The Third Person of the Godhead

In a letter that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg wrote to G. I Butler on Oct 28th 1903 concerning ‘The Living Temple’ he wrote.

“As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in the Living Temple, the whole thing may be Ellen Whitesimmered down to this question: is the Holy Ghost a person. You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun he is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun he and has said in as many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see”.

G.I Butler as well as many of our other pioneers including Ellen White had heavily rebuked Kellogg in regards to Kellogg’s understanding of who God was.  As we can clearly see from the above statement Dr. Kellogg was misunderstanding the use of the words “third person” by Ellen White.

The purpose of this writing is to show that exactly the same thing has happened today. Elder Butler as well as others were concerned about Mr. Kellogg’s understanding of who God was and his belief that the Holy Ghost was a separate being.  Ms.  White wrote Elder Butler and E.G Daniels who was also concerned on the matter in regards to the misunderstanding of the use of the word “ third person” as well as “godhead”.   Ms.  White wrote regarding Kellogg’s false view and misconception that the Holy Spirit was an actual separate being.

There are some, who upon accepting erroneous theories, strive to establish them by collecting from my writings statements of truth, which they use, separated from their proper connection and perverted by association with error. Letter 136, April 27, 1906, to Brethren Butler, Daniels, and Irwin. (Ellen White, 1906, This Day with God, page 126)

Ms. White never rebuked Butler, Uriah Smith, her husband James White, as well as the rest of the pioneers who were all strongly anti-trinitarian believers.  Clearly if she was Trinitarian she would not be fighting against it.

Many Adventists will say she never spoke out about false views about God.  This is what she said.  “I am instructed to speak plainly. ‘Meet it,’ is the word spoken to me. ‘Meet it firmly, and without delay.’ …In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 200)

Notice the angel told her to “MEET IT”.  In all her years married to someone who strongly opposed the trinity and studying with so many who were anti-trinitarian she never was told to “MEET IT”.  Most Adventists know that our pioneers are today labeled “Arian” because they did not believe that the Holy spirit was a third divine being.

“Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth.’ Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Many of the pioneers, including James White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and J. H. Waggoner, held to an Arian or semi-Arian view—that is, the Son at some point in time before the Creation of our world was generated by the Father.… the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it.” (Adventist Review, January 6, 1994, p. 10)

Ellen White spoke in 1904.  It is believed by some that she was Trinitarian at this point.  Amazingly, she speaks of a time 60 years earlier saying she had to speak about false views about God in this next statement.  This clearly indicates that she never changed her views about who God was.  I will also quote her husband after this quote to show the false views about God that her and her husband had to meet right around the time of 1844.

“After the passing of the time in 1844, we had fanaticism of every kind to meet.  Testimonies of reproof were given me to bear to some holding spiritualistic theories. There were those who were active in disseminating false ideas in regard to God. Light was given me that these men were making the truth of no effect by their false teachings. I was instructed that they were misleading souls by presenting speculative theories regarding God.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, pp. 292, 293} 1904

She say’s “we” had “spiritualistic” views about God to meet.  What are these “spiritualistic views” they met after 1844?

The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz., that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, though they have not one passage to support it,while we have plain scripture testimony in abundance that he is the Son of the eternal God.” {J. S. White, The Day Star,January 24, 1846}

Wow.  Do you see that?  Can you see the significance of that?  Do you see what the trinity is?  Spiritualism.  And this is the false doctrine she met in 1844 and also met again in Kellogg in the early 1900’s who had taken statements from her writings to form a false creed.  Now the questions remain.  How many beings partake of the counsels of the godhead.  Who is God?  Who is the son?  Who is the third person of the godhead?  What is the godhead?  Let’s take another statement from James White.

“Paul affirms of the Son of God that he was in the form of God, and that he was equalwith God. ‘Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’ Phil. 2:6. The reason why it is not robbery for the Son to be equal with the Father is the fact that he is equal… The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that ultra  Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, “Let us make man in our image”?” {J.S. White, Review & Herald,November 29, 1877}

Imagine that God would not have his prophet meet statements such as the above quote but yet when someone began to become a Trinitarian she was told to meet it.  The teaching of Kellogg she was told to meet.   And the entire matter in Kellogg’s eyes boiled down to his misunderstanding that her use of the words “third person” meant that God was “three beings in one.”

Had Kellogg recently become Trinitarian? This is exactly what was happening.  This is what the evil angels had caused him to become.  And this is what Ms. White was meeting.  A misunderstanding of her use of the word’s “third person” which we will clarify shortly.  A.G Daniels wrote to Willie White and said about Kellogg.

