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Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God
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Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Mukwiri 
 
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he psalmist, directing his words to God, asks: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). Who is this Spirit? In contending for “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), we find that:

The apostles believed that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of your Father” (Matthew 10:20); and “the Spirit of Christ which was in” the prophets (1 Peter 1:11);

The prophetess EG White believed that the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-17 “refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter” (Ellen White, 14 Manuscript Release, 179.3); “The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 805.3).

The pioneers believed that “the Holy Spirit (by an infirmity of translation called ‘the Holy Ghost’), the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the divine afflatus and medium of their power, representative of them both” (Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, Review and Herald Publishing, 1998, p. 10).

For Seventh-day Adventists seeking to be “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13), it is vital we understand the Holy Spirit of God.

Few Seventh-day Adventists are rediscovering the truth about the Holy Spirit and are being sealed: “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved” (FLB 287.7). If the Holy Spirit is not an INDIVIDUAL of the Godhead as is the Father and the Son, but God’s own Spirit, then the implication of regarding the Holy Spirit as “God the eternal Spirit” as in the trinity, is to break the law that says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3); if the reverse is true, then the apostles and Adventist pioneers were in error.

 

Form and Spirit of a Person

In the beginning, “God said, Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26); this He said not to two other individuals, as we have been deceived, but said He only to His Son, for we are told: “But when God said to his Son, ‘Let us make man in our image’, Satan was jealous of Jesus” (EG White, EW 145.1). He, who created Adam, made him first a bodily FORM and then breathed into the lifeless form the SPIRIT and Adam became a living soul.

“There are many issues in our world today in regard to the Creator not being a personal God. God is a being, and man was made in His image. After God created man in His image, the form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it had no vitality. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, breathing, intelligent being” (EG White, 7MR 373.1).

Commenting on John 6:63, Ellen White says: “‘It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his PERSON, the divinity of his [Christ’s] character” (RH, 5 April 1906, Par 12) [emphasis mine]. The word quickeneth means to be made alive. It is God’s Spirit that gives life and is life. Man consists of a bodily FORM and a SPIRIT. “In the beginning man [a bodily being] was created in the likeness of God [a bodily being] not only in character [the Spirit] but in form and feature [bodily aspect]” (GC 644.3) [emphasis mine].

The Spirit is the non-bodily aspect of an individual whether it is man or God. However, God is divine, and unlike man’s spirit, God can send His Spirit forth resulting in Him being Omnipresent.

 

Bodily Form of God

God the Father has a bodily FORM. Isaiah saw Him sitting on His throne (Isaiah 6:1). Daniel saw Him with hair on His head as pure wool (Daniel 7:9). Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:56) and as God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26), He must also have a left hand; John saw in His right hand a book sealed with seven seals (Revelation 5:1); The Father has a voice and a shape (John 5:37); We will see His face (Rev 22:4).

The Son of God has a bodily FORM. When He went to heaven, He sat “down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Ellen White says: “I saw a throne and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired his lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered him. I asked Jesus if his Father had a form like himself. He said he had, but I could not behold it, for said He, “If you should once behold the glory of his person you would cease to exist” (Ellen G White, EW 54.2).

The Holy Spirit does not have a bodily form, for the Spirit of God is the non-bodily aspect of God.

 

Spirit can be called a Person

If I say to you, Judas is a Selfish Person, what would you understand that to mean? Am I saying Judas’ bodily Form is selfish? Clearly you would say that is foolish reasoning. What am I referring to? Am I not referring to an aspect of Judas, which is non-bodily, non-tangible, and his character? Of course Judas is a Selfish Person refers to Judas’ Spirit. Can you say, because you can perfectly refer to Judas’ spirit, as a Selfish Person, then Judas and his Spirit are TWO separate INDIVIDUALS? Of course not!

The word Person can refer to something non-bodily and not necessarily to a bodily being in all instances. Clearly that is what Ellen White meant when using the words Spirit and person (non-bodily) in the following way: “‘It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to His PERSON, the divinity of his [Christ’s] character” (RH, 5 April 1906, Par 12) [emphasis mine]. The word Person in this quote is equated with an aspect of Christ, which is non-bodily, in this instance, His character. The word Spirit is said to be His person, the divinity of His character. When Ellen White says that the Holy Spirit is a Person, we can understand that she is referring to the non-bodily aspect of the individual whether it is the Father or Christ.

