The Godhead and the Holy Spirit Part 1

By Tony Rykers

Today there is a tremendous amount of discussion and conjecture about who or what the Holy Spirit is. As Seventh-day Adventists we believe in the three persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit or as Ellen White says:

Three living persons of the heavenly trio; {Ev 615.1}


But this view has been challenged in recent years. Some now are teaching that the Holy Spirit is not the third person of the Godhead but that the Holy Spirit is just the spirit of Christ or the spirit of the Father, just an impersonal force. But is this so? This is the question.

This doctrine is known as Unitarianism. The doctrine has many variations but generally teaches that the Father is God, Jesus is the created Son or He is the semi-created Son we could say, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t exist as a divine being. He is just the impersonal force or presence of God.
I first had contact with this view around 15 years ago. I was a new Seventh-day Adventist Christian and I was going to church learning many new things and I went for a walk one Sabbath afternoon with two brethren. They started sharing their different views on different topics and one of the gentlemen brought up the view of the Holy Spirit. He began talking to the other brother and sharing his new concept of the idea he had of what the Holy Spirit was. I could see as these two men were discussing, I was the young pop on the block we could say, I was like the little Bible study student here, I didn’t know that much. I was listening to these two men discuss and one man started sharing his new view about the Holy Spirit and his view was that the Holy Spirit didn’t exist as a personal being.

I could see as the other gentleman was listening, he was getting quite concerned. He was quite confused as he was bringing up different Bible verses. As the discussion went on and as I was finding it hard to work out exactly what the discussion was about, the facts eventually came to me that there was no Holy Spirit as an individual divine being, it was just the power, the presence, an impersonal presence or force of God.

As the last fifteen years have gone by, this has become a real controversy in many Seventh-day Adventist circles and it has caused much division. Many are confused upon the subject and because of this confusion, many are drawing away from the church. They’re drawing away because they are taught that the Seventh-day Adventist church is in apostasy because it teaches a three persons of the Godhead trinity.

I’ve met several persons that have believed in this doctrine and I’ve had many people come to me and talk to me about this in my ministry; books and dvds have been given to me. I’ve met several people that have went so far away from God’s church drawn right out of the church, that they will not even walk into the church anymore.

Today we are going to study this subject because I think it is vital for you and I to understand what God has to reveal about the Holy Spirit, and His role in the Godhead. But you and I must be really careful as we come to this subject. We must remember that we are actually studying the subject of God, and the nature of God.

When I was about nine years old, I can remember one night I was hopping into bed and dad came into the bedroom to tuck me in. As I was laying there tucking into my bed and as I was looking up to my dad as he was bending over my bed to say goodnight, I must have been in a sort of a theological mindset because I said to dad, who made God? I can still see his very confused look as he is just saying goodnight and all of a sudden he gets a big question of life, Dad, who made God? He looked really confused, he thought for a few moments, he said, well I don’t know. God has just always been there. And he quickly exited the room. I think he was a bit concerned about more questions to come that he couldn’t answer.

But I asked that question of who made God? As dad left the room, I’m lying in bed with that question and that answer God has always been there. To a nine year old mind and to anybody’s mind on this earth, God always being there doesn’t really make scientific sense. How can something always be there? When you and I come to this subject of the Godhead and the Holy Spirit, and we come to study and try to work out who the Holy Spirit is and where God came from and where Jesus came from, it’s a little bit like asking the question, who made God? Well, who is God? We find here that it’s a hard question to answer and we must be very careful when we study this particular subject that we don’t go beyond the bounds, beyond the limits of what God has revealed to you and I.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever,

God has revealed certain things in this world to you and I. But there are certain things that God hasn’t revealed and when it comes to looking at this particular subject, it’s important that we only look at what God has revealed and that we realise that we are dealing with God, the nature of God here, and it can only work out so much. We need to study what God has revealed and leave the secret things to Him to be revealed in time and eternity.

What has God revealed about the Holy Spirit? That’s the question. There are two things that we are going to establish in our study today. The first is that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead. The second is that the Holy Spirit is a divine individual being. We want to establish those two points through this study. This much God has revealed to us.

Several years ago I was invited to a church member’s house. I was in a town that wasn’t my hometown and I was invited to a person’s house. He asked me to come into the house and discuss the subject of the Holy Spirit. He had taken on his view that the Holy Spirit is not the third person of the Godhead but that the Holy Spirit is just an impersonal force, He doesn’t exist as a being, He’s just sort of the energy of God.