“He [J. H. Kellogg] then stated that his former views regarding the trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement; but that within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily. He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing. He said that if he had believed this before writing the book, he could have expressed his views without giving the wrong impression the book now gives.” (Letter by A. G. Daniells to W. C. White on October 29, 1903)

Mr. Daniels went on to tell Willie White that he had explained to Kellogg that “his views were so contrary to the gospel”.  They were contrary to the fact that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son”[John 3:16].   Ellen White went onto rebuke Kellogg and we will examine further statements from Ms.  White in which she addressed Kellogg with including “third person” and “heavenly trio”  which Adventists today have completely ripped from their original context.  Most have no idea that many of these statements were used in rebuke to Kellogg and his belief in a holy spirit being.

Willie White could not believe how his mother’s statements were taken to believe that she believed that the holy spirit was a third being like the father and the son.

This was written in 1935.  And you will see that this next statement is clearly anti-trinitarian.  You would think that Willie would have some conception of what his mother believed.  And that is what we will shortly examine.

Here is a rundown of the conversation between H. W. Carr and Willie White about how the trinity was being urged due to certain statements about “third person” in Ms. Whites writings.  H. W. Carr said:

“It is urged by some of our leaders now that The Holy Spirit is a third person of the same nature of the Father and Son, a member of the heavenly trio, cooperative in creation and personally active with the Father and Son. For many years I have used these statements of Sr. White [statements previously quoted in his letter] in combating false teachings relative to defining the Holy Spirit.” (Letter by H. W. Carr to Willie White, January 24, 1935)

Willie answered him:

“In your letter you request me to tell you what I understand to be my mother’s position in reference to the personality of the Holy Spirit.” “This I cannot do because I never clearly understood her teachings on the matter. There always was in my mind some perplexity regarding the meaning of her utterances which to my superficial manner of thinking seemed to be somewhat confusing….

The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit was anindividual 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, (the Holy Spirit) 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 by Willie White, April 30, 1935)

Ellen White’s own son claimed he did not understand her statements to be teaching or to mean that the Holy Spirit was a distinct individual as are the Father and His Son.  Clearly anti-trinitarian.

Here is what Ms. White said in direct rebuke to Kellogg and please note this testimony which I will quote from several times.  So that we can distinguish what she meant in regards to the word “person” and that as Willie had come to understand and as she will make clear can also mean “personality without bodily form”.   Such as the bible teaches.  “The body without the spirit is dead”[James 2:26].  The spirit is normally referred to as the characteristics, such as the “mind of Christ”, the will, the actions, the temperament.  The spirit of God and the spirit of Christ. [Romans 8:9].  A living soul needs both the spirit and the body.  A body without the spirit is not a living soul.  [Gen 2:7].   This is a very important concept and those who teach differently are teaching “spiritualism” as Ellen White and James White called the “three in one trinity or godhead”.

I quoted James White earlier saying “the Trinity is spiritualistic, is also a heresy brought in privily denying the only Lord God”.  And I showed that those spiritualistic theories were met by them shortly after 1844.  James White called this a spiritualistic theory in 1846, and Ellen White said this was still truth in 1904.  So we can know in this next quote that she quotes from John that this quote about “antichrist” is referring again to the “three in one God” of the trinity.

Modern spiritualism, resting upon the same foundation, is but a revival in a new form of the witchcraft and demon worship that God condemned and prohibited of old.… Peter, describing the dangers to which the church was to be exposed in the last days, says that as there were false prophets who led Israel into sin, so there will be false teachers, “who privily shallbring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.… And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2. Here the apostle has pointed out one of the marked characteristics of spiritualist teachers. They refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God. Concerning such teachers the beloved John declares: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:22, 23. Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Biblepronounces it the manifestation of antichrist.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 686]

The trinity denies that Christ is the literal son.  It says that Christ role-played or pretended to be the son.  But he was a co-eternal being.  This is making God a liar.

1Jn 5:10  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Let me quote the Trinitarians to show that they make God a a liar by promoting “role playing” and “acting”.   And denying “the love of God that he gave his only begotten son”[1 John 4:9].  Here is one statement of many.

“In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit,… By accepting the roles that the plan entailed, the divine Beings lost none of the powers of Deity…. The divine Beings entered into the roles they had agreed upon before the foundations of the world were laid.” (The Week of Prayer issue of theAdventist Review, October 31, 1996)

Did you get that?  They all pretended.  That is making God a liar.  Believing not the record that God gave his son.  It denies the love of God.  It is saying God didn’t really give his literal son.  But one who pretended to be a son.  While he pretended to give his son, however didn’t really give anything.  It makes God look terrible.  As Ellen White said to Kellogg.  Ellen White used the word “person” and “personality” interchangeably.  And I will attach a document that shows that when she was talking to Kellogg in regards to her use of the word “third person” it can be seen in her original penmanship she actually used the words “third personality”.  This will be attached.  Here is what she said in regards to Kellogg’s understanding of this matter on the “personality” of God.  Speaking to Kellogg she said.

