The Testimony of the Holy Spirit

Posted May 22, 2011 by Russell Unterschultz in The Spirit of God Hits: 13,436

Many Seventh Day Adventists are aware today that there is a crisis within the church concerning the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some persons say that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Being like the Father and His only begotten Son while others contend that the Holy Spirit is not a Divine Being at all. Does the Holy Spirit have anything to say on this matter? Let us turn to the Bible to find


The Testimony of the Holy Spirit

 

Fountain


Reading first from the book of Ephesians, we find that there is one Spirit:


There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6


There is one Spirit. Plain enough. Is then the Holy Spirit an individual member of a committee of three Gods? By asking another question we can come closer to an answer of the previous one: Where does the Holy Spirit come from? Turning to the gospel of John we find the origin of the Holy Spirit:


For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. John 3:34-35


We notice from this text that the Spirit was given to Jesus by His Father and that without measure. The Holy Spirit comes from God the Father. The origin of The Holy Spirit is also confirmed from the following scripture:


But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26


There are persons who say that the Father sends forth a third Divine Being when He gives the Holy Spirit. But notice carefully from this passage that The Spirit proceeds from (issues forth) from God the Father showing that the Father sends that which belongs to Himself. Thus, the Father is not sending someone else. That is, He is not sending a third Divine Being. This truth is recognized and confirmed from the Spirit of Prophecy:


The Father gave His Spirit
without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness. Jesus says, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:13. {GC 477}


God the Father gave His Holy Spirit without measure to His Son. The Holy Spirit is also given to Christ’s disciples. We can see this truth clearly from the experience of the apostle Paul:


… Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 9:17


And we saw earlier from John 3:34-35 that God also gave His Spirit to Jesus without measure. From these two Bible verses, we see that both the Son of God and Paul the apostle were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is also known as the Spirit of truth. And here we ask this question to which we will let the Holy Spirit answer: What was the testimony of the Spirit of truth that moved the Son of God to speak and Paul the apostle to write concerning God the Father?


Let us hear the testimony of Jesus first:


And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3


And of Paul:


But to us there is but one God, the Father
, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 1Corinthians 8:6


Now let everyone think carefully who believes that the Holy Spirit is a third co-equal and co-eternal God with the Father and His Son. What is the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of truth doing here confessing in Christ and through Paul that there is but one God, the Father - the only true God if the Holy Spirit is a co-equal and co-eternal Divine Being Himself along with the Father and His Son? Instead, the Holy Spirit acknowledges that there is but one God, the Father - the only true God. This is certainly conclusive Bible testimony from the Holy Spirit itself that it is not a third God. If the Holy Spirit was a third co-equal Divine Being (as some persons affirm), then we should rightly expect that his testimony (I speak as a tritheist) in these last two scriptures should have been something like the following:


And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, and me, the Holy Spirit, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3


But to us there are three Gods: is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, and one Holy Spirit. 1Corinthians 8:6


If the Holy Spirit was a third Divine Being, how could he deny himself as such while being also at the same time the Spirit of truth? In other words, how could the Holy Spirit testify that there is but one God, the Father if he was a co-equal and co-eternal Divine Being himself? What then is the true identity of the Holy Spirit? Let us first turn to the epistle of 2Corinthians to find out:

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

First note that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. Which God was in Christ?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John14:10

Here we find that it was God the Father that was in Christ. How did the Father, a personal Being who sits on the throne of His universe, dwell in His Son who was then on the earth?

Answer: For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Matthew 10:20

The same way that the Father dwelt in Jesus is the same way that He dwells in those who receive and believe in Him. It is by His Holy Spirit, His personal presence that the Father dwells in His creatures. This grand truth was revealed earlier from Ephesians 4:6 and is also understood and confirmed from the Spirit of Prophecy:

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

Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God's children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. {RC 73.5}

In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world. {7T 273}

In conclusion, the identity of the Holy Spirit has been made plain from the testimony of the Holy Spirit itself. The Father’s very life and presence is made manifest when He sends His Holy Spirit. That is why the Holy Spirit testified in Christ and in Paul that there is only one God, the only true God – the Father. The Holy Spirit sent forth from the Father could not testify otherwise because the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the Father Himself in Spirit.

The greatness of God is to us incomprehensible. "The Lord's throne is in heaven" (Psalm 11:4); yet by His Spirit He is everywhere present. He has an intimate knowledge of, and a personal interest in, all the works of His hand. {Ed 132}

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}

A note in closing here that the Holy Spirit is also the manifestation of Jesus Himself in Spirit but this is not the study to expound this truth.