He said to me, show me a verse in the Bible that says the Holy Spirit is a divine being. If you can show me a verse in the Bible that says the Holy Spirit is a divine being, I’ll believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. So I showed him two verses.

John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Here we find that the Bible tells us that God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in what? In spirit and in truth. I said, Here is a text where the Bible is telling us here that the Spirit is equal to God therefore He is a divine being. He said, No that doesn’t say that, it says, God is a Spirit not that the Holy Spirit is a divine being. I want you to show me a text that says that the Holy Spirit is a divine being. I said, let’s have a look at another text and we went over the book of Acts. In Acts chapter 5 there is a text that tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine being. The background of Acts chapter 5 is simply that Ananias and Sapphira, members of the early new Christian church were convicted by the Holy Spirit to sell a piece of property to donate the money from that property to the church to support the church. They sold the land, they got the money and they thought to themselves, this is a pretty good sum of money and they changed their mind. They decided, we’re going to keep half the money for ourselves and we will give the other half to the church. But they had already made a commitment to give the money to the church.
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Here we find Peter saying to Ananias, you’ve lied to the Holy Ghost. Then he goes on and tells us, you’ve lied to God. He is likening the Holy Ghost to God Himself. The Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead.

When I showed this gentleman this verse he said, that’s not exactly what the verse is saying, I want you to show me a verse that says that the Holy Spirit is a divine being. I said, I’ve showed you two verses. Let’s turn this around, you want me to show you a verse that says that the Holy Spirit is a divine being in exact words. Let’s turn this around, you show me a verse that says the Holy Spirit is not a divine being. At that he was taken aback for a few moments and he said, hey that’s not fair. I said, you’re asking me for a vers now I’m asking you for a verse. He said, that’s not fair because there’s no text in a Bible that tells you that the Holy Spirit is not a divine being. Then I said, I’ll show you one more verse. We opened our Bibles in the gospel of Matthew. This verse is what I call the most irrefutable text in the Bible on this subject.

Matthew 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:

This verse clearly tells you and I that there are three members of the Godhead. Notice the words “and of the Holy Ghost” – “baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. We find here that the three are individual and distinct otherwise why get baptised in the name of the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost is just God Himself, it doesn’t make any sense. This verse is telling us three very, very important things. One, the Holy Spirit is a separate being from the Father and Christ; two, the Holy Spirit has divine status as the Father and Christ; and three, we are to be baptised into all three. Why get baptised into something that doesn’t exist? This verse tells you and I to be baptised into submission and obedience to all three, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

To deny the existence of the Holy Spirit is to deny your baptism vow. Now, some will come along and they’ll say, listen, that text in Matthew 28:19, it’s been altered. It’s been changed. But that text has not been changed, Jesus said, go to the world, teach them, and baptise them in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and also in the name of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly enough, Ellen White uses this verse many times. In fact, she quoted that verse ninety six times, that’s not counting duplications. She also made many statements backing up what Jesus said, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. {6T 91.3}

We are told through the Bible and also through the Spirit of Prophecy to be baptised in the name of the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. {6T 91.2}

When you and I are baptised, we are baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and we come under the authority of those three. But if the Holy Spirit doesn’t even really exist and it’s just God, why get baptised into those three?

There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ. {Ev 615.1}

I met a man a few years back, and he told he was baptised, but he was only baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son, he didn’t believe in the third person of the Godhead, so he got baptised, and when he got baptised, I don’t know who baptised him, but they baptised him, and they said, In the name of the Father, and of Son, and they just negated the Holy Spirit and they baptised him. But we are told, we are commissioned to be baptised into the name of the three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In that verse and also from the Spirit of Prophecy we can clearly see that the three members of the Godhead are separate, individual beings that work as one, and we should be baptised into all three.

Notice also this verse in 2 Corinthians, Paul’s salutation to the church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, [be] with you all. Amen.

Paul comes along and he is writing to the church at Corinth and he says the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, there’s two, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. We find the three are placed together. This text shows us that they are all individual beings, otherwise, why mention them as separate if the Holy Spirit is just the presence of the Father, if the Holy Spirit is just the presence of Christ?

