The Power of God in the Third Person
“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit." - Evangelism p. 617; Special Testimonies, Series A No. 10 p. 37, 1897
When we follow the divine instruction and make use of the key for the Testimonies many mis-understandings will be resolved. The expression, “third person of the Godhead” is today explained by many. Explained to mean a third individual god-being equal to the Father and Son. But that is not even close to what we believe. That is not what Sister White believed, or our pioneers. Let us allow the prophet (rather than anyone else) to explain to us what she meant by that expression. This is the safest thing to do if we truly desire to know the truth.
Who is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead?
“Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, "the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name." … This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” - Manuscript Releases Vol.14, p. 179
In the above quote, the Father will send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth in Christ’s name. That would equate to, the Spirit of Christ. Now let us read a similar statement with more context around it:
“The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing. 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 fulness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. 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 the church.” - Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 3
“Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.” - Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 1
Notice now how clearly she says that the life of Christ is what helps us resist temptation. The life of Christ is His spirit (not someone else!). This is the Comforter, this is the Holy Spirit, and this is what is called the “third person of the Godhead.” Is it a literal person? No. It is a grammatical term utilizing third person language. Keep in mind she never identified a first person or second person of the Godhead. Those terms would be human construction under the work of W. W. Prescott years later.
“The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” - The Desire of Ages, p. 324
“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.” - The Ministry of Healing, p. 130
This life of Christ is a holy, spotless, blameless life. Since life is the spirit, therefore this holy life of Christ is His Holy Spirit!
John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
“The divine Spirit that the world's Redeemer promised to send is the presence and power of God.”
- Signs of the Times, November 23, 1891
“When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that He is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit.” — Daughters of God, p. 185.2
“He [Jesus] gives them His Holy Spirit, the manifestation of His presence and favor.”
— Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 230.3
“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.” - Steps to Christ, p. 18
Therefore, the power of God, which is in Christ, is present in the third person. It is Christ and His power in the third person of the Godhead. It is not another person in the Godhead. No, it is the third person of (not in) the Godhead.
Therefore, if the power of evil can be held in check only by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, and it is Jesus who turns away every one of us from his iniquities (evil), then it is an obvious conclusion that Jesus aids us in this battle by giving us his very own holy life, his very own Holy Spirit (not another being different to Him). This Holy life of Christ is termed “the third person of the Godhead.”