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The Holy Spirit, a Person


 

John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-11

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
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.
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
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:

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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Matthew 3.16
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

The Holy Spirit, A Person,
YET ONE WITH THE TRINITY

One of the oldest errors in the world is mankind’s' persistent desire to reduce God to some force he can manipulate in order to increase his own powers.---
The whole NEW AGE movement is built on precisely the concept of the "Great Force" to be "tapped into" of "having god inside" as a force quite devoid of personality, and if you only tap into the force you can supposedly become godlike yourself. It is the essence of Eastern religion.

Pantheisim has tried to gain recognition in our church, and had the founders earlier grasped the fullness of the Godhead: three persons in one, the pantheistic problem that caused considerable controversy, would probably never have been the problem it was.

The HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON, the third PERSON of the ONE GODHEAD. He is unencumbered with humanity, and therefore omnipresent, but a person none the less Who comes and teaches, and convicts people of their sin and leads them into truth.

To take away the personality of the Holy Spirit, and divest Him of all personal qualities and make "it" merely "the God power", is the very basis of Pantheism, (God in everything) and leads to Christianized New Age spiritualistic falsehoods.

The Trinity doctrine recognizes the Holy Spirit as a PERSON. The third person of the Godhead. Even though the Greek word for "SPIRIT" is a "neuter" gender, (IT) the Bible writers use the masculine pronouns (HE, HIS) to replace the neuter form Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13) even though syntactical that was inconsistant.

Also the HOLY SPIRIT is endowed with very "personal" characteristics like:
Intelligence and knowledge, feelings and teaching ability.

(John 14:26) "for He will teach you all things".
1 Cor. 2:13,14 He teaches us spiritual things, helping us to discern spiritual things
(1 Cor. 12:11),He makes decisions --deciding who gets what spiritual gift
He has emotions and can be grieved (Eph. 4:30)
Romans 8:26 "The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

(John 16:8) He convicts of sin, of righteousness and judgment
Rev. 22:17
He invites people to "come" (Matt. 12:31, Mark 3:29) He can be sinned and blasphemed against, which can lead to the unpardonable sin
"The Spirit Himself bears witness.... that we are children of God (Romans 8:16

He speaks (Acts 8:29)
teaches (Luke 12:12)
reveals (Luke 2:26)
testifies (Acts 20:23)
searches (1 Cor. 2:10,11)
He sets people apart for service and sends them on their way (Acts 13:2,4)
He commands and guides (Acts 8:29)
He declares things to come (John 16:13)

Romans 8:5 He sets our minds on the things of God
Romans 8:13 Through the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the body

Peter says:-- Acts 5:3-5 Why did you lie to the Holy Spirit, ...you have lied to God.

Hebrews 9:14 says the Holy Spirit is eternal.

Romans 15:30 says the Holy Spirit loves.

1 Cor. 12:11 says the Holy Spirit divides gifts to every man as HE wills.

He has a will. He has emotions. He has a mind.

Romans 8:27 He that searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession....

In John 14-16 Christ referred to the Holy Spirit 24 times with personal PRONOUNS. HE, HIM. He addresses the Holy Spirit as a person, and treats Him as a person. He calls Him the Paraclete, which is a title which could only be held by a person.

The Paraclete, is "ANOTHER Counselor" (John 14:16) who will come and instruct.

"The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things (14:26)

"When the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who comes forth from the Father, He will bear witness to me (15:26-27)

"When the Spirit of truth comes, HE will guide you into all truth, for HE will... glorify ME, for HE will take what is mine and declare it to you (16:13-14)

The Bible speaks of Him as:
1. The Spirit Himself (Romans 8:16; 8:26)
2. The Spirit of God (Romans 8:9; 8:14)
3. The Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9)

The Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour.


Some say the Holy Spirit is not a "third person" of the Godhead, but really is Christ returning to earth "in another form".

However, in John 14:16 Jesus says:
I will ask the Father, and He will give you ANOTHER Counsellor."

