Table of Contents
Towns Names of the Holy Spirit is a landmark work in the studies of the Holy Spirit as it is an exhaustive listing of all the names of the Holy Spirit broken up by type, and an appendix of an alphabetical summary list.
The Names of the Holy Spirit
by Elmer Towns
Table of Contents of the Names of the Holy Spirit
Jesus and the Holy Spirit
- The Helper: Jesus’ Favorite Name for the Holy Spirit
Jesus used the term Paraclete, meaning “Helper,” to describe the Holy Spirit to His disciples. Perhaps more than any other, this name consistently describes the character of the Holy Spirit in His relationship to us prior to our conversion, at the time of our conversion and following our conversion.
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Believer
- The Atonement Terms for the Holy Spirit
Certain terms for the Holy Spirit tend to emphasize His role in the salvation of individuals. These saving names include the Anointing, the Eternal Spirit, the Gift of God, the Helper, a New Spirit, the Oil of Gladness, One Spirit, the Promise names, the Same Spirit of Faith, the Seal names, the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of the Fear of the LORD, the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Him Who Raised Up Jesus, the Spirit of Life and My Witness. Certain terms for the Holy Spirit tend to emphasize His role in the salvation of
- Terms for the Maturing Work of the Holy Spirit
Certain names and phrases ascribed to the Holy Spirit describe His work in the maturing of Christians. These names include the Helper, the Holy Spirit Who Is in You, a New Spirit, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Glory, the Spirit of Supplication and, again, My Witness.
- Terms for the Teaching Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Certain names ascribed to the Holy Spirit tend to emphasize His role in teaching spiritual truth. These names include the Anointing, the Spirit of Revelation, the Spirit of a Sound Mind and the Spirit of Truth.
The Nature of the Holy Spirit
- Terms Describing the Identity of the Holy Spirit
These terms identify the personality of the Holy Spirit and/or describe His deity. These references include He/Himself, the Same Spirit and various names associated with the Old Testament names of God Elohim, Jehovah, Shaddai, Shekinah and Elyon.
- Descriptions Given by God the Father
Certain terms ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Scripture are used by God the Father or express the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Father. These names include the Promise of the Father, the Spirit of Your Father and a variety of titles of the Holy Spirit that include the possessive pronoun.
- References to the Spirit and Jesus
Certain terns for the Holy Spirit in Scripture are used by Jesus or others to describe the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spiht. These names include the Gift of God, the Helper, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of His Son and the Spirit of Truth.
- Descriptions of the Spirit’s Character
Certain attributes ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Scripture tend to describe His character, and answer the question: What is the Holy Spirit like? These terms make specific references to life, eternity, generosity, goodness, holiness, graciousness, judgment, knowledge, love, might, power, truth, understanding, wisdom and steadfastness.
The General work of the Holy Spirit
- The Bible Authorship Names of the Holy Spirit
Certain traits ascribed to the Holy Spirit tend to emphasize His role in the inspiration and preservation of Scripture. These authorship names include the Anointing, the Fullness of God, the Helper, the Spirit of the Holy God, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of the Prophets, the Spirit of Revelation, the Spirit of Truth and the Wind.
- The Creation Names of the Holy Spirit
Certain names ascribed to the Holy Spirit emphasize His role in the creation and sustaining of life on earth. These creative names include the Breath names, the Finger of God, the Life names and the Voice names of the Holy Spirit.
- The Balanced Ministry of the Holy Spirit
In what may be the apostle Paul’s most complete discussion of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, a number of descriptive names for Him are stated or implied in the Epistle to the Ephesians to describe the balanced ministry of the Holy Spirit. These names include the Spirit of Promise, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Access, the Spirit of Indwelling, the Spirit of Revelation, the Spirit of Power, the Spirit of Unity, the Spirit of Feeling, the Spirit of Sealing, the Spirit of Fruitfulness, the Spirit of Fullness, the Spirit of Victory and the Spirit of Prayer.
- Revival Names for the Holy Spirit
Certain names or titles for the Holy Spirit describe His work in revival. These terms include the Anointing, My Blessing, the Breath of Life, Dew, the Enduement (clothing) of Power, the Finger of God, Floods on the Dry Ground, the Fullness of God, the Glory of the Lord, the Oil of Gladness, the Power of the Highest, Rain, Rivers of Living Water, Showers that Water the Earth, the Spirit of Glory, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Power and Water.