When we talk of the “Spirit of God” or the “Spirit of Christ”, or the “Spirit of His Son” we are in fact referring to the Person or non-bodily aspect of those individuals. The Holy Spirit is a person; it is the Person of God, of Christ who comes to you and me. It is not another individual. Bodily Form + Spirit = Individual, to exclude one part the individual will be either dead or you are into Spiritualism. The two go together. The Spirit therefore “belongs” to someone – it is always in the possessive form.

 

Intangible and one Holy Spirit

“And the Spirit [Hebrew: ruwach in Strong’s Concordance] of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind [ruwach], every one of them.” (Ezekiel 11:5). In this verse ruwach was translated “spirit” in one place, and “mind” in another. Clearly you can see that the spirit of an individual is the mind or thinking of that individual (See also Isaiah 40:13, Romans 11:34), which is always intangible.

“To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?” (Job 26:4). When we utter words, we reveal whose spirit we have – either the evil spirit or the Holy Spirit of God. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

Some people maintain that “the Holy Spirit,” and “the Spirit of God” are different. As you can see from the preceding verse, this is not the case. The Bible speaks of “The Holy Spirit of God.” God the Father has a Spirit: “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:20). Jesus Christ has a Spirit: “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19). The Bible nowhere mentions “the Spirit of the Holy Spirit.” The Father has a Spirit and His Son has a Spirit, yet there is “one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4). The Father and His Son share the same Spirit while they are two separate individuals.

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The Father anointed His Son with His own Spirit. Therefore, they have the same Spirit. “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:9). “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34). There is one Holy Spirit, the Father and His literal begotten Son share that one Holy Spirit.

 

Christ is the Comforter in His Spirit

Christ said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. 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” (John 14:15-17). Jesus said very plainly that He would send another Comforter to comfort His people after His departure. Is the Holy Spirit a third God? No!

Consider another usage of the word another. “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. … And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day” (1 Samuel 10:6, 9). Saul became another man, yet bodily he was the same person. His experience made him another man.

Christ explains: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). Christ said that He would come to His disciples as another Comforter. This is quite appropriate since the Bible plainly tells us who the Comforter is. The Greek word parakletos, translated “Comforter,” is used five times in the Bible. Four times the word is translated “Comforter” and the other time it is translated “Advocate.” Here the Bible clearly states who the Comforter is: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos = Comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). God has revealed that Jesus Christ is our Comforter.

Christ our Lord is that very Comforter who comes to us who the Bible refers to as the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Who is the Holy Spirit? The Bible answers: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Lord is that Spirit, yet who is the Lord? The Bible answers: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). So, Jesus Christ is the Lord, the Lord is that Spirit, and therefore Jesus Christ is that Spirit sent to us as our Comforter – and the only Parakletos mentioned in Scripture is Christ Himself.

“There is one body, and one Spirit” (Ephesains 4:4). There is only one Spirit, and the Bible tells us that that Spirit is our Lord Jesus Christ, or more specifically the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He received from His Father. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Mind or Spirit, that was in Christ – the Holy Spirit of His Father: “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34). Let that Holy Mind of Christ to be our mind.

Christ our “Lord is that Spirit” (2 Cor 3:17), able to comfort us in all our temptations because He was tempted just like us: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [or help] them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Because Jesus has suffered being tempted, and comes to us in a different way than He ever did before, He can truly be called, “another Comforter.” Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (John 14:18).

The Holy Spirit was to come and convict the world of sin. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26). It is Jesus, after His resurrection, who comes to us to turn us from sin. Jesus Christ is that Comforter who knows what we are going through because He has been there Himself; the Comforter is not a different third Individual of the Godhead.

Some may immediately say, “Jesus called the Comforter ‘he,’ therefore he must be someone else.” It was common in Christ’s day to speak of oneself in the third person. You find this style of writing throughout the New Testament. In (John 5:19-22), Jesus spoke of Himself in the third person. And so, Christ refers to His Spirit of His very person as ‘he.’

Quoting and Commenting on John 14:16-17, Ellen G White says: “This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter” (Ellen White, 14MR 179.3). “Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of Christ. He is the Comforter” (Ellen White, RH, 27 January 1903). “Jesus was about to be removed from his disciples; but he assured them that although he should ascend to his Father, his Spirit and influence would be with them always, and with their successors even unto the end of the world” (Ellen White, 3SP 238.1). “When on the day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended, and the power from on high was given, and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 350).