“You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” Letter 300 1903.

Also please be sure to distinguish between “God” and “godhead”.  Godhead is a characteristic of the father and the son.  It is not an office of 3 individuals.  The Title “God” is an actual title that refers to the father alone.  And the son entered the father’s counsels and in this way came as the eternal God[emmanuel][John 1:1]  I will verify this in the following statements.

James white said the same thing about the personality of God.

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ,”{J. S. White, Review & Herald, December 11, 1855}

Again speaking in reference to Kellogg she said.

“God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 268, March 1904)

This again is taken from Testimonies vol. 8 in reference to Kellogg.  This is clearly a non-Trinitarian statement coming from the pen of Ellen White.  Notice how Christ gained his position.  It was “Given to him”.  Who is God?  The father.  Who is Christ? God’s son.   I will analyze this statement further in a few minutes as this statement above is used in the same article that she rebukes Kellogg and mentions “the third person of the Godhead” and her misused quote of “heavenly trio”.  She was trying to clarify these statements.  And reading the above statement in regard to who God is she was very forward.  And all of the counsels were opened to him.  Christ was God.  Make no mistake.  However, how he was God is the question.  It is a hard saying for some to understand and many just give up.  Because he is not the literal, only, eternal God.  This next statement should explain it.

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence. His word was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host.” (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, January 9, 1879; also in Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pages 18, 19)

So Christ came in his father’s name.  Christ said “if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the father”[John 14:9]  But yet “no man has seen God at any time”[John 1:18].  A seeming paradox.  But yet can be clearly understood when we understand Christ is not the literal, eternal God, but his father is, and that Christ came on behalf of God that where Christ was it was as though his father God were present with us.  The quote above also tells us who the great creator is?  The father.  And his son was the one “by whom all things were created”[Col 1:16].  There are many points here, that clearly show anti-trinitarian teaching, however the subject of this article is the use of the words “third person of the godhead”.   Godhead was clearly a different word than the title God.  It is used 3 times in scriptures.   It in scriptures refers to the son of God  and says in him the fullness of the godhead dwelt bodily. [Col 2:9].

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now reading this quote and knowing that the fullness of God dwells in us.  Does that make us literally God??  No.  Obviously not.  And this verse actually uses God’s title rather than just the characteristic of God “his godhead”.  This word can mean his “divinity”.   So to understand it, “the fullness of divinity dwelt in him bodily”.  Was it literally God in him?   Or was God the father in him by God’s spirit?  A careful analysis will bring you to the proper conclusion of what “the godhead” is.  Similar words are used by Peter here in reference to his divinity.  However it refers to us again.

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

So we can see that all things that pertain to godliness that we are partakers of the divity of God.  Filled with the fullness of God bodily.  Same concept.  Is that saying we are God??  No.   Clearly not.

Now we will go back to an examination of her writing’s to Kellogg.

“In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. [1 SM 200.1}

In reference to Kellogg she wrote that this was a deadly heresy as mentioned by her and James White earlier.  She called Kellogg’s heresy “the alpha of deadly heresies” and said the “omega” would soon follow.  Now the people who receive it are those who do not heed the warnings.

Many don’t have no clue about the history of our church.  And they are receiving it.  So many have the idea that Ms. White began to believe in a trinity.  This view she rebukes here.

“I understood that some were anxious to know if Mrs. White still held the same views that she did years ago when they had heard her speak in the sanitarium grove, in the Tabernacle, and at the camp meetings held in the suburbs of Battle Creek. I assured them that the message she bears today is the same that she has borne during the sixty years of her public ministry. She has the same service to do for the Master that was laid upon her in her girlhood. She receives lessons from the same Instructor. The directions given her are, ‘Make  known to others what I have revealed to you. Write out the messages that I give you, that the people may have them’. This is what she has endeavored to do.” 1 Selected Messages p35. 1906.

Same God was with her in 1906 as was in 1846.  Same message.  So the false assumption that she became Trinitarian is quickly rebuked.  Some believe that this took place around the time of “Desire of Ages” in 1896.  In 1898 she said.

“The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, July 7, 1898)

She only knew of 2 beings that were to be exalted.  She knew nothing of a “third being”.