- The Pictorial Names of the Holy Spirit
A number of the names or titles of the Holy Spirit may be viewed as emblems that portray various aspects of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. Among these portraits of the Holy Spirit are the Anointing, My Blessing, a Deposit, the Dew, the Doorkeeper, a Dove, an Enduement (clothing), the Finger of God, Fire, Fountain, the Guarantee, the Oil, Rain, Rivers, Water and the Wind.
- The Names, Titles and Emblems of the Holy Spirit
A list of the 126 descriptive names, titles and emblems of the Holy Spirit found in Scripture.
- The Sevenfold Name of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is identified by Isaiah as the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (see Isa.11:2).
- Names, Terms and Titles of Christ in Scripture
A list of 671 descriptive names and titles of Christ found in Scripture.
- The Preeminent Pronouns of Christ in Scripture
A list of 56 expressions based on the use of a personal pronoun to describe who Jesus is.
- The Names of the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim; Kurios ho Theos) in Scripture
A list of 36 names of God used in Scripture built on the Jehovah El root.
- The Name God (Elohim) in Scripture
A list of 66 names of God used in Scripture built on the Elohim or El root.
- The Names of the Lord (Jehovah) in the Old Testament
A list of 42 names of God used in the Old Testament built on the Jehovah root.
- The Names of God in the Book of Psalms
A list of 232 names and descriptive titles of God in the Psalms, the biblical book that contains more references to the name of God than any other single book in Scripture.
Sample Chapter 8
CHAPTER 8 Descriptions of the Spirit’s Character
DESIGNATIONS THAT REVEAL THE CHARACTER OF THE SPIRIT
Character Unique to God
1. The Breath of Life His role in giving life to His creatures.
2 The Eternal Spirit His role in giving eternal life.
3. The Spirit of Judgment His role to discern.
Character Reproduced in Believers
1. Your Generous Spirit His giving nature.
2. Your Good Spirit His attribute of goodness.
3. Holy Spirit His holy nature.
4. Spirit of Grace His nature to forgive and to bestow blessings.
5. Spirit of Truth His truthful nature.
6. Spirit of Wisdom His omniscience.
7. Steadfast Spirit His immutability.
One reason parents choose certain names for their children is based on their expectation or desire of what they hope their child will become. The meaning of a certain name may emphasize a particular character trait they would like to see developed in their child’s life.
Sometimes a Christian parent will select a biblical name for their child, hoping the child will mature to become a man or woman of God just like the one after whom they are named. Even when a child is given a family name, the particular name chosen is often selected because of some admirable characteristic in the life of the relative after whom the child is named.
When my first granddaughter was born, I was only 45 years old and felt I was too young to be called Grandpa or Grandfather by anyone, including my daughter and wife. “No one is going to call me Gramps…or any other name for old people,” I announced vigorously.
My daughter taught my granddaughter to call me “Dr. Towns,” obviously because that is what I was called by my students at Liberty University. The first few times she attempted to call me “Dr. Towns,” people smiled or laughed. Because she was sensitive, she became self-conscious about addressing me at all.
My son-in-law calls me “Doc,” and that is fine. Without any help, my granddaughter called me “Papa Doc” and the name stuck. The name reveals my occupation and character, yet it shows the affection of a granddaughter.
Also, naming people on the basis of discernible character traits often leads to nicknames.
When a coach begins calling a certain player “Bulldog,” he does so to draw out that player’s tenacity. In a church, a lady who is particularly hospitable to others might earn the nickname “Miss Hospitality.” At work, a certain person’s creativity in dealing with problems on the job may be recognized when others refer to him or her as the in-house troubleshooter. Many of the names of the Holy Spirit are names that draw our attention to His character or attributes. These names answer the question: What is the Holy Spirit like? The character names of the Holy Spirit include Breath of Life, the Eternal Spirit, Your Generous Spirit, Your Good Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of,judgment, the Spirit of Knowledge, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Love, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Power, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Wisdom and the Steadfast Spirit.