This Spirit of Christ [the non-bodily aspect of Christ] is what Ellen White refers to as a person. It is referred to as person because Christ is a person. It is Christ who in the person of His spirit comes to us. His very mind, character and personality come to us and dwells in us. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter simply because it is the Spirit of Jesus and Jesus is the Comforter, therefore, His non-bodily side, the Spirit, can be referred to as the Comforter. Ellen White has this to say: “The Saviour is our Comforter. This I have proved Him to be” (8MR 49.3). “As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving Jesus the Comforter” (19MR 297.3).

Satan deceives that our comforter is a third god. “The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (RH, 26 August 1890 par 10).

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). The Father did not send another individual. He sent the Spirit of His Son – the influence of His Son, the personality of His Son, the power of His Son, the life of His Son, the character of His Son – into our hearts. Jesus Christ our Saviour is indeed with us today, this very day.

The Holy Spirit is not a Third Individual Being, but the Spirit of Christ. “Christ was the Spirit of truth” (SW, 25 October 1898, Par 2) so His Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. Christ is the Comforter so His Spirit is called the Comforter. Christ is a real person so His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, can be called a person.

 

Holy Spirit as IT and as HE

“The church needs to be converted, and why should we not prostrate ourselves at the throne of grace, as representatives of the church, and from a broken heart and contrite spirit make earnest supplications that the Holy Spirit shall be poured out upon us from on high? Let us pray that when it shall be graciously bestowed, our cold hearts may be revived, and we may have discernment to understand that it is from God, and receive it with joy. Some have treated the Spirit as an unwelcome guest, refusing to receive the rich gift, refusing to acknowledge it, turning from it, and condemning it as fanaticism. When the Holy Spirit works the human agent, it does not ask us in what way it shall operate. Often it moves in unexpected ways” (1888 1540.1).

“But the Holy Spirit will, from time to time, reveal the truth through its own chosen agencies; and no man, not even a priest or ruler, has a right to say, You shall not give publicity to your opinions, because I do not believe them” (EG White, TM 70.1).

“The Holy Spirit is promised to all who will ask for it. When you search the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is by your side, personating Jesus Christ” (GCB, 15 February 1895 Par 9).

“How little has been said of the importance of being endowed by the Holy Spirit, and yet it is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that men are to be drawn to Christ, and through its power alone can the soul be made pure. The Saviour said: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his church, but how little is this promise appreciated. How seldom is its power felt in the church; how little is its power spoken of before the people” (RH 29 March 1892 Par 2 and Par 3). Note, the Spirit of God, is a personal of God, hence, EG White uses “He, but also, the Spirit is not a separate individual, hence EG White calls the Holy Spirit “IT.”

“The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. We do not now see Christ and speak to him, but his Holy Spirit is just as near us in one place as another. It works in and through every one who receives Christ” (OFC 119.1).

Some argue that the Bible use the words “He” and “Himself” in reference to the Holy Spirit and not “IT” at all. However, these words translated from the Greek “autos” can also mean or be translated “it” or “itself.” The following is an example: “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 [autos] unto you” (John 16:7). “The Spirit itself [autos] bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans8:16). The same Greek word “autos” is translated in two different ways in these verses as “him” and “itself.” The Bible and Ellen White describe the Spirit as an “it” with impersonal traits.

 

Impersonal Holy Spirit Traits

Wind: Acts 2:2. “The Holy Spirit is a free, working, independent agency. The God of heaven uses His Spirit as it pleases Him: and human minds, human judgment, and human methods can no more set boundaries to its working, or prescribe the channel through which it shall operate, than they can say to the wind, "I bid you to blow in a certain direction, and to conduct yourself in such and such a manner." As the wind moves in its force, bending and breaking the lofty trees in its path, so the Holy Spirit influences human hearts, and no finite man can circumscribe its work” (YRP 323.2).

Fire: Acts 2:3. “The Holy Spirit, assuming the form of tongues of fire, rested upon those assembled. This was an emblem of the gift then bestowed on the disciples, which enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had heretofore been unacquainted” (YRP 204.1).

Water: John 4:14; 7:37-39. “By the living water is meant the Holy Spirit. As a thirsty traveler needs water to drink, so do we need God's Spirit in our hearts. He who drinks of this water shall never thirst” (Ellen White, SJ 55.1).

Oil: Psalm 45:7; Acts 10:38; Matthew 25:1-10. “Read and study the fourth chapter of Zechariah. The two olive trees empty the golden oil out of themselves through the golden pipes into the golden bowl, from which the lamps of the sanctuary are fed. The golden oil represents the Holy Spirit. With this oil God's ministers are to be constantly supplied, that they, in turn, may impart it to the church. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” God's servants can obtain victories only by inward purity, by cleanness of heart, by holiness” (Ellen G White, RH, 22 December 1904 Par 7).

