The Holy Spirit – According to Sister White

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The Holy Spirit

According to Sister White

I. Its nature is a mystery not given to men to explain:

1 . It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. . . . {AA 51.3 1911}

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. . . . {AA 52.1 1911}

2. Deuteronomy 29:29

II. An “It”

1. . . . the Holy Spirit, . . . its influence . . . {RH January 5, 1869, par. 14} The Holy Spirit . . . its influence . . . {RH September 20, 1881, par. 7}

. . . the Holy Spirit, . . . its influence. . . . {RH June 25, 1901, par. 5}

. . . the Holy Spirit . . . its influence. {RH June 13, 1899, Art. A, par. 13}

. . .The influence of the Holy Spirit was present . . . the angels of God . . .

. . . the voice of the Holy Spirit . . . . Its influence . . . {Lt242-1906.56-57}

. . . It is the voice of God speaking to the soul. . . . {RH, July 27, 1897 par. 8}

2. The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is his representative. Through it . . . the power of his Spirit, . . . by it, . . . Through its influence, . . .

. . . the power is of God through his Holy Spirit, . . .

We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. . . .

. . . the Holy Spirit’s power. It is seeking to diffuse itself through the agency of humanity, thus in– creasing its influence in the world. . . .

. . . the Holy Spirit . . . its power . . . given it . . . met it . . . limiting its power and its operations. It has been looked upon . . . its power . . . its operations. . . . it will pronounce . . . {RH, August 25,

1896 par. 6-10} see also {Ms99-1902.32}

3. Christ used the wind as a symbol of the Spirit of God. . . . it will be manifested. . . . God’s Spirit .

. . the voice of God . . . His Spirit. . . . Letter 43, 1890, p. 5. (To Brother Olsen, December 15,

1890.)

III. The Grace of God

1. Hebrews 10:29

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Luke 2:40 “And the child [Jesus] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.”

Philemon 1:25 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

2. The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone, is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. . . . Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth “the fruits of the Spirit.” Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked. . . . {PP 372.2 1890}

3. With the spirit of Christ, . . . through the ministration of the Holy Spirit they may be changed by the miracle of divine grace. . . . The influence of grace will prevail on the human subject, . . . Through divine power the slave to sin may be set free. The sunshine of Christ’s righteousness may beam into the chambers of mind and heart. Spiritual life will be seen, . . . {RH, February 4,

1896 par. 4}

4. The grace of God takes men as they are, and works as an educator, using every principle on which an allsided education depends. The steady influence of the grace of God . . . the molding influence of the Spirit of Christ, . . . filled with the Holy Spirit of God, after the likeness of the divine similitude. – {Lt.85 March 16, 1896, par. 8}

5. Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, . . . it is given on conditions. . . . they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, . . . the divine agencies. . . . Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. . . . the heav- enly gift. . . . His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God . . .

I am the Vine, ye are the branches,” Christ said to His disciples. . . . their spiritual union with Him was to be unchanged. The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the re– lation you are to sustain to Me. . . . By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. . . . Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our hu– manity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. . . .

Abide in Me, and I in you.” Abiding in Christ means a constant receiving of His Spirit, . . . {DA

675.3-676.1 1898}

6. . . . the grace of God . . . The renewing energy . . . from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. . . . the working of this power.

As the leaven, when mingled with the meal, works from within outward, so it is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life. . . . {COL 96.2-3 1900}

In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. . . . the riches of His grace . . . filled with His Spirit. {COL 419.1 1900}

7. He [Jesus] instructed His disciples regarding a most essential and complete gift which He was to bestow upon His followersthe gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of His grace. “I will pray the Father,” He said, “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.” John 14:16, 17. The Saviour was pointing forward to the time when theHolySpirit should come to do a mighty work as His representative. The evil that had been accumulating for cen – turies was to be resisted by the divine power of the Holy Spirit. {AA 47.1 1911}

IV. The Agency of the Holy Spirit

1. AGENCY, n. [L. agens. See Act.]

1. The quality of moving or of exerting power; the state of being in action; action; operation; instrumentality; . . .

The office of an agent, or factor; . . .

ACT, n.

1. The exertion of power; the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; . . .

AGENT, n.

1. An actor; one that exerts power, or has the power to act; . . .

2. An active power or cause; that which has the power to produce an effect; . . .

3. A substitute, deputy, or factor; one entrusted with the business of another; an attorney; a minis – ter.

2. INFLUENCE, n. [L. influens, influo, to flow in; in and fluo, to flow.] Literally, a flowing in, into or on, and referring to substances spiritual or too subtil to be visible, like inspiration. Hence the word was formerly followed by into.

1. In a general sense, influence denotes power whose operation is invisible and known only by its effects, or a power whose cause and operation are unseen.

6. Spiritual power, or the immediate power of God on the mind; as divine influence; the influ – ences of the Holy Spirit.