These character descriptions may be further broken into two classes. First, some of the character names of the Holy Spirit draw attention to attributes that belong exclusively to God for example, eternity. Second, many character names of the Holy Spirit describe some characteristic of God that should be reproduced to some degree in the life of the Christian. The character described by this second group of names is sometimes called “the fruit of the Spirit” because it is the character that is developed in the life of the Christian by the Holy Spirit.
CHARACTER THAT IS UNIQUE TO GOD
When the various character names of the Holy Spirit are used in Scripture, they focus attention upon one part of the personality of the Holy Spirit. In order to fully understand who the Holy Spirit is, it is important to realize that although a name may isolate a particular characteristic, the Spirit Himself possesses all of these character traits interwoven together. Thus, when we consider the Holy Spirit as the Breath of Life, it should not be forgotten that that life is also characterized by eternity, holiness, love, goodness and all of the other characteristics identified in the character names of the Holy Spirit.
The Breath of Life When the Holy Spirit is described as “the breath of life” (Rev. 11:11) or “the Spirit of life” (Rom. 8:2), these titles emphasize the nature of God in His self-existence. Only God is able to live by Himself, independent of other life-support systems. Although people possess life, their life differs from that of God because its continuance is dependent upon the availability of oxygen in the atmosphere, nutrients in the food we eat, and the continued health of the body to digest that food and fight off disease. But when the Bible describes the Holy Spirit as possessing life, that life is sustained in itself and represents a quality of life unique to members of the Trinity.
The Eternal Spirit The name “eternal Spirit” (Heb. 9:14) signifies that, as God, the Holy Spirit is without beginning and ending. Because we live within the limitations of time and space, our finite minds have a difficult time comprehending the nature of eternity. All other things had a beginning and most things have an end. Even the “everlasting life” we possess as Christians had a beginning in our experience, although it will be unending. God alone is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 90:2). The Spirit of Judgment The title “spirit of judgment” (Isa. 4:4) also identifies a characteristic of the Holy Spirit exclusive to God-the ability to make independent judgments. Several different words are used in Scripture to describe different kinds of judgments. People may exercise discernment and make judgments in some areas, but the ability to judge is severely limited. When we make judgments, they are valid only on the basis of some external standard (i.e, a law, biblical principle or precedent). Also, although we may be able to discern certain things, judging a person’s motives is beyond our ability and is the exclusive prerogative of God. But the Spirit of Judgment can make right decisions in judgment without relying upon an external standard.
CHARACTER THAT IS REPRODUCED IN THE CHRISTIAN
Some of the Holy Spirit’s character designations identify characteristics that apply to God in their most complete sense, but also represent character that is reproduced to some degree in the life of the Christian. Understanding each of these seven descriptions of the Holy Spirit will result in a better understanding of the primary work of the Holy Spirit in transforming our character (see Phil. 1:6).
Your Generous Spirit The Holy Spirit is called “Your generous Spirit” in Psalm 51:12. Generosity is one of the character traits He seeks to develop in our lives. To be generous is to be liberal in our giving or sharing (see Rom. 12:8). Through His generous Spirit, God “freely give [s] us all things” (Rom. 8:32). As the Holy Spirit produces this character in us, we will also become increasingly generous in our willingness to give of ourself and resources to help others in need.
Your Good Spirit The phrase “Your good Spirit” (Neh. 9:20) draws attention to His goodness. Although only God is good in the most complete sense of the word, goodness is the only character trait that appears on both of the biblical lists of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Gal. 5:21,22; Eph. 5:9).
This suggests that goodness is something the Holy Spirit is committed to reproducing in our Christian lives.
The Holy Spirit The name “Holy Spirit” is the most often used character name of the Holy Spirit in Scripture, occurring some 94 times in the Old and New Testaments. In addition, the holy character of the Spirit is emphasized in the name “Spirit of holiness” (Rom. 1:4).
Because the root meaning of holiness is “to separate or to cut off,” holiness implies separation. In the context of our lives, this includes both separation from sin and separation to God. Holiness is the most communicable of all God’s attributes. We can become holy because we were made in the image and likeness of God (see Gen. 1:26,27). We can only become holy as the Holy Spirit lives out His life through us.
