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The third person of the Godhead

Posted Dec 24, 2012 by Dejan Andov in General
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                              The third person of the Godhead

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1: 1

We all agree that the Word in this verse is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God before coming on this planet.

About this Word we read in John 1, 14:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

So the Son of God or the Word came on this planet in a human body, He lived here for 33 years and He elevated to heavens in a human body before the Father where He minister in our favor.

A little time before going to heavens and leaving the apostles, He said a prayer that we have written in John 17. In this prayer, among others, He said the following:

"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" John 17: 5

So, in this prayer Jesus asked His Father for something He called “glory”, which He had already had from the Father, before the world had been made.

       We have two questions:

1.                  What is this glory for which Jesus prayed?

2.                  Why did He ask this glory from His Father?

We have the answer to these two questions in the following quote by Sister White:

"Jesus is waiting to breathe upon all his disciples, and give them the inspiration of his sanctifying spirit, and transfuse the vital influence from himself to his people. He would have them understand that henceforth they cannot serve two masters. Their lives cannot be divided. Christ is to live in his human agents, and work through their faculties, and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to his will, they must act with his spirit, that it may be no more they that live, but Christ that liveth in them. Jesus is seeking to impress upon them the thought that in giving his Holy Spirit he is giving to them the glory which the Father has given him, that he and his people may be one in God." (ST, October 3, 1892)


1.                  The glory Jesus had asked for was the Holy Spirit

2.                  The reason why He asked for it was that He could live in His human followers.

From here it is clear that Jesus prayed to His Father that His omnipresence, which He temporarily left in the moment when the Word was made flesh and had been begotten as a human being in Bethlehem, would be given back to Him . For 33 years the Word was limited to the human body without being able to be present in multiple places at the same time. But now, knowing that soon He would have to go to the heavens in His body, He is worried for His Church. The Church shouldn’t remain without Him and that is the reason why He asks His Father to give Him back His omnipresence or His Holy Spirit through which He would be able to live in His followers while He, in flesh, serves in the sanctuary. 

The next question is: when did Jesus receive back His omnipresence and what was its result?

Again, we have the answer in the Spirit of Prophesy:

"Christ's ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing.  For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven's communication that the Redeemer's inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.  {AA 38}

So, the Pentecost was the day the Lord Jesus was glorified or in other words He received the glory He shared with His Father from the beginning. He received back His omnipresence through which He could now live in His followers. What happened when He was glorified? The Holy Spirit was poured on His Church.

Now, all the events in Jesus’ life were foreshadowed by different ceremonies in the Old Testament. The day of the Pentecost was the day when Jesus had been enthroned as a High Priest of God’s people. In the Old Testament, when the high priest was set on his ministry there was a special ceremony of which we read in Exodus 29, 5-7

"And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod: And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him"

So, on the enthronement day the high priest was anointed with oil on his head. The oil in the Scripture represents the Holy Spirit. Now, this oil, which was poured on the head of the high priest didn’t stay on his head, but flowed on his entire body, which means that the anointment wasn’t made with a few drops, but with a greater quantity of oil. We read about this in Psalms 133, 2

"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments" Psalm 133: 2

That wasn’t but an illustration of the great event of the enthronement and anointment of our High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary on the day of the Pentecost. When the Lord Jesus was anointed with the real oil, the Holy Spirit, it came down from Him, He being the Head, on His body which is His Church. The result was the early rain.

This moment of Jesus’ anointment as a High Priest is described in 1Corinthians 15,45 with the following words:

"...the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

The last Adam of which Paul speaks in this verse is the Word from John 1, 1, who, like we read in John 1, 14, was made flesh, but now, on the Pentecost day, the same word was made a quickening or life giving spirit. Be careful, it is the same person, the One we know as the Word.


-                      The word in Bethlehem was made flesh (John 1, 14)

-                      The Word on the day of Pentecost was made a life giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15: 45)


Put in another way, the Word on the day of the Pentecost was made the third person of the Godhead or the third manner through which the Father discovered Himself to the mankind. The third person of the Godhead is the Word of God made life giving spirit which brings life to all those who believe in the Lord Jesus as a personal Savior.

That this conclusion is correct let us read in “The Desire of Ages”, the famous quote where the Holy Spirit is called “the third person of the Godhead.”

 "Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power." (DA 671)

Frequently this quote is used as an argument that the Holy Spirit is another person separate from the Lord Jesus, but if we read the whole context we will see that it isn’t the case. Only a few rows after this quote sister White says:

"Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church."  {DA 671}

So, it’s about the Spirit of Christ and not another person separate from Him. Now, if we read carefully the Spirit of Prophesy we will see that these references to the Holy Spirit being “the third person” are all in the context of sin and the victory against it. In other words, there is a single power which can defeat the sin in us. Let’s see which this power is. In “Steps to Christ” we read:

"There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness." (SC 18)

"Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts." (SC 26)

Notice who this single power which can defeat the sin in our heart is. It’s Jesus Christ. Only He can implant in our heart enmity against sin. Only He can give us a new life which He Himself has prepared for us during His life in a human body and which He gives us after He was made the third person of the Godhead or a life giving spirit through which He can live in His followers.

Let’s read other quotes which will confirm this truth:

"All professions of Christianity are but lifeless expressions of faith until Jesus imbues the believer with his spiritual life, which is the Holy Ghost. The evangelist is not prepared to teach the truth, and to be the representative of Christ, till he has received this heavenly gift." (3SP 242)

"Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without." (MH 130)

"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 doctrine, but to His person, the divinity of His character." (1SM 249)

Finally, here is a quote where sister White counts the three personalities of the Godhead or the Heavenly trio. Notice who the third person according to her understanding is. It’s the Spirit of Christ.

"They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit--the Spirit of Christ--is to bring unity into their ranks." (9T 189)