FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XLX
The ThIrd Person of the Godhead
One of the deadliest deceptions of the last days designed to “deceive, if possible, the elect” (Matt. 24: 24) is that the Holy Spirit is merely a divine “power,” “breath,” or “essence,” not a Person as much as the Father and Christ are distinct persons making up the heavenly Council of the Godhead. I avoid using the word “Trinity” as it has caused or has been made to be an unwarranted cause for false accusations of worshipping a “triune god.” The Authorized Version uses “Godhead,” meaning, “that which is divine,” not angelic much less human. And only the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are divine. Notice the three instances the Godhead is mentioned in the Bible:
“Forasmuch then we are offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man’s device.” Acts 17: 29
“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Rom. 1: 20.
“For in Him [Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Col. 2: 9, 10.:
Angels were created ahead of man as “ministering spirits,” not of flesh and blood yet have taken the appearance of man. Lucifer, created to be a covering cherub of the great white throne and second in prominence and position to the Creator, was not included when the heavenly Council—the “Us” and “Our” in “Let Us make man in Our image and Our likeness” (Gen. 1: 26)—convened to plan the creation of man as the crowning act of God’s creative power. Over a period of time we know not how long, Lucifer’s envy lead to jealousy over the pre-eminence of the Son of God, Jehovah of the Old Testament. This was the beginning of “the mystery of iniquity” which blossomed into the first war, in heaven, where Lucifer, called “the dragon,” and his angels fought against “Michael” [military appellation of Christ as Commander-in Chief] and His angels. Rev. 12: 7-9, 4.
The Church of Rome professes to believe in “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” yet in practice and doctrine the papacy openly usurps the office, authority, nature, and work of the Godhead both on earth and in heaven. It sets aside the Holy Spirit by claiming to be Christ’s Vicegerent or Successor on earth—contradicting the very words of Christ. It also claims to be “verily God on earth.”
I believe I have read since late 1991 (and continue to do so when the occasion demands it) most, if not all the direct references to the Holy Spirit or “spirit” in the King James (Authorized) Version, both in the Old and New Testaments. I have adopted the William Miller study method (see Great Controversy (1911), pp. 319-20) by referring to Strong’s Comprehensive Concordance and its Hebrew and Greek Lexicons, which are based exclusively on this time-enduring and battle-tested Bible Version as well as its Universal Study Guide). A few of these key verses are presented here before turning to the inspired writings of the Ellen G. White, for, as she herself says, “the lesser light points to the greater light,” the Bible, as the literal and spiritual definitive Final Word on all things of the everlasting gospel. Upon these I rest my case for I have found it straightforward, needing no mental gymnastics or laborious, oftentimes contentious and convoluted arguments in order for our mortal but not carnal minds to accept, understand and believe by simple child-like faith, as we should every pillar of the “present, testing truth.
I. SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION
“Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. . . . Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou wilt follow Me afterwards.” John 13: 33-36, K.J.V. (Authorized).
“I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; 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. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.” John 14: 16-20
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforterwill 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 righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment because the prince of this world [Satan] is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16: 7-15.
II. SOP REFERENCES
As a Divine Person. As much a Person as God is a Person. Evangelism, pp. 616-17.
“The Eternal Dignitaries of the [Godhead]. – The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them [the disciples] with more than mortal energy. . . would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.”– Manuscript 145, 1901.
“Personality of the Holy Spirit. –We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much as a person as God is a person, is walking though these grounds—Manuscript 66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at Avondale School, Australia.)
“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. . . .
“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirit that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘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.” –Manuscript 20, 1906.
“The Power of God in the Third Person. – 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.” – Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37 (1897).
As one of the Godhead, gave Himself to working out the plan of redemption
“It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image by a constant manifestation of benevolence. This work began in the heavenly courts. There God decided to give human beings unmistakable evidence of the love with which He regarded them [John 3: 16 quoted].
The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves the working out of the plan of redemption. In order to fully carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that he could have done more.”- Counsels on Health, p. 222 (1903).
As the Comforter in the fullness of the Godhead.
“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 persona; Savior. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, 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 the efforts to live the new life in Christ.” – Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63 (1905)
Divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof
“Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon His followers, a gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of grace. I will pray the Father,’ He said [John 14: 16-18 quoted]. Before this the Spirit had been in the world; from the very beginning of the work of redemption He had been moving upon man’s hearts. But while Christ was on earth, the disciples had desired no other helper. Not until they were deprived of His presence would they feel their need of the Spirit, and then He would come.
The Holy Spirit is Christ’s Representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His Successor on earth. No one then could have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Savior would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high. . . . .
At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer.”- Desire of Ages, pp. 669, 670.
This is why understanding all that is revealed regarding Christ’s humanity is essential in these last days if one is to “overcome even as He overcame” (Rev.3: 20, 21), and receive the seal of the living God. Peter says: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” 1 Pet. 2: 21-23. Note:
“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God. . . In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as One brought up with Him.”- Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900/Ev 615.
“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. . . He is the eternal, self-existent Son.” – Manuscript101, 1897/Ibid.
“From Everlasting. – While God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His pre-existence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the One in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted GHim, were to be blessed. ‘The Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ John 1:__. Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.” – Review & Herald, Apr. 5, 1906.
“Life, Original, Unborrowed, Underived. – Jesus declared, ‘I AM the resurrection, and the life.’ In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived’ he that hath the Son hath life.The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.”- The Desire of Ages, p. 530 (1898). (To be continued next week)