Quenched: 1 Thessalonians 5:19. “Oh, how my heart longs to see the workers place themselves in positions where the Lord can pour out His Holy Spirit abundantly upon them, that they may give God all the glory of the increase, and not take any credit to themselves. Here is where the Spirit of God is quenched. Man is placed where God should be, if any good is accomplished” (Ellen G White, Letter 150, 1897, p. 2 (To “Dear Children,” November 6, 1897).

Poured out: Acts 2:17, 33. “[Christ] knew that when the Holy Spirit should be poured out on the disciples, the harvest of His seed-sowing would be reaped. Thousands would be converted in a day” (RC 242.6).

Baptised with it: Matthew 3:11. “For the baptism of the Holy Spirit, every worker should be breathing out his prayers to God. Companies should be gathered together to call upon God for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that the people of God may know how to plan and devise and execute the work. Especially should men pray that the Lord will choose His agents, and baptize His missionaries with the Holy Spirit” (YRP 151.1).

Partake of it: Hebrews 6:4. “There is nothing the Lord has more frequently told us He would bestow upon us, and nothing by which His name would be more glorified in bestowing, than the Holy Spirit. When we partake of this Spirit, men and women will be born again. . . . Souls once lost will be found, and brought back” (Ellen G White, OFC 280.7).

Filled with it: Acts 2:4; Ephesians 5:18. “When the earth is lightened with the glory of God, we shall see a work similar to that which was wrought when the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the power of a risen Saviour” (Ellen G White, HM, 1 November 1893 Par 29).

Renews us: Titus 3:5. “The Holy Spirit enlightens, renews, and sanctifies the soul. Angels behold with inexpressible rapture the results of the working of the Holy Spirit in man” (YRP 332.1).

Breathed on them: John 20:22. “Christ breathed upon His disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Christ is represented by His Holy Spirit today in every part of His great moral vineyard. He will give the inspiration of His Holy Spirit to all those who are of a contrite spirit” (TM 214.3).

A dove: Matthew 3:16. “Never before had angels listened to such a prayer as Christ offered at his baptism, and they were solicitous to be the bearers of the message from the Father to his Son. But, no; direct from the Father issues the light of his glory. The heavens were opened, and beams of glory rested upon the Son of God, and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2SP 60.2). It was not a trinity third god that descended upon Christ like a dove, it was the light of the Father’s glory, “beams of glory” – the Spirit of the Lord was upon Christ (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18) – His Father’s glory, character.

 

Texts often misunderstood

Matthew 12:30-31 – Some read this as a trinity: “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Some think that we can blaspheme against God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and be forgiven, but that a third person called the Holy Ghost is so highly exalted that if men blaspheme against him, they can never be forgiven. But we are told that, “The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted” (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, 7 July 1898). Only Two, not Three, are to be exalted. The key word used is “Alone” (quoting from John 17:3-5). The Holy Spirit is not a third separate being.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, and proceeds from the Father because it is His own Spirit. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is blaspheming “the Spirit of your Father” (Matthew 10:20), because it is His own Spirit. Jesus was not talking about a sudden word or action against the Holy Spirit, but a continual rejection of its promptings upon the heart. It reaches a time when God says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3); “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone” (Hosea 4:17); “and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still” (Revelation 22:11). The Spirit of God, which is also the Spirit of Christ, pleads now while probation lingers: “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Psalms 95:8). Once a man’s heart is hardened against hearing God’s Spirit speak to him, he has committed the “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16). Therefore, “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

Matthew 28:19 – Some read this as a trinity: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – no trinity here if we apply the rule: “precept upon precept; line upon line” (Isaiah 28:10).

First, there are absolutely no examples of the disciples obeying a trinity reading of this verse – they all baptised only in the name of JESUS – Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 8:16 “For He [Holy Spirit] had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 10:48 “And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.” Acts 19:5 “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Second, we find no instruction to baptise in three names in the Bible, but rather in a single name of Jesus. Romans 6:3 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Third, it would be inconsistent with what Jesus taught about God, for Him to introduce a triune God at the last minute of His departure. In Mark 12:28-33, the scribes came and asked Jesus about the first commandment, and He answered “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” – Jesus never taught a triune God. Later in His closing prayers for His disciples, Jesus refers to God and Himself and not to a triune God: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Throughout His ministry, Jesus never even once referred to “God the Holy Spirit” or a triune God; if such a triune God exists, it would be disrespectful for Jesus not to have mentioned and acknowledged such a triune God during His ministry.

