Adventist Pioneer quotes on the Holy Spirit

 

 

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God; it is also the Spirit of Christ.” – Uriah Smith, General Conference Daily Bulletin, Vol. 4, March 14, 1891, p. 146-147

 

“God alone is without beginning. At the earliest epoch when a beginning could be, - a period so remote that to finite minds it is essentially eternity, - appeared the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. This uncreated Word was the Being, who, in the fulness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. His beginning was not like that of any other being in the universe. It is set forth in the mysterious expressions, “his [God’s] only begotten Son” (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9), “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), and, “I proceeded forth and came from God.” John 8:42. Thus it appears that by some divine impulse or process, not creation, known only to Omniscience, and possible only to Omnipotence, the Son of God appeared. And then the Holy Spirit (by an infirmity of translation called “the Holy Ghost”), the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the divine afflatus and medium of their power, representative of them both (Ps. 139:7), was in existence also.” - Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, p. 10. 1898

 

 

“J. W. W. Asks: “Are we to understand that the Holy Ghost is a person, the same as the Father and the Son? Some claim that it is, others that it is not.”

 

Answer - The terms “Holy Ghost”, are a harsh and repulsive translation. It should be “Holy Spirit” (hagion pneuma) in every instance. This Spirit is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit being the same whether it is spoken of as pertaining to God or Christ. But respecting this Spirit, the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it is a person like the Father and the Son. Rather it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present. Christ is a person, now officiating as priest in the sanctuary in heaven; and yet he says that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is there in the midst. Mt. 18:20. How? Not personally, but by his Spirit. In one of Christ’s discourses (John 14-16) this Spirit is personified as “the Comforter,” and as such has the personal and relative pronouns, “he,” “him,” and “whom,” applied to it. But usually it is spoken of in a way to show that it cannot be a person, like the Father and the Son. For instance, it is often said to be “poured out” and “shed abroad.” But we never read about God or Christ being poured out or shed abroad. If it was a person, it would be nothing strange for it to appear in bodily shape; and yet when it has so appeared, that fact has been noted as peculiar. Thus Luke 3:22 says: “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.” But the shape is not always the same; for on the day of Pentecost it assumed the form of “cloven tongues like as of fire.” Acts 2:3, 4. Again we read of “the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Rev. 1:4 3:1 4:5 5:6. This is unquestionably simply a designation of the Holy Spirit, put in this form to signify its perfection and completeness. But it could hardly be so described if it was a person. We never read of the seven Gods or the seven Christs.” - Uriah Smith, Review & Herald, October 28, 1890

 

 

“Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.” - E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 23, 1890

                                                                                         

“We learn from this language that when we speak of the Spirit of God we are really speaking of his presence and power.”  - J.N. Loughborough, Review & Herald, September 20, 1898                                                                                      

 “There is one question which has been much controverted in the theological world upon which we have never presumed to enter. It is that of the personality of the Spirit of God. Prevailing ideas of person are very diverse, often crude, and the word is differently understood; so that unity of opinion on this point cannot be expected until all shall be able to define precisely what they mean by the word, or until all shall agree upon one particular sense in which the word shall be used. But as this agreement does not exist, it seems that a discussion of the subject cannot be profitable, especially as it is not a question of direct revelation. We have a right to be positive in our faith and our statements only when the words of Scripture are so direct as to bring the subject within the range of positive proof. We are not only willing but anxious to leave it just where the word of God leaves it. From it we learn that the Spirit of God is that awful and mysterious power which proceeds from the throne of the universe, and which is the efficient actor in the work of creation and of redemption.” - J. H. Waggoner, The Spirit Of God; Its Offices And Manifestations, pp. 8, 9. 1877

“God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from Him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are – at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words.” ” - Letter: G. I. Butler to J. H. Kellogg. April 5, 1904

 