What does the word "another" mean? It means "different or distinct from the one it is being compared to.
When Jesus said "ANOTHER" was being sent, He obviously meant that He would ask for a Counsellor other than Himself, because He was going away. The Counsellor would take His place.

Of course there are texts that seem to say it is Christ "coming to us". For the nature of the trinity is that when ONE of the three is present, all three are present. For they know each others thoughts as if they were their own.

However, Jesus makes clear distinction that "the comforter" is ANOTHER, not Himself.

When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, HE WILL TESTIFY OF ME." (John 15:26) Jesus also "broke" the rules of grammer here, to give the "Holy Spirit" personality. The word for "Spirit" is neuter, and should in strict grammar be referred to as "It". But Jesus refers to "THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH" as "HE".


What does EGW say about the Holy Spirit,

the Third Person in the Godhead?

Desire of Ages p.671.002
In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure.

BT.1906-03-01.001
The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The word of God declares Him to be "the express image of His person." "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here is shown the personality of the Father.
The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio. In the name of these three powers,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.

Signs of Times,June 19, 1901
Our sanctification is the work of the FATHER, THE SON, and THE HOLY SPIRIT. It is the fulfilment of the covenant that God has made with those who bind themselve up with Him, to stand with Him, with His Son, and with His Spirit in holy fellowship....

God's Amazing Grace 194.1 (Review and Herald June 10, 1902)
The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer.

Signs of the Times, December 1, 1898 par. 2

What gift could He bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the third person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled. He would give all gifts in one, and therefore the divine Spirit, converting, enlightening, sanctifying, would be His donation.

Periodical--SW.1905-11-28.002
It must be worthy of his greatness and his royalty. He determined to give his representative, the third person of the Godhead.

RH.1904-05-19.003
The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fulness of divine power.

RH.1908-11-19.006 Of the Spirit, Jesus said, "He shall glorify me." The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of his love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing his grace to the world.

SPTA10.025.002 (Letter 8, 1896, p. 1 (To "My Brethren in America," February 6, 1896.)
Evil had been accumulating for centuries, and could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fulness of divine power. Another spirit must be met; for the essence of evil was working in all ways, and the submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing.

Here we see that the Third Person of the Godhead meets and fights the evil spirit (satan)

SPTA10.037.001
The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.

Councils on Health p. 222
The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.

Manuscript Release 7:299
Written in 1899

"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.:


When one person of the Godhead is present, God is fully present.


Now how does this relate to "spiritualism".

For the work of the TRUE HOLY SPIRIT is in direct opposition to the work of the FALSE AND EVIL SPIRITS.
In a booklet that has been circulated to SDA's, called "Who is Telling the Truth about God", the authors deny that the Holy Spirit is the third PERSON of the Godhead and say the Holy Spirit is simply Jesus "coming back in ANOTHER FORM". The Holy Spirit, they say, is but the Spirit of Christ and of God.

This is rather close to spiritualism which says:
When Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after His death, He “materialized.” There is no resurrection. There is materialization. In this sense Jesus became the spirit guide of His disciples and could materialize and dematerialize at will.

This doctrine of God is panentheistic, spiritualism. Panentheism teaches that God's Spirit is “in” the world in the sense that just as the soul or "spirit" is in the body, so God's spirit is in the world. The world is, then, God’s body. God's spirit is therefore an impersonal infinite, intelligence and energy that pervades the world and is in everything, including you-- thus you look inside to find the "god within".

We see in the BIBLE that there is ONE GOD. -- A personal God. The true God is comprised of three persons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is in perfect oneness with the other, yet each is a person. There is no "spiritualistic force" floating around. We deal with a personal God. When ONE of the three is present, their "oneness of thought and purpose" makes it so all three are present. For God knows the mind of the Holy Spirit. They KNOW each other's minds. We do not look within, to find the "spirit" within. We look UP, to God, and surrender to HIM and search for HIM in the scriptures and revelations, and the HOLY SPIRIT guides us into all truth.