Three Living Personalities of the Heavenly trio
“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.”
— (Ellen White, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63, 1905) — Evangelism p. 615.1
Lets address the thought of the holy spirit being called a person by so many. I think they would die being steadfast to this belief without understanding a larger picture that pertains to the Spirit’s identity. And “a third person” is not laid out in scripture, but in the Spirit of Prophecy. Where did it come from? It actually came from Sunday keepers. One in particular, Herbert Camden Lacey. More on that in a little bit. Another is a Pentecostal writer, William Boardman who Sister White borrowed some thoughts from, but modified to reflect her actual beliefs. His original book was, “The Higher Christian Life”, was written in 1858. It was well known for her to have other author’s books in her library. Boardman had written “three persons” and in Sister White’s mind and hand, she wrote, “three personalities.”
Lets examine the quote, “There are three living persons of the heavenly trio.” As you will see in the attached transcript written by Ellen White, she wrote, "There are the living three personalities of the heavenly trio." Her concept and thought about what comes up as arguments today over person-hood, is that she viewed it as personalities. She worded it that so it couldn’t be misconstrued into something else. Such as a literal, actual third person. She saw Christ coming to us in the Spirit as a second personality of Himself.
And here it is, typewritten out on the left below, comparing with what got published on the right.
And you will see there are additions and changes besides just what was mentioned up above.
This should leave you wondering about what you are told vs what is reality.
If we read and study what and how Sister White referred to three persons or personalities, or three great powers, she identifies the third as the Holy Spirit. But who does she say is the Holy Spirit?
“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ.” - 14MR, p. 84.3
She also calls the Spirit of Christ a person with a distinct personality and hence three living persons or personalities. “Remember the words of Christ, remember that He is the unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit.” - Daughters of God, p. 185.2, Letter 124, March 7, 1897.
Back in the early 1890’s, Herbert Camden Lacey was presenting a theme on the Personality and work of the Holy Ghost. His version of this Personality and the identity of the spirit as “the” or “a” "third person of the godhead" is documented in his letters. This was the last page to a letter on August 30, 1945 written to Leroy Froom. Refer to the letter below.
For those that have a DEATH GRIP on a few quotes from Evangelism, not everything appears to be what you are told from the pulpit or the General Conference. We should want to have a teachable spirit so we are not hardened against truth when presented.
Did you know that Herbert Lacey came out of the Church of England into the SDA church? His mother was the organist in the local ANGELICAN CHURCH (she just loved those trinitarian hymns so much). And after his family was baptized into the SDA church, THEY KEPT ON SUNDAY KEEPING UNTIL SHE DIED a number of years later. This is the kind of stuff hardly anyone knows about. And they want to repeat First person, second person, third person, trio, heavenly, this, that, and they have no idea it came from people like Lacey, and William Warren Prescott and magnified from there by others. None of these labels are found in scripture. And the first and second person labels are not even found in the Spirit of Prophecy. More on Lacey can be found under the header, "The Issues" on this website.
So why do some people repeat this language like a zombie? The devil has taken our church from behind while we are looking out in front of us for the Papacy.
Marian Davis who worked for Sister White caught the virus as she was an attendee of a presentation by Lacey. Per his letter on the next page, you will note that Sister Davis “took copious notes.” And A.G. Daniells who was a General Conference President for 22 plus years, took appreciation to it.
The Desire of Ages would eventually come out and Daniells notes the language used by Lacey from that presentation previously in this letter from Lacey to Leroy Froom. And in it is the expression, “third person of the Godhead.” Additionally, also found is the expression, “there are three living persons in the heavenly trio.”
And Lacey notes in the letter that as he taught previously, it was “exactly as I endeavoured to teach 9 years previously.”
So Lacey admits to this teaching and gives us a timeline somewhat of it happening originally 9 years prior to. And at some time later on, the word on the street would be that Lacey was getting credit for his part in writing the Desire of Ages. He was called out for it and had to write letters to remove those thoughts from others years later. This took place in 1936.
Getting back to the Spirit of Prophecy, lets see what Sister White wrote on the topic.
“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency,” — Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 84.3
“The Lord is soon to come. We want that complete and perfect understanding which the Lord alone can give. It is not safe to catch the spirit from another. We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” — Ellen White to W.W. Prescott, Letter 66, par. 18, April 10, 1894
“but it is the leaven of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which is sent down from heaven, called the Holy Ghost,” — Ellen White, Manuscript 36, 1891
Many fail to realize that the “Spirit of Christ” can function like a person separate to Himself so it is like it is “another” person. However it is not a literal person of course. So we do have a heavenly trio, but not a heavenly trinity. Ellen White taught that the Father and Son are one in Spirit and that the SPIRIT OF GOD comes to us through His only begotten Son. Thus she called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Christ.
“They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit--the Spirit of Christ--” — Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 189.3, 1909