3. “Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man,” said Christ, “it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him.” Matthew 12:32. These words were spoken by our Saviour when the gracious works which He had performed through the power of God were attributed by the Jews to Beelzebub. It is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that God communicates with man; and those who deliberately reject this agency as satanic, have cut off the channel of communication between the soul and Heaven. {PP 404.4 1890}

God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner; and if the Spirit’s work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. . . . {PP 405.1 1890}

4. . . . the divine influence of the Holy Spirit. . . . the operation of the Spirit of God. . . . the agency of the Holy Spirit . . . through its power . . .

Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his church, . . . its power . . . The Saviour has said: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be wit– nesses unto me.” With the reception of this gift, all other gifts would be ours; . . . the abundance of the grace of God.

God grant that his converting power . . . the power of God . . . that by the power of the Holy Spirit God . . . the gift of the Holy Spirit. . . . endowed by the Holy Spirit, . . . feeding on Christ, . . .{1888 960.2-4, Sept. 1891}

5. . . . the Holy Spirit . . . this heavenly agent . . . that angels are about them, . . . the divine pres– ence; . . . the human agents through whom Christ was imparting His heavenly light. . . . the Spirit helpeth their infirmities. {SSW, December 1, 1891 par. 4}

6. . . . Through the ministry of the angels, the Holy Spirit is enabled to work upon the mind and heart of the human agent, . . . The Holy Spirit is given to be a helper, so that the human agent may cooperate with the divine intelligences; . . . its province . . . Christ is ready to impart all heavenly influences. . . . The Lord has fulness of grace to bestow . . . the heavenly gift. . . .

Christ, our Mediator, is the one who gives the Holy Spirit; and by the office work of the Holy Spirit, . . . Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, man becomes the agent through which souls are brought into the kingdom of heaven. . . . His hitherto paralyzed moral agency . . . becomes a channel through which the Holy Spirit can work, and the work done through the human agent, does not disappoint our Redeemer; . . . {YI, July 5, 1894 par. 5, 6}

7. The divine influence of the Holy Spirit was to co-operate with the human mind . . . the Holy Spirit, for it will bring to the receiver all other blessings in its train. The truth believed will trans– form the character. {Lt27-1894.28}

8. . . . you do not realize your dependence upon the divine influence to make you Christlike. . . . the Holy Spirit is to take possession of hearts and mold their characters. Selfsufficient workers will not have Christ with them. . . . {Lt53-1894.36}

9 . True faith and repose in God are always accompanied by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, whose temple we are. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; it is His representative. Here is the divine agency that carries conviction to hearts. When the power of His Spirit is revealed through the servants of God, we behold divinity flashing through humanity. When accompanied by the HolySpirit, the presentation of truth as it is in Jesus will be of more value than all the honor or glory of the world. – Letter 18, 1895 {13MR 313.3}

10. . . . In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influ– ence to give life to the world. {Lt96-1902.31}

11. God desires to refresh his people by the gift of the Holy Spirit, . . . the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God, and showing them to men. {RH, November 23,

1905 par. 25} see also {9T 40.2 1905}

12. . . . the power that God has promised to His church . . . He [the Lord] will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. . . . the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be “laborers together with God.” {AA 56.2 1911}

. . . the influence of the Holy Spirit . . . its fullness. . . . He [Christ] claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it upon His people. {AA 37.3 1911}

From the beginning, God has been working by His Holy Spirit through human instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose in behalf of the fallen race. . . . He wrought mightily for His church through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The same power that sustained the patriarchs, . . . It was through the power of the Holy Spirit . . . the same power that made successful the efforts of the noble men and women . . . {AA 53.1 1911}

V. Its Personality – the Comforter

John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

1 Peter 1:11 “. . . the Spirit of Christ which was in them . . .”

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, . . . the Spirit of God dwell in you. . . . if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

2 Corinthians 3:3, 17 “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ minis– tered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. . . . Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

1. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32). The Spirit of Christ made them one. This is the fruit of abiding in Christ. . . . – Letter 25b to Uriah Smith, 1892. {1888 1015.2}

. . . Shall we not let the Spirit of Christ take possession of our hearts, . . . When we allow our lives to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, . . . {RH, September 26, 1907}

The promise of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or to any race. Christ declared that the di- vine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. . . . {AA 49.2 1911}

So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit. {AA 49.1

1911}

At the end of the ten days the Lord fulfilled his promise by a wonderful outpouring of his Spirit. .