Another very interesting text that brings the three together is a messianic prophecy found in the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 48:16 …and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

It’s a messianic prophecy; it’s talking about Jesus Christ being sent to this world. It says, and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, have sent me. We have the Lord God the Father, the Holy Spirit, having both of them sent Jesus to this world, the three together. What was the Holy Spirit’s role in sending Christ to this world? When you think about Jesus coming to this world, we have to ask the question, How did Christ come to this world? He actually came to this world the same way you and I came into the world, He was born into the world. We find here that it was the Holy Spirit and the Father that sent Him but the Holy Spirit’s role was to implant Jesus Christ the Son into the womb of Mary.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost was having a part in sending Christ in that the Holy Ghost implanted Jesus Christ into the womb of Mary. I don’t know exactly how that took place. Remember our verse The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever. God has revealed to us how Jesus came but how the Holy Spirit planted Jesus into the womb of Mary, I don’t know how that takes place; and the point is, neither do you. But we find here that the Holy Spirit has a place in sending Christ. He brought Christ into this world and implanted Christ into the womb of Mary.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Bible tells us that the Holy Ghost shall come upon Mary and the power of the Highest shall overshadow her equating the Holy Spirit with divinity implanting Jesus the Son into the womb of Mary. No other being but a divine being could create Jesus in the womb of Mary.

If the Holy Spirit is a divine being, if you think about it, he must have a personality and the following six points tell us that the Holy Spirit has a personality.

The first point is this:

The Holy Spirit can be grieved.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Our second point that proves that the Holy Spirit has a personality and is a divine being is this:
We can speak blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 12:31 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. 32 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.

Blasphemy can only be committed against the Deity thus the Holy Spirit is what? Deity, He is a divine being.

The Holy Spirit speaks.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Revelation 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

2 Samuel 23:2 The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.

The Holy Spirit speaks. Notice Acts 13:2-4,

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away. 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

We find here that the Holy Spirit speaks and He also is directing the work of the early Christian church.

The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God to reveal to us.

1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God to reveal to us. If the Holy Spirit is just God, we have God searching the deep things of God to reveal to us, it doesn’t make any sense. If the Holy Spirit isn’t a divine individual being searching the mind, the deep things of God, to reveal to you and I, all we have is God searching God to reveal to us, why does God have to search Himself? Why doesn’t He just reveal it to you and I? You see, the individual personality of the Holy Spirit is such that He knows the mind, He searches the mind of God and He reveals that to you and I. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, searching the deep things of God to reveal to you and I.

The Holy Spirit has a mind.

Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit,

The Holy Spirit has a mind, He speaks, He searches, He has a personality. He is a being.
The Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints.

It’s very interesting to think of the Holy Spirit interceding for the saints because as soon as you think of intercession, who do you think of? You should think of Jesus Christ because Jesus is our intercessor in the courts of the heavenly sanctuary. We find that in the following texts:

Romans 8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Jesus makes intercession for you and I, that’s good news. But the Bible is telling us that the Holy Spirit also makes intercession for you and I. How does the Holy Spirit make intercession for you and I?

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

The Holy Spirit is making intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Holy Spirit must be an individual for if He’s just the presence of God, this text is once again also telling us that God is making intercession to Himself. We have Jesus making intercession for us in the sanctuary before God but the Holy Spirit is also making intercession. If the Holy Spirit is just the presence of God, you have the Holy Spirit being just God, so you have God interceding to Himself, that doesn’t make any sense.

It doesn’t make any sense to say that God is just interceding to Himself but when you think of the Holy Spirit as being an individual divine being, the third person of the Godhead, you straight away realise that it makes sense, He is interceding on our behalf.

The question is, How is the Holy Spirit interceding for you and I? Some will say, Well listen, the Holy Spirit making intercession for us is just the spirit of Jesus making intercession for us. But notice what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say about the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit:

Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, {1SM 344.1}
Christ and the Holy Spirit are both constantly interceding on man’s behalf.

…but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ, who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. {Ibid}

Here we see that Christ and the Holy Spirit both as intercessors are separate. They’re not one and the same thing. We don’t have Christ just being the Holy Spirit and sort of doing both of the work, and we don’t have God interceding to Himself. We have the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead drawing out our prayers, our penitence, our praise, our thanksgiving, guiding us to salvation.

Many will come along and ask me the question as they’ve done in the past, why then is there not as much said about the Holy Spirit as there is about the Father and the Son? Why isn’t there as much in the Bible as you go from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why do you not see so much about the Holy Spirit as about the Father and the Son? Some will conclude, well that’s because He does not exist as an individual being. But that is not the case. The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak of Himself.

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:

Here we find the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He will send the Comforter, He will send Him from the Father. What is the work of the Holy Spirit in this verse? Jesus said, when He comes, He will do what? He will testify of who? Himself? Jesus said He will testify of me. The work of the Holy Spirit is not to testify about Himself, the Holy Spirit’s work is point you to Jesus Christ.