Fourth, here is the correct understanding of Matthew 28:19. One may ask: “if Jesus did not want us to think that the Holy Spirit is a separate individual, why did He mention the Holy Spirit in this commission?” On the day of Pentecost Peter proclaimed, “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” (Acts 2:38). Peter mentions (1) repentance towards God, (2) baptism in the name of Jesus, and (3) the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus mentioned all three; if He had left out the Holy Spirit in His commission, people would likely have been left without the knowledge that Christ lives in us through His Spirit. When Paul was in Ephesus he met some brethren and asked 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” (Acts 19:2). Paul taught them about the Holy Spirit, and “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5). It is interesting that even though Paul taught these brethren specifically about the Holy Spirit as the element they were missing, he still baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ rather than in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus wants His church to benefit from the entire gospel, including the rich gift of His Spirit (not a third god). It would be dangerous to leave people without the knowledge of the wonderful gift of God’s Spirit.

1 John 5:6-8 – Some seek to build a trinity from the King James Version rendering: “6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” KJV.

In almost every other reputable Bible version the words in KJV verse 7 are not included – the origin of verse 7 in KJV is questioned as not found in any Greek manuscripts before the fourteenth century – for this text, it is safer to use the English Standard Version (ESV) which states 1 John 5:5-8 as follows:

“5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.” ESV.

John was not talking about the Father here. John is talking about three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood – as elements in Christ. Verse 5 makes it clear that the “one who overcomes the world" is the one "who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” – this is the literal Son, not a trinity’s symbolic Son. The subject in these verses is the person of Jesus Christ alone. John includes the “water and the blood” as two of the three that “testify.” But John clearly states that both the water and the blood refer to one person – Jesus Christ (verse 6). This indicates that there are not three separate individuals testifying. Jesus emphatically declared: “I am … the Truth” (John 14:6) – hence the words of Jesus must be the precedent upon which the words of John are based and are to be understood. As John says “the Spirit is the Truth” and Jesus had said that He “is the Truth,” then the Spirit John refers to must be Christ's Spirit. Johns already said the “water” and the “blood” refer to the person of Jesus (verse 6) – in verse 8 says “Spirit” is “ONE” with the water and the blood – the “Spirit” is an integral component of the person of Christ – so, we have three elements, all in Christ, that testify.

 

Closing remarks

William Clarence White (1854-1937) [son of EG White], summarised the belief of our pioneers well in the following letter (note the date – 1935 and he did not believe in the trinity as we have been deceived):

“The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers, in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit is an individual as are God the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said We may regard Him, as the fellow who is down here running things. My perplexities were lessened a little when I learned from the dictionary that one of the meanings of personality was characteristics. It is stated in such a way that I concluded that there might be personality without bodily form which is possessed by the Father and the Son. There are many Scriptures which speak of the Father and the Son and the absence of Scripture making similar reference to the united work of the Father and the Holy Spirit or of Christ and the Holy Spirit, has led me to believe that the spirit without individuality was the representative of the Father and the Son throughout the universe, and it was through the Holy Spirit that they dwell in our hearts and make us one with the Father and with the Son” (Letter from W.C. White to H.W. Carr, April 30th 1935).

Herein is shared what is revealed to us, for “the secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). To go beyond what is revealed to us in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy, “silence is eloquence” (EG White, MHH 246.5). In a religious crisis, when new theologians, contrary to the faith of the apostles and our pioneers, have adopted the belief that the Holy Spirit is an INDIVIDUAL like God and Christ, they call third “God the eternal Spirit,” then “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God” (Ellen G White, 3T 280.3).

The Holy Spirit is not a separate Being; the Holy Spirit is the Omnipresence of God. There is no such thing as an infinitely invisible Being, God included. God is a bodily Being and unfortunately for us, sin has resulted in a bodily separation between our God and us; God is therefore invisible to our eyes, else we would perish. We will one day, as promised in Rev 22:4, see God face to face. But we will never see the Holy Spirit, for he is not a separate Being.

It is error to believe and teach others that the Holy Spirit is another separate being like the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Now that you know that there is no separate third INDIVIDUAL “God the eternal Spirit” as the trinity teaches, if you continue to believe error you not only break the law that says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), but also “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin” but as your eyes have now been opened, “therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:41) if you nonetheless remain a Trinitarian.

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