Personality of the Holy Spirit
“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” - Manuscript 66. 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School); Evangelism p. 616
This quotation is the most important ‘clincher’ statement used by Trinitarians that the Holy Spirit is a co-eternal, co-equal Being in a triune Godhead. It is supposed to prove beyond doubt that the Holy Spirit is a person with legs, and able to walk through the grounds of Avondale. This statement is talking about the Lord Jesus (when it is read in its original context.) The statement from Evangelism was edited to fit the agenda and bias of the compilers of that book.
Remember, the book Evangelism is a compilation, not an original of Sister White. The subheadings are not even written by her. They were supplied by Leroy Froom, Roy Allan Anderson and Louise Kleuser, including the word “trinity” to work on your subconscious. Under the encouragement of Elder Branson, carefully sculpted, narrowly edited quotes found in the book of Evangelism was done under a different spirit than what is from heaven. This was done in 1946 so it would appear that Sister White was teaching the trinity doctrine. There are a half a dozen of these twisted quotes or so.
Please consider and read on….
This is one of those quotations where we need more of the paragraph. More of the complete context. What is published in the book Evangelism is a very selective excerpt from Manuscript 66. Prior to these words it says:
“The Lord says this (we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice) because He knows it is for our good. He would build a wall around us, to keep us from transgression, so that His blessing and love may be bestowed on us in rich measure. This is the reason we have established a school here. The Lord instructed us that this was the place in which we should locate, and we have had every reason to think that we are in the right place. We have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.” - Manuscript 66, 1899, p. 4 (Talk, April 15, 1899)
Now think about this for a moment. Compare this full quote with the one in Evangelism, and you will see that the sentence, the meaning and the context is incomplete. We have been falsely led to believe something completely different than what Sister White intended. Sister White has said and warned: “There are many who interpret that which I write in the light of their own preconceived opinions. You know what this means. A division in understanding and diverse opinions is the sure result.” - Selected Messages, book 3, p. 79
“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. Thus seeds of heresy, springing up and growing rapidly into strong plants, are surrounded by many precious plants of truth, and in this way a mighty effort is made to vindicate the genuineness of the spurious plants.” - E. G. White, This Day With God, p. 126
The full context of the topic clearly reveals that “the Lord is that Spirit”. 2 Corinthians 3:17
In analyzing this passage, we must see what instruction the prophet wanted the students to receive when the talk was given. Was it a lesson on the nature of the Holy Spirit? No.
There are a number of points, that when grouped together, give the true message.
(a) It is for their own good the students give themselves to Christ.
(b) God wanted to build a wall around them to keep them from sin, so He could bless them.
(c) That is why a school was established.
(d) The Lord had revealed that this was where the school should be located.
(e) The teachers and students needed to realize that the Holy Spirit was walking the grounds of the school.
(f) The Lord God is our keeper, and helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.
(g) And they needed to realize that the Holy Spirit is a person like God is a person. What lesson would the children receive about the Holy Spirit from this part of the talk? Obviously it was a message to be very careful how they think and speak because God is listening.
There is no question, the Evangelism statement alone sounds convincing without any other knowledge. However, when the true message of the talk is seen, the other does not have the same impact. Please read the following quotations and consider carefully.
Christ walks unseen through our streets. With messages of mercy He comes to our homes. With all who are seeking to minister in His name, He waits to co-operate. He is in the midst of us, to heal and to bless, if we will receive Him.” - The Ministry of Healing, p. 107
“Remember that Jesus is beside you wherever you go, noting your actions and listening to your words. Would you be ashamed to hear his voice speaking to you, and to know that he hears your conversation?” – The Youth’s Instructor, February 4, 1897, par. 3
Let us now think about these statements carefully in their full context. Mrs. White is not talking of more than one individual, for she is using the singular pronoun “he” all through. If she were talking of more than one she would have used “they” rather than “he”. Therefore, she is talking only of one person; “The Lord”. It is “The Lord” who is our keeper, not someone else. The Lord is the one who hears every word. It is the Lord who is “unseen by human eyes”. And even though He is there by His Holy Spirit, He is as much a real person as if He were here physically! This is the meaning of that statement. His personal presence is His person, which is as much a person as He is a person.
“The Lord Jesus standing by the side of the canvasser, walking with them, is the chief worker. If we recognize Christ as the One who is with us to prepare the way, the Holy Spirit by our side will make impressions in just the lines needed.” - Colporteur Ministry, p. 107
“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 be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation.” - E. G. White, The Southern Work, September 13, 1898 par. 2
“By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you.”
- E. G. White, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1893 par. 8