John 16:13 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 show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

We have here the words of Jesus. Jesus says, When the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide into all truth, and it goes on and says, He shall not speak of Himself.

You and I need to find Jesus Christ the great sacrifice for the sins of the world to find salvation, to have our sins washed away in the blood of the Lamb and the Holy Spirit’s role is not to speak of Himself. The Bible tells that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. They wrote the word of God; the Holy Spirit authored the Scriptures that you and I hold onto. But all through the Scriptures, He doesn’t spend the whole time looking at Himself and revealing Himself, the whole time He points us to who? He points us to the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of this world. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn’t like you and I in human nature. You and I as human beings we’re so busy pointing everybody in the world to ourselves, we’re so busy focusing the attention of people to ourselves, our carnal nature does that, but we find that the Holy Spirit has taken that role to guide, to lead and point you and I in that direction, to point us to Jesus Christ. That’s why He doesn’t speak of Himself.

Salvation comes through Jesus. The Holy Spirit points to Jesus Christ who then stands before the Father and mediates for our salvation. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, that is why He is the Comforter and that is why He doesn’t speak of Himself.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

You and I should be commandment-keeping people. We should be keeping the commandments of God and if we do so, there is actually a promise:

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 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.

The promise is to those who are commandment keepers that the Holy Spirit will be given to you and I. Jesus says Another Comforter. Why would Jesus say another Comforter? To my mind “another Comforter” makes the Holy Spirit divinity. Jesus is the first Comforter obviously. If the Holy Spirit is another Comforter, it makes Him to be equal to Christ, therefore a divine being, another Comforter that will lead and guide each one of us. The reason that Jesus was sending another Comforter was because the Holy Spirit was to fully take over the work of Christ on this earth after Jesus left.

The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. The work of the Holy Spirit in our life today is so important because the Holy Spirit will guide us and teach us and bring us to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit takes over the works of Christ on this earth.

Notice the following points:

He teaches all things.
He brings to remembrance all things.
He convicts of sin.
He recreates in righteousness.
He testifies of Christ.
He empowers us to obey.

He reproves the world of righteousness and judgment to come.

The work of the Holy Spirit is vital to our salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit is to lead you and I to Jesus Christ who is our great Mediator before the Father on His throne in heaven to guide us, to teach us, to instruct us, to lead us into all truth and that truth is found in Jesus Christ.

What about creation? To be part of the divine Godhead you need to be part of the creation. The Holy Spirit is also a divine being because He was involved in creating this world. The first criterion to be a divine being and to be classed as God is to be a Creator. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, each one are part of the Godhead and they are part of the Godhead because all of them were involved in creation.

We know that Jesus Himself was involved in the creation week:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus Christ Himself is classed as the Creator. But the Holy Spirit also was classed as Creator. He was involved in creation and we see that in Genesis 1:

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The creation week is taking place and the Spirit of God is there moving on the waters. The Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father were all involved in creation. The Bible says something very interesting:

Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:

All of a sudden we’ve got the three persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit but the Bible says the Lord our God is one Lord, one God.

Many come along and say, Well, this is confusing, we have three but now we have one. How can there be one God? How can one God have created us if there was three involved? When you look at the Hebrew for that word “one”, you find that that Hebrew word is not the word for one in number, but one in unity. The Hebrew for “one” in this verse is “echad”, which means “united in one”, not one in number. They were united in one. One God has created us but that one God is three persons of the Godhead.

Marriage

It’s a little bit like marriage. The Bible and Jesus Himself said, And the two shall become one flesh. Okay so we’re going to get married. I’m a married man myself and the Bible says when we get married the two shall become one flesh. Does that mean that when my wife and myself get married that somehow we sort of morph into each other and become one person? Do I say, You want to see my wife, she’s right here, she pops up. It doesn’t work that way does it? When the Bible say the two shall become one flesh, it’s talking about “echad”, it’s talking about one in purpose, one in plans, one in the life, one in mind, but not one individual being.

You don’t get married and find a person walking with two heads a wife on one side and the husband on the other side, it would cause a lot of arguments wouldn’t it? We find here that one God has created us and that one is that word “echad” which really means simply, not one in number but one in purpose, one in mind, one in union. This is how the Godhead is where the Bible tells us that one God created us.