“In order that the human family might have no excuse because of temptation, Christ became one with them. The only beingwho was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter’s bench with his earthly parent.” (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, October 14, 1897 par. 3)

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.… When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 34)

These quotes are clear in regards to the son being the only being who could enter the counsels of his “father who is the only true God”[John 17:3-5] It also talks about when Christ was setup or brought forth[begotten].  [Pro 8:22-30].  If the Holy Spirit was a third divine being of a three person God.  Then we have to wonder why he was left out.

Back to Testimonies vol. 8 and Kellogg she says.  Please note her use of the words “person” as she quotes [Heb 1:1-5] and it’s interchangeability with the word “personality”.  And also note who is “God” in all of this.
The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?” Hebrews 1:1-5.

God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.  Jesus said to the Jews: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. . . . The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth.” John 5:17-20. 
Here again is brought to view the personality of the Father and the Son, showing the unity that exists between them.  This unity is expressed also in the seventeenth chapter of John, in the prayer of Christ for His disciples:

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.” John 17:20-23.
Wonderful statement! The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one. [Ellen White 8 Testimonies Page 268-269]

Plenty is contained in that statement.  She touches on how the “father and son are one”.  They are not one like Trinitarians believe she says.  They are one as in how the disciples should be one even as he and his father are one.  God and Christ are 2 distinct individuals.    Watch as she goes on clearly leaving out the Holy Spirit as a being.

Even the angels were not permitted to share the counsels between the Father and the Son when the plan of salvation was laid. Those human beings who seek to intrude into the secrets of the Most High show their ignorance of spiritual and eternal things. Far better might they, while mercy’s voice is still heard, humble themselves in the dust and plead with God to teach them His ways. {8T 279.2}

Are you clear on who God is and who his son is?  Or do you still have the same misconception of her use of the word “person” as John Harvey Kellogg had in the original statement this article begins with?


Heavenly Trio

Now, this statement is a very misused statement again.  And also another one she was using in reference to John Harvey Kellogg and his book “The Living Temple”.  I would like to read the statements leading up to it and show how she was trying to explain to Kellogg her use of the word “third person” in Desire of ages.  This quote and a couple are others have been taken from there original context to make her say she was Trinitarian.
Now I refer you back to Mr. Kellogg first before we continue in this testimony.  This testimony is called Special Testimonies Volume B07.  The context of the quote can be seen here.

Heavenly Trio Quote in it’s Context – This is not teaching a Trinity


Now remember Kellogg’s misunderstanding of the use of the word “person”.  Then we will read Ellen Whites reply.

John Harvey Kellogg wrote to G. I Butler on Oct 28th 1903 concerning ‘The Living Temple’ he wrote.

“As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in the Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to this question: is the Holy Ghost a person. You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun he is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun he and has said in as many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see”.

He couldn’t see his mistake like many today.  But he knew it simmered down to his belief on whether the Holy Ghost was a third being.   So here Ms. White again explains.

“I have not been able to sleep during the past night. Letters have come to me with statements made by men who claimed to have asked Dr. Kellogg if he believes the testimonies that Sister White bears. He declares that he does, but he does not. He sent a sensible letter to me while I was at Melrose, Mass., saying, “I have surrendered,” But he has not spoken or acted as a man who has surrendered. He has felt bitterness of soul against the Lord’s appointed agencies who have occupied the position of president of the General Conference. He has hated them. Has he surrendered that gall of bitterness? The Lord will not accept anything that he affirms which is false.” [SpTB07 Page 61]

The former General Conference President here was likely G.I Butler.  The one which Kellogg was referring to in the above statement in regard to the correction that the Holy Ghost was not a person like Kellogg believed it to be.  So we can see Ms. White was in harmony with G.I. Butler.

Let’s continue this testimony from Ms.  White.  She goes on to quote from Kellogg’s book a few statements in regards to his understanding of who God is.

“I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: “The Father is as the light invisible; the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad.” “The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life.” Another representation: “The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.” All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God can not be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father can not be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.” {SpTB07 62}

She goes on to say much more.  Notice above she talks about the father only as God.  Now here is where we see who “God” is clearly.

“The Son is all the fulness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be “the express image of His person.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here is shown the personality of the Father.” [SpTB07 63.1}

The express image of his “person”.  Then she says God gave his son.  She refers fully to God as the father.  And she say’s “this is the personality of the father”.    The keywords “person” and “personality”.   And also “God” and “Godhead”.  God is none other than the father.  God is never referred to in reference to “third person”.  However she does go on to say.  And this is where some are confused.   Be sure you are clear on her use of the word “person” as she just used it in the previous paragraph and also Kelloggs misuse of the word “person” and why he is being rebuked before reading this next statement.