“The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers, in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit is an individual as are God the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said ‘We may regard Him, as the fellow who is down here running things.’ My perplexities were lessened a little when I learned from the dictionary that one of the meanings of personality, was characteristics. It is stated in such a way that I concluded that there might be personality without bodily form which is possessed by the Father and the Son. There are many Scriptures which speak of the Father and the Son and the absence of Scripture making similar reference to the united work of the Father and the Holy Spirit or of Christ and the Holy Spirit, has led me to believe that the spirit without individuality was the representative of the Father and the Son throughout the universe, and it was through the Holy Spirit that they dwell in our hearts and make us one with the Father and with the Son.” - Letter, W. C. White to H. W. Carr, April 30, 1935

 

“Question 187: What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the ministering spirits (angels), or are they the same?
Answer: The Holy Spirit is the mighty energy of the Godhead, the life and power of God flowing out from Him to all parts of the universe, and thus making living connection between His throne and all creation. As is expressed by another: “The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ.” It thus makes Christ everywhere present. To use a crude illustration, just as a telephone carries the voice of a man, and so makes that voice present miles away, so the Holy Spirit carries with it all the potency of Christ in making Him everywhere present with all His power, and revealing Him to those in harmony with His law. Thus the Spirit is personified in Christ and God, but never revealed as a separate person. Never are we told to pray to the Spirit; but to God for the Spirit. Never do we find in the Scriptures prayers to the Spirit, but for the Spirit.” - M. C. Wilcox, Questions and Answers Gathered From the Question Corner Department of the Signs of the Times, pp. 181, 182. 1911

 

“28.THE PERSONALITY OF THE SPIRIT Ques. 1. Some say the Holy Spirit is a person; others say He is a personality; and others, a power only. Till how long should this be a matter of discussion? Ans. 1. The personality of the Holy Spirit will probably be a matter of discussion always. Sometimes the Spirit is mentioned as being 'poured out,' as in Acts 2. All through the Scriptures, the Spirit is represented as being the operating power of God...The reason why the Scriptures speak of the Holy Spirit as a person, it seems to us, is that it brings to us, and to every soul that believes, the personal presence of our Lord Jesus Christ...

"Because of the lack of faith, it was 'expedient,' necessary, that He should go away; for He declared, 'If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send Him unto you.' John 16:7. His disciples could not realize the presence of the Spirit of God as long as Christ was with them personally. In that sense, He could be with those only who were in His immediate presence. But when He went away, and the Spirit came, it could make Christ present with everyone, wherever that one was with Paul in Athens, Peter in Jerusalem, Thomas in India, John in Patmos.

"These are simply illustrations. Wherever God's children are, there is the Spirit - not an individual person, as we look upon persons, but having the power to make present the Father and the Son. That Spirit is placed upon God's messengers, the angels; but the angels are not the Spirit. That Spirit is placed upon God's servants, His human messengers; but the human messengers are not the Spirit. They are possessed by the Spirit, and used by the Spirit, and have within them the power of the Spirit; but they are not the Spirit. The Spirit is independent of all these human or material agencies. Why not leave it there? Why not know that the Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Deity, goes out into all the earth, bringing the presence of God to every heart that will receive it?” - M. C. Wilcox, Questions And Answers Vol.11, 1919. 1938 ed., p.37-39. In 1945 ed. p.33-35

“In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world.” – Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 273

 

“Let them be thankful to God for His manifold mercies and be kind to one another. They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—is to bring unity into their ranks.”

- Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 189.3

 

“The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ.” – Ellen White, Review & Herald, April 5, 1906, par. 16

 

“The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of it’s fullness.” – Ellen White, Great Controversy, p.477

 

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him.” – Ellen White, Letter 11a 1894, to Captain Christiansen, January 2, 1894

 

“It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” – Ellen White, Desire of Ages, page 388, ‘The crisis in Galilee’

 

“The Spirit is freely given us of God if we will appreciate and accept it. And what is it? -- the representative of Jesus Christ. It is to be our constant helper. It is through the Spirit that Christ fulfills the promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." – Ellen White, Letter 38, 1896, To Stephen N. Haskell, May 30, 1896