Think back also to Genesis chapter 1 when the creation took place. In six days God creates the heavens and the earth. Every single day He speaks something into existence but when it comes to the point of making man, all of a sudden God is going to create man and the Bible tells us that He bends down into the earth, He makes man out of the dust of the ground but before He does that, there is something very interesting there at creation.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image,

It didn’t say, Let me make man in my image, it said, Let us make man in our image. That word us is plural, there was more than one involved in creation. The reason why it says, Let us make man in our image, is because they made the whole of the creation week. It was not, let us make the sun, let us make the stars, let us make the fishes, there was no us there. But when it came to the creation of man, the Godhead knew that when Adam was created, there was going to be a problem. The problem was that this world would fall into sin and that this world of sin would cost the life of the son of God. That Jesus Christ, His plan was laid before the foundation of the world, that the Holy Spirit and Father would send Christ to this earth into the womb of Mary. He would come to this world, He would die a sacrifice, He would die a sacrifice for you and I. When they said, let us, they were saying, do we agree? Do we agree to make man in our image? Because when we make this man, we are going to find this man is going to cost the life of the Son of God. Very clearly the Bible is telling us here that there was more than one involved in creation.

One more powerful text that brings this out is this:

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.

Not one as a person with three heads, but one, the echad, one in purpose and union. The three are one in purpose but they are different. They are separate in the plan, the role of salvation for mankind. Some scholars will argue on this point and say, well, 1 John 5:7 shouldn’t be in the Bible, it was a forgery, it was changed, it shouldn’t have gotten in there. But friends, the evidence points to the fact that it is actually in the original writings, in the original manuscripts and we as Christians I believe, should be very, very slow to start going through the Bible and point out texts and just throw them out of the Bible.

Up until this point, we have identified the fact the Holy Spirit is a divine being and He is an individual member of the Godhead. The whole controversy is not whether there is a Holy Spirit, the whole controversy in the minds of the people is; is the Holy Spirit the third person of the Godhead, or is the Holy Spirit just an invisible impersonal force, really just God sort of manifesting His essence through this world?

It’s really as a sort of tinted pantheism there where the Spirit of God moves through the whole world and He is in everything, He is in the trees, He is in the rocks and gives life to every single thing. We find here that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead but the argument really is over. Is He a person or is He just an invisible presence, force or essence of God? I believe the evidence is very clear that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead and we see this also at the baptism of Jesus Christ. At the baptism of Christ, we see the Father, we see the Son and we see the Holy Spirit, each one there at that baptism.

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: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

We find Jesus getting baptised, we find the Holy Spirit descending as a dove on Jesus, and we find the voice of the Father saying, This is beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were all present at the baptism of Jesus Christ.

We also see the three individual members of the Godhead in Revelation chapter 4. We see God on the throne, we see a slain lamb obviously representing Jesus Christ and we also see the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 4:5 …and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

The Spirit of God is there, God on the throne, the slain lamb Jesus, and burning before the throne seven lamps which are the seven Spirits of God. Seven denotes completeness. Somebody may ask, why does it say the seven Spirits of God? Does that mean there are seven Holy Spirits? It doesn’t mean there are seven Holy Spirits, but it denotes the completeness of the Holy Spirit and His work and the attributes of the Holy Spirit.

It talks about the Holy Spirit, but it talks about seven points which I believe are the seven attributes of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

You notice in this particular verse that there is the Lord, there is 1. deity, there’s 2. wisdom, 3. understanding, 4.counsel, 5. might, 6. knowledge, and there is 7. fear. Here we find those seven spirits before the throne of God., those seven attributes of the Holy Spirit that He is Deity, that He is wisdom, that He is understanding, He is counsel, might, knowledge, and He gives us the fear of the Lord.

Some will argue this point and say, the Bible says it’s the Holy Spirit so Spirit can’t be a person, therefore it can’t be a third person of the Godhead if it’s the Holy Spirit. But the Bible talks about the angels and it tells that the angels are ministering spirits. In fact, Satan himself is called an evil spirit. Angels and demons, they’re all spirits the Bible says. But all these so called spirits are what? Are they just sort of invisible forces or are they persons, are they beings? They’re beings. The angels are beings, Satan is a being, the demons are beings, they are referred to as spirits, not denoting that they don’t exist, but denoting that their work is a work of a spirit because it’s invisible. We can’t visibly see them in this world as we can’t see the Holy Spirit either.

Those who say that the Holy Spirit is not the third person of the Godhead usually say, The early pioneers of our church rejected the doctrine of the trinity and the teaching of the three persons of the Godhead. But the thing is this, is that really so? Did the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers reject the doctrine of the trinity, and did they reject the three persons of the Godhead belief?

In part 2 we will have a look at what the early pioneers of our church believed and what the writings of Ellen White have to say about this particular subject. In part 2 we’re going to answer those questions.

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Posted on October 22, 2013, in The Godhead and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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