“The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. 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. . . .”{SpTB07 63.2}

So there we see a trio of power.  We know that we have God the father, Christ the son of God, and the Holy Spirit which is manifested in the person of his saints.   I will go into this and her use of the word “person” with reference to the “spirit”.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Christ declares: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Christ is invested with power to give life to all creatures. “As the living Father hath sent me,” He says, “and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:57, 63). Christ is not here referring to His doctrinebut to His person, the divinity of His character. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” He says again, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:25-27). {1SM 249.3}

Ok.  So you can see that the Jesus is referring to “the spirit” which is his Christ’s “person”.  He is referring to himself in the “third person”.  I want to continue this a little further and hopefully this will really be brought home to you.  So you can see her use of the word “person” there.  It is a characteristic.

Please take your time with these statements as they will really bring home the understanding.  I want to quote something and show who it is in reference to Christ referring to “himself” in the third person as the “comforter”.  But yet in another manifestation and show that Ms. White new that this “comforter” was Christ himself and how the disciples had a hard time fathoming this.  These are hard sayings so we must consider them carefully.  Then afterwards I will expose her understanding plainly.

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
Joh 14:17  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.

In this statement you can see that the “comforter” was dwelling with them.  The comforter also would soon be in them.  However Jesus said in John 16:7 almost 2 chapters later that the comforter had not yet been sent to them.  So who was dwelling with them??  It was Christ himself.  And this is plainly revealed in the very next verse.

Joh 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

So he is the comforter.  Ellen White elaborates on this passage of scriptures a little bit. Let me quote her.

“That Christ should manifest Himself to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. They were thinking of the outward, visible manifestation. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and yet He [Christ]be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation.” {SW, September 13, 1898 par. 2}

We can see that the third person of the Godhead is the divinity of his character.  And it would be manifest in his disciples.  John called it the “spirit of truth”.

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

We can see here again that “every spirit” that is of God is that “spirit of truth”.  So now we can understand John 16:13  much more clearly with this understanding.

Joh 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.

So the “he” here can refer to “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” including “you” or “me”.   Isn’t it amazing when the word and the quotes are rightly divided.  This is what Ms. White say’s to further this concept.

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himselfdivested of the personality of humanity and independent thereofHe would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, pages 23, 24; written February 18 and 19, 1895)

So now we see it is “Christ in us” in “another” manifestation to his people, by his people.  Therefore Christ works through us as well as through his word, through his angels or through whoever has that “holy spirit”.  Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  And a Holy spirit will understand with investigation and a willingness to hear God’s word they will see the truth on the “third person of the Godhead”.

Let’s close this article with some clarity now as to who our comforter is.  And at the end I will ask you the question.  Who is your comforter?

“When Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt. 28:20.” {DA 166.2}

Christ is with us Amen.  He represents himself.  The Holy spirit is himself.  Not by a being, but by his character, his will, his actions, his life in us.

“It is the indwelling of Christ in the soul, the development of his spirit in the life. The Christian experience is a constant effort to conform the human will to the will of Christ, and to form the character according to the divine model.” {RH, January 24, 1882 par. 3}

“..the holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul.” {RH, November 29, 1892 par. 3}

The spirit is clearly not someone else in us.

“The Lord knows all about His faithful servants who for His sake are lying in prison or who are banished to lonely islands. He comforts them with His own presence” {DA 669.3}

Praise God we can know our comforter.  He is the one who came in this flesh, and the one who can comfort us in our infirmities.

“…and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving Jesus the comforter.”{19MR 297.3}

“The Saviour is our Comforter. This I have proved Him to be.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, page 49}

“The nights are long and painful, but Jesus is my Comforterand my Hope.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, page 296)

“Christ is everything to those who receive Him. He is their Comforter, their safety, their healthfulness. Apart from Christ there is no light at all.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, page 372)

“There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart.… The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul.” (Ellen White, Review & Herald, October 26, 1897)

Amen.  Who is your comforter now is the question?  If you don’t know him you may not receive his power to have the victory that overcometh the world.  Many ask for the spirit but they don’t receive.  They ask amiss.   They ask for something that they don’t understand.  They ask for God to force them into obedience rather than for understanding of the Holy spirit and it’s power to overcome all hereditary tendencies.  They ask for an unholy spirit if this is what they think of God.  That he would ever take away our free will.  A misconception of who God is leads to a lack of love in the heart, and in turn no power of the Holy spirit to overcome sin.

“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.” (Ellen White, Review & Herald, August 26, 1890, also in Reflecting Christ, page 21)

Heavenly Trio Context

Ellen White on the Trinity

Pioneers on the Trinity

Truth About God

The term “Godhead” in the SOP

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