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Who is the Holy Spirit

By David Clayton

The path of truth and error lies close together, but they do not overlap. In this article it may seem that I have stepped close to the line, but I have been careful to go no further than the Bible and the Testimonies have gone. Please read carefully and you will see that God has truly given us a privilege which is unspeakably great.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

I should like to answer this question directly by describing in my own words my concept of the Holy Spirit, based on the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings. I realize that this is not the recommended way of proving a doctrine. However, I am not seeking at first to prove what I believe; only to make sure that my ideas are properly understood. This is why I am using this approach. Afterwards I will give the inspired basis for my conclusions.

I believe that God is Omnipotent. This means that He has all power. Without limitations. There is nothing that He cannot do. There is nothing too hard for Him to accomplish.


I believe that God is Omnipresent. This means that He is at this moment, and at all moments, literally and personally present everywhere in the universe. I believe this is true without qualification. He Himself, personally is here with me in this room as I write, while at the same moment He is trillions of light years away in space, in His throne room in heaven.

How can God be here with me, while He is at the same time in heaven? How can He be said to, "fill heaven and earth?" (Jer. 23:24). Does it mean that His head is in heaven while His feet are on earth? Obviously not. What we need to understand is that the form of the Person which sits on the throne in heaven is not all there is of God. This is just the form in which God reveals Himself to angels and to men. The wise man Solomon stated:

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (1 Ki 8:27)

If the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, then evidently, the part of God which is contained in heaven is not all there is of God. God Himself is actually the great conscious, living, presence which fills the entire universe.

I realize that in these days of spiritualism and new age concepts of God, I need to be very careful about how I describe God. However, I believe that I am carefully steering within the boundaries of "the things which are revealed." (Deut.29:29)

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28)

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph. 4:6)

A friend of mine advised me, "be careful how you phrase this when you put it in print. Folk may accuse you of teaching pantheism." This is a caution which I am anxious to heed. However, I believe that while the difference between pantheism and the truth is as wide as the space between east and west, yet the terminology of both is sometimes uncomfortably similar. It is often this way with truth and error. This is one reason why, when Kellogg began teaching pantheism at the turn of the century, many persons, including himself, believed that he was teaching the same thing as Sister White.

There was a point, before time began, when God was all alone in the universe. Before planets, stars, systems, galaxies or angels were created, before He brought forth His Son, God existed, all alone. What was the universe like at that time? I suppose it was an infinite nothingness. Or was it nothingness? The apostle Paul described the church as being the body of Christ, "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." (Eph. 1:23) God Himself declares that He "fills heaven and earth." (Jer. 23:24) Solomon declared that "heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee…" (1 Kings 8:27)

What do these statements mean? My conclusion, as I read these statements is that God is a Being who literally fills the entire universe. He always has and always will. It is in Him that "we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28). Please notice that I am not speaking of some "universal intelligence," or "collective consciousness," I am not speaking of an ethereal essence or an unfeeling, impassive presence. I am speaking of a personal, warm, loving Being who is as much a person as I am a person, but whose powers and abilities are infinitely greater than mine. One of these abilities is the capability of being literally in all places at the same time.

Who will dare to say that this is not possible for God? Who will even suggest that this is not the plain teaching of the Bible?

Some have suggested: "God is everywhere, yes, but it is by means of His angelic messengers." Others have stated, "yes, He is everywhere, but it is by means of another divine being called ‘The Holy Spirit." Still others say, "yes, He is everywhere, but it is only His POWER which is omnipresent. He Himself is limited to His throne in heaven." (!!) All of these ideas limit the power of God, and deny the Scriptures.

In John chapter four when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, she asked Him a question which was very important to her but which showed that she was as ignorant of the nature of God as many people today are:

Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (John 4:20)

Her implied question was, "where is the true place of worship?" or, to rephrase it, "where should we go to find God?" Jesus' answer was that henceforth, men would no longer worship in either Jerusalem or that Samaritan mountain. Why? Because "God is spirit …" (John 4:24). What does that have to do with anything? Well, when we recognize that God is spirit, then we will realize that He cannot be limited to one place. Not to Jerusalem, not to that mountain, not to Jacob's anointed stone at Bethel, not to Moses' burning bush. Wherever we are, God is there (Ps. 139:7,8), therefore we worship Him anywhere and everywhere. This is what is meant by spiritual worship.

WHO AM I?

