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Comparing Ellen White with Scripture, Seventh Day Adventists, Nature of Holy Spirit

Q23: What is the Holy Spirit ? by Ellen White

Does Spirit Of Prophecy harmonize difficult themes,such as what is the nature of the Holy Spirit?


This study looks at some difficult things to show in Scripture and SOP because such matters are not easily accepted by us all.There are several reasons for this. Scripture is like digging for treasure in the ground. You have to toil for hours looking and carefully studying.It also helps to pray for the Holy Spirit to show you where to look and dig. Most of us who causally go looking for treasure do not find any,for indeed the Scripture is mostly poetry, with similes and typologies and symbols designed to make things hidden. God bless our inspired messages that make it easier for us all to fall in love with GOD. Shalom

The Author would recommend Ellen White messages to any reader, for they make understanding Hebrew in English, real easy. It is also good to knowour Scripture understanding is on the right track.

Seventh Day Adventist people are fortunate to have a Hebrew to English scholar like Ellen White,however in times past some of us used her writings as a rod, rather than as rain.Too many of us also read her writings out of context, causing different conclusionsto be reached. Her writings need the same care and discourse as does Scripture. One must study all thatis written in her English, because EGW does not write in our popular language idiom, EGW writes SOP as Hebrewin English , and this means that the themes are complex, so one can easily become confused.

God bless the SOP writings, which really are messages from Jesus,to His people in the last days. Not just for SDA people, but all who are willing to enter into His great salvation. Shalom

HYPOTHESIS: How does SOP view the Holy Spirit?

METHOD: Ellen White wrote the nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery and silence is golden.However the SDA church doctrines write the Holy Spirit as a "He". One can understand ignorance and confusion, for there are some places where Ellen White writes passages where the Holy Spirit and 'He' are used.

Since SOP does not reveal this question, one has to study other ways to look for treasure in SOP writings. This study is just as hard in Scripture. This is why SOP said it was a mystery,and silence is golden. First the KJV translations do not reveal Hebrew in some places well, and neither does the Greek translations of the New Testament. SOP does not discuss translation issues and quotes the Scriptures in the light they are, so as not to confuse and discourage the child like reader.

God's words are pure and true, yet because of translations they have become fuzzy and their meanings lesser understood. This is does NOT mean Scripture has error.The problem also never affects the believer having faith in Scripture, because the Holy Spirit is our teacher and knows the true and pure meanings; and GOD deals with us in the light of experience we know.

It becomes a problem to prove to others what Scriptures consistently mean, in showing new light. The true and pure messages of Scripture are preserved if we are careful to dig for them with independent study using the Holy Spirit as our teacher. Sola Scriptoria will provide truth alone if we study Scripture faithfully and carefully. We should also find the Spirit of Prophecy will also have truth preserved despite poor translations quoted and such words used, if we are careful to study carefully all the SOP and investigate the words in the passages, against the Hebrew Scriptures. This study shows one how this can be done. Shalom

Indeed GOD has pr eserved His words, but they are hidden in the Hebrew writings from which they were first penned. The Scripture says to compare Scripture with Scripture, to study the words carefully across all the teachings, both OT and NT sources, lining up all the old landmarks with the newer ones of truth. Only when this is done do we have harmony in Scripture. This is the same way SOP should be read as well. Everything should be studied carefully.

An example of possible confusion

"He (Christ) is the living water." {PP 412.3}

"By the living water is meant the Holy Spirit" {SJ 55.1}

Confused? How can Jesus be a symbol of water, when the Holy Spirit is a symbol of water ? One has to study all material on a theme, before reaching a conclusion.

"As a thirsty traveller needs water to drink, so do we need God's Spirit in our hearts." {SJ 55.1}

Some critics of EGW writings say because "God" is a reference 80% of the time to "Father", the word "God" always means "heavenly Father". SOP does not work like this, nor does Scripture. All words have the same meaning across all Scripture, all OT and NT, and even when Jesus spoke to EGW the SOP, they also contain the same meanings. The English-Hebrew word "God" is the Scripture-Hebrew word "Elohiym", and really means the "FAMILY of GOD, whose power flows". Notice the Holy Spirit is an agency for "Elohiym's flow", thus the term "God's Spirit" is used. So the agency of the Holy Spirit, can channel either or both, the love from the Father or the love from the Son.