The Spirit of Grace A fourth transferable characteristic of the Holy Spirit is graciousness, a trait that is emphasized in the term “Spirit of grace” (Zech. 12:10). It is only by the grace or unmerited favor of God that people become Christians, so it is reasonable that Christians should respond by treating others graciously. When God and Christians treat others graciously, they do for others what is desirable yet undeserved. Only God is the complete personification of grace, but Christians should speak in such a way “that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).
The Spirit of Truth “The Spirit of truth” (John 14:17) identifies truth or integrity as another characteristic of the Holy Spirit He is committed to developing in our lives. Truth is listed as an aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 5:9). The Spirit of truth is the title given to the Holy Spirit in the context of leading the apostles into truth as they wrote the New Testament. One of the authenticating marks of the Scriptures is truth. In turn, truth and integrity ought also to be authenticating marks in the epistles the Holy Spirit is currently writing in our lives (see 2 Cor. 3:3).
The Spirit of Wisdom The descriptions “Spirit of understanding” (Isa. 11:2) and “Spirit of wisdom” (Exod. 28:3) emphasize the depth of wisdom and understanding that is characteristic of the Holy Spirit.
Wisdom is seeing things from God’s point of view, and involves applying known truth. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD (see Prov. 1:7), but we can also grow in wisdom through prayer. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5). Wisdom is also developed in our lives as a result of the work of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of understanding as He leads us and guides us in our everyday life.
The Steadfast Spirit In Psalm 51:10, David prayed for a steadfast spirit on the grounds of the steadfastness of the Holy Spirit. This points to the stability that is characteristic of the Spirit. Those converted on the Day of Pentecost “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Christians today also need to develop stability in their commitment to biblical teaching, fellowship with one another, the observance of church ordinances and their personal and corporate prayer life. This stability is developed through the ministry of the steadfast Spirit reproducing Himself in our lives.
HARVESTING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
When Christians use the expression “the fruit of the Holy Spirit,” they are usually referring to nine specific character traits listed by Paul and called the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:21,22). Actually, Paul also used this descriptive expression to identify another list of three character traits produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian (see Eph. 5:9). When the two lists are compared, only one character trait, goodness, appears on both lists.
The word “fruit” is used throughout the Scripture to describe that which is produced by some living entity. The fruit of the vine is the grape that is produced in a healthy vineyard. The fruit of the womb is used to describe a child. In this analogy, the expression fruit of the Holy Spirit includes all the character produced by the Holy Spirit in the Christian life, not just the 9 or 11 character traits specifically mentioned by Paul.
Paul’s use of the word “fruit” to describe Christian character suggests a relationship between developing character and harvesting produce in an orchard, farm or garden. The application of five specific gardening principles to the character names of the Holy Spirit will help us harvest the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Principle of Like Produces Like In the very beginning, God created life on earth that has the ability to reproduce life. But that ability is limited. A plant or animal can only reproduce “according to its kind” (see Gen. 1:12,24). The gardener who plants seed in the garden knows what will grow because one of the laws of nature dictates that a plant can only reproduce “according to its kind.” As a result, only potatoes will grow from potatoes, or melons from the seeds of a melon.
This law of reproduction in nature also has application in harvesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If like produces like, then only the Holy Spirit can produce spiritual fruit in our lives. This means we need to yield to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and to resist the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil. The fruit we produce in our lives will be like the seed we sow (i.e, the one to whom we yield to obey [see Rom. 6:16]).
The Principle of Soil Composition In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus noted a relationship between the fruitbearing of the seed sown and the soil in which the seed was planted (see Matt. 13:8). Home gardeners know that certain plants grow better in certain kinds of soil. A cactus might be planted in a soil mixture composed largely of ashes and sand, but those who grow African violets use only the richest loam.
Just as a plant produces fruit as it draws what it needs from the soil in which it is planted, so Christians produce fruit as they draw what they need from Christ in whom they abide (see John 15:5-7), and from the Holy Spirit as they walk in the Spirit (see Gal. 5:16). When we fail to abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit, we become like the plant that is uprooted from its ideal soil environment. If the plant remains in that condition long, it will wither and die. If it remains in the right soil, it will blossom and produce fruit. So we produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit as we remain planted in the Holy Spirit.