Let me ask an important question: Is my body an integral and essential part of my identity? Please consider this question carefully. Man was made in the image of God and I would like us to see that according to the Scriptures, we humans consist of both body and spirit. (See Ecc. 12:7; Eccl. 3:21; James 2:26; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Cor. 2:11; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59) However, while we may, and will one day change bodies, we will never change spirits!!

Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. There is no law of God in nature which shows that God gives back the same identical particles of matter which composed the body before death. God shall give the righteous dead a body that will please Him. (Maranatha-PG- 301)

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption

Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Cor 15:50-53)

What this tells me is that the real me is my spirit. My body is just basically the house in which I live. Granted, the spirit cannot exist in a conscious state while separated from the body except God performs a miracle (2 Cor 12:2). However, all that makes me, ME, my memories, my thoughts, my being, are contained in my spirit. In other words, my spirit is my identity.

This is also true with God. God's true state is a spirit who has the capability of being in all places at the same time. Though He has revealed Himself to His creation in a bodily form, sitting on a throne in one specific location in the universe, we should not think that this is all there is of God. "The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee …" is what Solomon stated. Yet the heavens do contain His bodily form. This bodily form is confined to one location, sitting on a throne in the judgement hall of the heavenly sanctuary. Yet at the same time, in one free, effortless act, God is everywhere else in the universe. In His real identity, which is His Spirit, He is in all places, invisible, but very real and very present.

"The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings, all waiting to do His will. Through these messengers He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. By His Spirit He is everywhere present. Through the agency of His Spirit and His angels He ministers to the children of men." (MH - 417)

The Bible describes our relationship with God and His Son as being real fellowship. (1 John 1:3). This could not be a reality if we were dealing with an agent – a third person, or if we only interacting with the power of god. Fellowship requires personality, real presence, mind interacting with mind on a personal level.

THREE PERSONALITIES

Ellen White once wrote that there were three living persons in the godhead. Then, in her own handwriting, she struck out the letter ‘s' at the end of the word ‘persons', and inserted ‘alities' changing the word from ‘persons' to ‘personalities'. What is a personality, as opposed to a person? A personality is a manifestation of a person. A personality is a way in which a person expresses or reveals himself. This is why one person may be said to have a split personality.

Jesus is one manifestation of divinity. He is one person and also one personality of the godhead. God, on the other hand, manifests Himself in two ways. He has two personalities. He reveals Himself on two levels. Firstly, He is a visible, tangible, bodily Being, sitting on a throne in a specific location in the universe. On the other hand He is also an invisible, intangible, omnipresent Being who fills all infinity. One great Being, but two ways of manifesting Himself, so, two personalities.

WHOSE HOLY SPIRIT? Inspiration is clear that the Holy Spirit is the spirit, the life, the person of God, and as we are told in Eph. 4:4-6, there is only one Spirit. How is it then, that the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the ‘spirit of Christ?' (Rom.8:9)

God has a quality which is vital to the plan of salvation. This quality is the ability to unite Himself with the spirit of another person.

But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (1 Cor 6:17)

Please read the following quotes very carefully and it will become clear how God's spirit is also Christ's spirit:

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Col 2:9)

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (Col 1:19)

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self …. (John 17:5)

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one …. (John 17:23)

When you or I go out and teach the truth to someone and he is won to the truth, do you say, "I won the soul," or do you say, "God won the soul?" Of course we say, "God won the soul," don't we? Why do we say this? Because we recognize that although our voice was heard, our mouth spoke, our hands turned the pages of the Bible, yet it was God who was doing the work through us. God did it, but He did it through us. In the same way, Jesus created all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:16), but it was really God in Him that did it (Eph. 3:9). Therefore God is really the One who created all things (Rev. 4:11). He is the source of all power and all being.

All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings; through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life. (DA-21)

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev 5:6)

We see then that it is the spirit, the power, the life of God, but working through Christ, uniting with His spirit, which comes to us as both the spirit of God and of Christ. Then when that same Spirit indwells me and works through me it is the work of God, Jesus and myself. All three spirits united in one. "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one …. (John 17:23)"

When this truth is properly understood and appreciated it will make a great change in the religious experience of those who receive it. The apostles were filled with the wonder of the truth that God Himself had literally come to live within men. They strove to make their hearers understand the wonder of it all. They knew that no one could really understand what God had done through His Son, by His spirit without being filled with joy and being filled with the motivation and the power to overcome all sin.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19)

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Rev 5:13)

Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Website: www.restorationministry.com

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