The Holy Ghost.
So does the Scriptural context and accounts show that there is a difference between the two? First of all, we know The Holy Spirit (God's essence) existed in the Old Testament. And it existed in the New Testament before Christ died, resurrected and ascended into Heaven. But notice that Jesus said He would send something else!
:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
(another comforter, another manifestation of God's Power, not another God! Not another Spirit. Not a trinity)
:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (Jesus is the Comforter)
:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name (my authority), he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
(read that verse over and over very carefully, it says the Comforter would be sent by Jesus, from the Father, that it would testify of Jesus and is the Spirit of truth.)
:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
(Notice that the Comforter would not come unless Jesus went to Heaven and then Jesus would send him.)
:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
(who reproves the world of sin? Of course Jesus is the only one who died on the cross for our sins)
:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
:39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus had to die, rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven before this manifestation of God (that we will call "Holy Ghost" for clarification difference between what already existed before that event) could be manifested unto mankind. John 7:39 (KJV) says this Holy Ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Then in Acts we find that The Holy Ghost is poured out on mankind. The essence of God or The Holy Spirit has always manifested itself to (or led) mankind, Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, etc. Only after Jesus ascended back into Heaven could He send the Comforter, the Power of The Holy Ghost.
At his death, resurrection and ascension, there was much Power accomplished. These events changed history. We are now able to receive Power and authority within our own bodies! We can now have God dwelling within us. God within us is not just something to sniff at! It's Power! It's Authority! It's not the same manifestation of The Holy Spirit that manifested to the people in the Old Testament, (Same Spirit, but different Manifestation). It's the Manifestation of The Power of the Resurrected and Ascended Spirit of Jesus Christ! It's Jesus inside of You! Jesus inside of you never existed before! Jesus has always existed in one form or another but now He has been glorified beyond what He already was. He had work to do and He accomplished it. Now He gives that Power to us! The separation between mankind and God is gone, the veil is ripped apart, we can enter in the Holy of Holies if we accept this power!
So yes there is a difference between The Holy Spirit that always moved upon men's lives and led Moses and Noah. They did not have the manifestation of the resurrected and ascended Power of Jesus!
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Matt. 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
(If they had not been observing the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost on the 50th day as commanded in the old testament Holy scriptures, they would not have been there in one accord)
:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Notice it says they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance, this shows that the Kings James translators realized that these are two different manifestations of God!)
:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
You see, having The Holy Ghost is not something that you receive without feeling a difference. It's power! It's God within you! That's something you can feel! Have you ever witnessed a miracle? If not, you need The Holy Ghost! You need power to overcome the wicked one. God does provide and give this power to us if we accept.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Do you have that Power within you? If not, you need it. Are we living in the last day or not? If we are, then we should be seeing miracles, great miracles and many mighty things happening. They are happening. I have seen many miracles. There is a great work going on here on this earth in these last days. The Lord God is building a bridge between the Pentecostal groups and the former Worldwide Church of God groups! Many Pentecostals are now starting to accept the Holy Days! And many of the former WCG peoples are now accepting the gifts of The Holy Ghost! He wants us to keep the Laws but He also wants us to learn how to Love people and how to accept His Power within us. He wants us to be bold in our service to Him. Some groups had the laws correct, other groups had the Love part and Power and Praise parts correct. He wants us in the straight and narrow middle road, not the left and not to the right. He wants us to keep the Laws, Love another, Love Him, Praise Him and allow The Holy Ghost/Power to dwell within us.
Are you afraid of the word "Ghost"? Many of you are saying the word Ghost means a phantom or spirit of a dead person who is not dead dead. Well, Jesus did die. And this is His ghost! This is Him after He died but yet not now dead, actually alive. It's not a third person, it's the same Jesus but after He fulfilled what He had to do on the Cross, His resurrection and His ascension. Perhaps there could be a better word but "Holy Ghost" is what we have and it works. It has no evil intention or meaning. It actually explains very well what it is. It's the Power of the one who has previously died. And I have accepted that power. What about you? If you prefer, you could say "Holy Power". It's not the actual words that matter but the acceptance of the Power from on High.
Update April 28, 2017: I just found out today, a major confirmation! I learned that in 1611 & earlier, that the word "ghost" only meant "the soul of a person who died" & it did not have any evil or dark meaning to it. Whereas, the word "spirit" in 1611 & before, did have an evil, dark meaning. The word "spirit" was applied to evil spirits. Whereas "ghost" was applied to innocent souls of people who died. It was mostly Hollywood that got the meaning of these words turned upside down in more modern times. Therefore, "Holy Ghost" actually is the more accurate word to use for the soul of Jesus who died but rose again from the grave & ascended back into Heaven but has now come back to live within each of us. "Holy Spirit" should actually be translated as "Holy Breath" because the Hebrew/Greek word for "spirit" means "air, breath, wind" and not a soul. The Creator breathed into Adam & he became a living soul. Jesus breathed on the disciples after his resurrection & said "receive you the Holy Ghost". We should use "Holy Breath" for the air/breath/win/spirit of the Creator before the crucifixion & whenever we are speaking of the Creator's action upon non-human objects & animals & non-saved people. And use "Holy Ghost" when referring to his soul giving us deliverance & help after the crucifixion.