"The Holy Spirit is promised to all who will ask for it. When you search the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is by your side, personating Jesus Christ. The truth is a living principle made to shine in precious clearness to the understanding, and then, oh, then, it is time to speak words from the living Christ. "We are labourers together with God" (1 Corinthians 3:9). Christ said to the woman of Samaria, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. . . . A well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:10-14). {YRP 328.2}

The Holy Spirit presents Jesus power to us, this love flows like water and falls like rain. Scripture is a simile of rain, and it falls on you as the latter rains of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is an agency for the flow of heavenly love towards fallen man. How happy we can be to drink and be filled with this heavenly Family of love!

So we are no longer confused, when we investigate all the material written in the SOP or the Scripture. It is important to study carefully and prayerfully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Shalom

Another example of possible confusion

"Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages, we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Saviour exclaimed, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." [John 1:47.] Nathanael said, "Whence knowest thou me?" Jesus answered, "Before that Philip called th ee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee." And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we will seek him for light, that we may know what is truth. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance." {CE 59.1}

The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is his office to present Christ, the purity of his righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through him. Jesus says, "He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." [John 16:14.] The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. How must God esteem the human race, since he gave his Son to die for them, and appoints his Spirit to be man's teacher and continual guide." {CE 59.2}

The pronouns coloured yellow are difficult to fathom. The Holy Spirit is an Agency for the Father's flow, or the Father's flow through His Son. Since both of these members of the Godhead are "He" in the sense of expressing "maleness-love", this makes the flow through the Holy Spirit also a "he" because such a love flows. Since we know "GOD is love" we have a flow of love generated within the Godhead but flowing out from the Father, especially through His Son, who is our salvation. The use of pronouns here makes it very difficult to establish which member of the Godhead is "carrying" this flow of love.

We will remain confused, until we investigate all the material written in the SOP or the Scripture. It is important to study carefully and prayerfully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Shalom

Another example of possible confusion

How many 'Saviours' do we have? In Greek thinking, we have one Saviour, Jesus Christ. But Hebrew does not have static names for Beings. They are descriptors of action, or verbs of function. The Hebrew word Yashua means "to save", "to rescue".

Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yasha: for he shall save(yasha) his people from their sins.

The Scripture reveals that the Father also "saves" and is involved in our "salvation".

2Sa 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock "cela", and my fortress, and my deliverer;

3 The God "Elohiym" of my rock "tsuwr"; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence

Here is referenced both Jesus YHWH, and the Heavenly Father.

Isa 45:15 Verily thou art a God (el - strong Authority) that hidest thyself, O God (Elohiym) of Israel, the Saviour (yasha).

Here the heavenly FAMILY of GOD is referenced as a Saviour.

A careful study of SOP does not reveal that GOD, or the Father function as "saviours". We know Jesus as a Person is our Saviour.So what does this mean?

SOP quote:"Let us humble our souls before God. Let us work with an eye single to His glory. Let His praise be continually on our lips, for the benefits th at He bestows are daily renewed, and should be acknowledged with thanksgiving. God is longsuffering and of tender mercy. Should He deal with us according to our perversity, according to our foolish, erratic course, our changeableness, where would we be? But "he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). Remember that no human being is of himself sufficient to stand against the wily foe. Hide in God, and be sure that the Holy Spirit is with you. You can conquer the enemy only as the Lord goes before you. {TDG 258.2}

Whom is "Lord" here in the SOP? Notice the Scripture reference:-

Ps 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD (Father YHWH) pitieth them that fear him.

  • 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

    The simile reference to earthly fathers, suggests the YHWH here, is the Father. The SOP also references God, suggesting Father YHWH as well (the Lord). This is a reference to the Heavenly Godhead who saves...while Jesus within the Godhead is a Personal Saviour.

    "Saul longed to come into full harmony and communion with the Father and the Son; and in the intensity of his desire for pardon and acceptance he offered up fervent supplications to the throne of grace. {AA 119.2}

    When Saul now Paul, wanted to be "Saved" he longed for pardon from the Father and the Son.

    "The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world. {AA 586.3}

    "Our Saviour identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer. 47 {CSA 26.5}

    The Saviour is our example, our strength comes via the Holy Spirit, via the Saviour from the Heavenly Father.We could say the whole heavenly Family is involved in our salvation.

    "Now this Saviour is our intercessor, making an atonement for us before the Father. . . {CTr 288.4}

    Our prayers are carried by the Holy Spirit, who takes them to Jesus, and on behalf of His sacrifice, empowers our prayersbefore the heavenly Father, who hears us and send heavenly love via the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Now that you as a reader have some understanding how complex and difficult it can be reading SOP and Scripture,we have to find other more simpler ways to answer the question:

    What SOP says about the Holy Spirit?

    On the next webpage let's look at another way to study messages of Scripture,recorded in Ellen White writings.

    SOP & Holy Spirit theme

    Next

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