. . {RH, April 30, 1908 par. 5}

2. 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. . . . By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high. {DA 669.2 1898}

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy

Ghost . . . Christ breathed His Spirit upon them. . . . {DA 805.2 1898}

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul . . . . the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. . . . {DA 805.3 1898}

3. . . . 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, . . . {GC88 350.1 1888}

. . . Christ as our personal Saviour, . . . through the grace of his Holy Spirit, . . . clothes us with his righteousness; . . . the presence of the Unseen is with us, . . . {ST, October 3, 1892 par. 6}

The work of the holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and effi – ciency come to the worker for God; and the holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul. . . . – {RH, November 29, 1892 par. 3}

. . . As disciples they are to learn continually of Christ, . . . that the endowment of His Holy Spirit may compensate for the loss of His personal presence. This the Saviour sought to impress on the minds of His disciples. – Letter 296, Sept. 9, 1906, to O. A. Olse {UL 266.5}

4. It is not essential for you to know and be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, . . . [John 14:16, 17 quoted]. This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter. . . . Letter 7, 1891. {14MR 179.2}

5. . . . As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His won – drous love in giving Jesus the Comforter. {Ms34-1892.44}

6. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, . . . through His grace . . . the teaching and influence of the

Holy Spirit. . . . – Letter 11a, 1894 {14MR 84.3} VI. The Ministry of Angels

1. Three living persons [personalities]

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 . . . 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 – . . .

. . . under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, thousands were converted in a day. . . . through His angels as He [God] worked on the day of Pentecost, . . . in the descent of the Holy Spirit. {SpTB07 63.2-

4 1905}

The three great and glorious heavenly characters are present on the occasion of baptism. All the human capabilities are to be henceforth consecrated powers to do service for God in representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost upon whom they depend. All heaven is represented by these three . . . – {Ms 45, 1904, pp. 9, 10}

2. Building God’s Temple – Zechariah 4:1-7, 11-14

From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence HisSpiritisimparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. . . . the two anointed ones . . . communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace . . . “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. {COL 408.1 1900}

3. The angel’s command

Acts 5:19-20, 29 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. . . . Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

. . . The command given by the Holy Spirit, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life,” was obeyed by the apostles; . . . {TM 71.1 1896}

4. Heaven’s Ladder

John 1:51 “And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

After the plan of salvation had been devised, God, as we have seen, could still, through the min- istry of His Son and the holy angels, communicate with men across the gulf which sin had made. . . . {PP 21.1}

. . . The heavenly angels are waiting to unite with the human agent, that many souls may hear and be impressed by the Holy Spirit, and be converted. {RH, May 16, 1893 par. 11}

Here Christ virtually says, On the bank of the Jordan the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove upon Me. That scene was but a token that I am the Son of God. If you believe on Me as such, your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men. {DA 142.4 1898}

The angels of God are ever passing from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth. The miracles of Christ for the afflicted and suffering were wrought by the power of God through the ministra– tion of the angels. And it is through Christ, by the ministration of His heavenly messengers, . . . thus Christ is the medium of communication of men with God, and of God with men. {DA 143.1

1898}

Christ is waiting for us to ask him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. . . . You must take the words of Christ, . . . We are to draw from the inexhaustible source, . . . We are to receive the holy oil from the heavenly messengers, and impart it to our fellow men. {YI, November 30, 1899 par. 7}

God has manifested His love to men by making them partners with Himself in the work of salvation. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the Gospel. “We are labourers together with God,” called to represent Him as ambassadors of love. We are to coperate with the work of the delegates of heaven. And to us is committed a work which even the an– gels cannot do. Man must be the channel to communicate with man.

Through the ministration of angels God sends light to His people, and through His people the light is to be given to the world. Man is to be connected with his fellow-men, and as God’s instrumentality work in their behalf. {AUCR, June 1, 1900 par. 27-31}

5. Early Vision – Day Star, January 24, 1846 (Letter written, December 20, 1845)

. . . Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus, then he would look to his Father and appeared to be pleading with him. Then a light came from the Father to his Son and from him to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light

come from the Father to the Son and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. . . .

{DS, March 14, 1846 par. 1}

Through the ministration of angels God sends light to His people, and through His people this light is to be given to the world. The Holy Spirit will guide and instruct men and women . . .

{BEcho December 10, 1900, par. 12}

6. The Ethiopian Eunuch

Acts 8:26-29 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, . . . Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Angels of God were attending this seeker for light, and he was being drawn to the Saviour. By the ministration of the Holy Spirit the Lord brought him into touch with one who could lead him to the light. {AA 107.3 1911}

VII. Conclusion

I have received yours dated June 3. In this letter you speak in these words: “Elder Robinson does not wish me to leave, but urges that I enter the canvassing field until such time as the conference can afford to employ me in some other capacity, but states positively that I cannot be sent out to present the truth to others until some points held by me are changed or modified in order that the views regarded by us as a people should be properly set forth. He quotes as a sample, ‘My idea in reference to the Holy Ghost’s not being the Spirit of God, which is Christ, but the angel Gabriel, and my belief that the 144,000 will be Jews who will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. On all fundamental points I am in perfect harmony with our people; but when I try to show what seems to me to be new light on the truth, those in authority, none of whom have seemingly ever made a personal investigation of the matter, refuse to look into the Bible, but brand me as a fellow with queer ideas of the Bible.’”

My brother, you have asked me candidly for advice. Please read with attention John 17:17-27. I

quote verses 20 to 23:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

It is your privilege and your duty to seek for this oneness, this unity, and thus answer the prayer of Christ. . . . – Letter 7, 1891 {14MR 175.1-3}