Do you still believe that the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost are exactly the same? Notice this:
:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
(Notice that he goes to disciples, that is believers, people who have been baptized in water. These people already knew there was a Holy Spirit or essence of God! But then notice:)
:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
(Yes, these believers/disciples who knew God, knew the Holy Spirit, did not yet know about the Holy Ghost!)
:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
:7 And all the men were about twelve.
This is not saying that everyone receives the gift of speaking in tongues. That is not the only evidence of receiving the Power or Holy Ghost. See our article on speaking in tongues. But this is saying that everyone should receive the Power of the resurrected and ascended spirit of Jesus Christ, that is The Holy Ghost. If you have received The Holy Ghost, you will eventually feel His Presence in you, but not necessarily the specific gift of speaking in tongues.
Another verse that proves the two are different manifestations (of the Same One Spirit God) is:
John 7:39 "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for The Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified."
I could very easily go with the mainstream of the former worldwide people and keep saying that there is no difference between The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost. Or I could go with the mainstream of Pentecostal groups that say The Holy Ghost is a 3rd person. I could go with either one of the majorities. That would be so easy! But I have to obey my Father and Jesus and teach the Truth even no matter what. I have to obey the Will of God, not my will, not your will. But to follow Truth always.
In conclusion, The Holy Spirit is the manifestation of God in the form of The Father. The Holy Ghost is the manifestation of Jesus in the Spirit, manifesting Himself to mankind.
May the Power of God be with you. God bless you!
Update: May 2011
I have been praying for more clarification on this subject and God has given it to me! Every thing written above is still correct. Here's the new edification/clarification: The Holy Spirit is God the Giver. It is Himself, whether it be the Father or the Son. It is Him outside the human vessel.
The Holy Ghost is still God but it is God in us. It is the Gift from God to us. It is God in us,
As Jesus is God in us. It is the gift to the vessel/us, it is receiving the Power/God from on High. Have you received The Holy Ghost yet? Have you received the Gift of God dwelling in you and empowering you?
Update: March 2014
God is One Spirit. He manifests Himself in many ways. The Holy Ghost is a manifestation of Jesus in the Spirit. It is not a third person. It is not another spirit. It is another manifestation of the one and same Spirit of God. It is a different manifestation than the "Holy Spirit", but still the same Spirit.
Confirmation March 14, 2016
When researching something in 2 Corinthians, I came across this wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_46) about Papyrus 46, in which it says, Quote: "In several instances, the word for Spirit is written out in full where the context should require a nomen sacrum, suggesting that the scribe was rendering nomina sacra where appropriate for the meaning but struggling with Spirit versus spirit without guidance from the exemplar". Unquote.
A "nomina sacra" is a sacred abbreviation. JE is a sacred abbreviation of Jesus. They were common in the first century. Very clearly Papyrus 46 shows that the scribe considered that pneuma (spirit/ghost) could be written in different ways in different passages. He sometimes used a sacred abbreviation, and other times did not. Context is key to the proper translation.
Also recently when I was translating the Alpha & Omega Bible, I wrote the following note in John 7:39 "BUT THIS HE SPOKE OF THE SPIRIT, WHOM THOSE WHO BELIEVED IN HIM WERE TO RECEIVE; FOR THE GHOST WAS NOT YET GIVEN, BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED." (Ghost: Jesus had not yet been crucified & Resurrected. See 20:22 for further explanation about why I translate the same Greek word as “Spirit” in some cases & “Ghost” in other places. But here, I will also explain that the Greek words for “not yet” here are also extremely important to the translation of “Spirit” or “Ghost”. The first “not yet” in this verse is G3768 oupō which is used 27-29 times in scripture. The second “not yet” is G3764 oudepō which is used only in 4 places. Here & John 19:41, 20:9 & Acts 8:16 and is always in the context of referring to after His Crucifixion. Both here & in Acts 8:16 it refers to receiving the empowerment of eternal life that was only made possible by His Crucifixion/Blood & The Glory of His Resurrection. See Luke 24:49 “Power from on High”. Acts 1:8 “shall receive Power after The Holy Ghost is come upon you. ...”)
Then in John 20:22 I wrote "AND WHEN HE HAD SAID THIS, HE BREATHED ON THEM AND SAID TO THEM, "RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST." (Acts 2 was not the first time anyone received The Holy Ghost. The disciples received Him in this verse, after the Resurrection, before He ascended back into Heaven. The Greek word for “Spirit” or “Ghost” refers to air/breath. Since Jesus had died & been resurrected, it is appropriate to translate it as “Ghost”, the soul of someone who has died, yet is alive. Many words can be translated many different ways according to context. By using the word “Holy Ghost”, we relay the fact that we are receiving the Eternal Life giving Breath of He who was crucified & Resurrected. This is different than receiving The Holy Spirit during old testament times, although it is the same One Spirit of Theos, it is now with the Saving Power of The Blood of The Lamb of God, crucified & Resurrected, and with the Empowerment of the Son of Man in us, as we are being transformed to His Image. See 7:39 for more proof that it should be translated “Holy Ghost” after His Resurrection)
Suggested Reading from other websites: (Might not be 100% accurate but very helpful):
Holy Ghost article at DanielsTimeLine.com
Have Ye Received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
KeithHunt.com and his re-publication of 2002 ACTS Magazine article by The General Council of the Churches of God (7th Day)
Usages of “Spirit” in the New Testament
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What is the Holy Ghost? Is the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit the same thing? Copyright 2011 I Saw The Light Ministries