The Principle of the Early and Latter Rain To illustrate the need for patience, James reminded His readers, “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” (Jas. 5:7). The principle of the early and latter rain teaches that fruit is produced throughout a growing season that includes times of rain and sunshine. If it rains all the time, plants rot in the field. If it is always warm and sunny, they dry up and die. But the balance of rain and sun at different periods in the growing season results in a fruitful plant and an abundant harvest.
The principle of the early and latter rain helps us understand how God uses various seasons in our lives, some apparently good and others apparently bad, to produce the spiritual character He is developing in our lives (see Rom. 8:28,29). If most Christians had their way, they would order a life to be lived in the sunny seasons when everything seems to be going well. Most of us become easily frustrated during the drippy, raing seasons of life. When the outlook is overcast, we seem to get bogged down in the muck and mire of the mundane details of life. But the Holy Spirit knows just what seasons we need to mature and produce spiritual fruit. Just as a greenhouse farmer may darken the greenhouse if there is too much sun, or turn on the sprinkler system to water the plants, so the Holy Spirit controls our environment to produce spiritual fruit in our lives.
The Principle of Weeding When Jesus told the parable of the sower and the seed, He noted that some seeds failed to mature into fruitbearing plants, because they were choked by the weeds that grew up around them (see Matt. 13:7).
Every successful home gardener knows it is necessary to constantly weed the garden throughout the growing season if the full harvest is to be realized. When weeds begin to dominate the garden, it is unlikely that any of the vegetables planted will become as strong as they would be otherwise. In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus compared the weeds to “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches” (Matt. 13:22). In another parable, Jesus spoke of tares that were sown by the enemy (see Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). Christians who desire to harvest the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives should take care to weed their lives periodically of the anxiety, deceit and other sins that may hinder the development of Christian character.
The Principle of Pruning An ongoing task in a vineyard or orchard is that of pruning. This involves cutting away the parts of the plant that do not produce fruit, so that the remaining plant will produce more fruit or stronger fruit. When Jesus described the relationship between Himself and His disciples in the context of a vine, He noted that the Father would prune the vine periodically to increase the productivity of its branches (see John 15:2). The primary sense in which the word “fruit” is used in this context is that of winning people to Christ, but a secondary meaning can be applied in harvesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
God may prune parts of your life to help you develop the kind of character He wants you to possess. James reminded the early Christians that “the testing of your faith produces patience” James1:3). During these difficult times of pruning, we would do well to follow James’s advice and “let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (1:4).
Notes on the Holy Spirit
We see a focus on the biblical material about the Holy Spirit in the following general areas:
- The Works of the Holy Spirit
- The Deity of the Holy Spirit
- The Person of the Holy Spirit
- The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
About the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.
- The Holy Spirit is fully God.
- The Holy Spirit is fully a person. He is not just God's influence or power, but a person in the Godhead.
More on the Holy Spirit
- Adams Worldiness Duty to congregate,
- Aitken – Devotional Thoughts
- Aitken – The Revealer Revealed
- Aitken Doctrine of Baptism
- Alexander Thoughts on Religious Experience
- Alexander, Archibald – A Brief Compend of Bible Truth
- Alford Scriptural Doctrine of the Trinity
- Alleine, Joseph – Saint’s Pocket Book
- Allen – The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power
- Ames, William – Marrow of Sacred Divinity v2
- Anderson Prayer Availeth Much
- Anderson Robert – The Silence of God Theodicy
- Anderson-Works of Sir Robert Anderson
- Anonymous – The Fire Within
- Anthology of the Holy Spirit DC#01
- Anthology on the Holy Spirit
- Arminius On The Sin Against the Holy Spirit
- Arnold -The Christian Life: Its Course, Its Hindrances, and Its Helps.
- Arthur – Tongue of Fire
- Askwith – The Christian Concept of Holiness
- Austin-Sparks Anointing of the Holy Spirit
- Austin-Sparks Burning Fire of the Spirit
- Austin-Sparks Centrality and Universality of the Cross
- Austin-Sparks Crisis of Pentecost and & Significance of Holy Spirit’s Coming
- Austin-Sparks Dispensation of the Holy Spirit
Tag Cloud for the Holy Spirit
Towns Names of the Holy Spirit is a landmark work in the studies of the Holy Spirit as it is an exhaustive listing of all the names of the Holy Spirit broken up by type, and an appendix of an alphabetical summary list.
|Date:||May 21, 2020|