Speaking with an Elder and his wife at a local Seventh-day Adventist church in Alberta, Canada the topic of the identity of the Holy Spirit was discussed. As most SDA’s are aware, our official 2016 fundamental doctrine on the Holy Spirit is:

Seventh-day-Adventists-Believe-Book-28-FundamentalsGod the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the Father and the Son. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; 2 Sam. 23:2; Ps. 51:11; Isa. 61:1; Luke 1:35; 4:18; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 5:3; 10:38; Rom. 5:5; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Peter 1:21.) https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/god/holy-spirit/

When talking about the identity of the Holy Spirit many brothers and sisters in church believe that our current belief is a solid belief which has existed in the church since the days of the pioneers. Brethren will begin proving that the Holy Spirit is another being separate from the Father and the Son.

One argument that the Elder and his wife used to defend our official belief about the Holy Spirit was a quote by Ellen White found in Acts of the Apostles book page 51-52.

It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that, in His work of guiding men into all truth, “He shall not speak of Himself.” John 15:26; 16:13.
The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden. {Acts of the Apostles p.51-52}

After sharing this quote the Elder’s wife simply said: “This quote settled the issue for me.

Brothers and sisters of the Seventh-day Adventist church, may I ask a few questions?

  1. Does this quote settle the question for you that we don’t need to know who the Holy Spirit is?
  2. Does this quote give us counsel to not enter into Bible study about who the Holy Spirit is?

This Ellen White quote silenced our discussion on the Holy Spirit. The Elder and his wife both did not want to enter into Bible study on this topic once it was known to them that Scripture and Ellen White’s writings were being shared that conflicted with our current Holy Spirit teaching (the Holy Spirit being a individual being separate from the Father and the Son.)

What is this quote telling us:

  1. The “nature of the Holy Spirit” is the subject being addressed.
  2. The “identity of the Holy Spirit” is a subject that is NOT being addressed.

Silence IS golden when talking about the “nature” of the Holy Spirit but is silence golden when talking about the “identity” of the Holy Spirit? The answer is no. We are encouraged to examine who the Holy Spirit is.

If a person believes that the identity of the Holy Spirit should not be discussed then why is it that Ellen White herself clearly talked about the identity of the Holy Spirit? Here are a few Ellen White quotes on the Holy Spirit’s identity.

“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. If we commune with God, we shall have strength and grace and efficiency.”
{Ellen White, Lt66-1894.18} https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/6785.2000001#24

The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul.”
{Ellen White, Manuscript Releases Volume 4, p. 332} 1896

Christ comes as a Comforter to all who believe. He invites your confidence.”
{Ellen White, Manuscript Releases Volume 8, p. 57} 1898

“The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it””
{Ellen White, Review and Herald, August 26, 1890 par. 10}

The Saviour is our Comforter. This I have proved Him to be.”
{Ellen White, Manuscript Releases Volume 8, p. 49} 1892

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 fullness 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 His church. {Ellen White, Desire of Ages p.671.2}

Every Seventh-day Adventist has a decision to make regarding quotes clearly showing that the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ. This view doesn’t fit with our current fundamental belief, so will we choose to believe the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, or the church’s current teaching?

In Seventh-day Adventist history, the pioneers of our church believed that the Holy Spirit was a person, and that this person was Jesus Christ. The Seventh-day Adventist church back then proved this doctrine by Scripture:

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

What is meant by the word “Spirit” as used in this chapter? This word is definitely applied in verse 17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” Then we understand that the law of God slays the sinner, and is hence denominated “death;” while the Lord is that Spirit who makes alive the sinner thus slain. Hence we understand the Lord from heaven to be the life-giving Spirit here referred to. {James White, 1855, The Seventh Day of the Week is the Sabbath of the Lord p.40.2}

After the death of Ellen White, Seventh-day Adventist leadership began moving away from the belief that the Holy Spirit was Jesus Christ and introduced the Trinity doctrine which says the Holy Spirit was an individual being apart from the Father and the Son. Our church says it this way:

“a unity of three coeternal Persons”. https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/god/trinity/

Why am I so confident that the leadership changed these beliefs after the death of Ellen White? I began to research Seventh-day Adventist history. Here are seven points of information you may want to look into:

  • What were the 1872 Fundamental Principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Do these principles harmonize with our current beliefs? Remember Ellen White passed away July 16, 1915. These principles were standing while she was alive.
  • LeRoy Froom wrote a book about the Holy Spirit called “The Coming of the Comforter” and Leroy Froom helped prepare an Ellen White compilation book entitled “Evangelism”. Have you heard of this book? This book allowed leadership to put the word Trinity in the Ellen White book because they added subheadings such as on page 616 – The Eternal Dignitaries of the Trinity. What many people do not know is that there was an agenda behind Mr. Froom’s leadership and he did not start with the pillars of our faith to arrive at new light on the Holy Spirit being a separate person apart from the Father and the Son. He came to the new understanding of the Holy Spirit through people that were not Seventh-day Adventists.

How do I know? Simple. LeRoy Froom told us in his book “Movement of Destiny” – Movement-of-Destiny-Book-LeRoy-Froom“May I here make a frank, personal confession? When back between 1926 and 1928 I was asked by our leaders to give a series of studies on “The Holy Spirit”… I found that aside from priceless leads found in the Spirit of Prophecy, there was practically nothing in our literature setting forth a sound, Biblical exposition in this tremendous field of study. There were no previous pathfinding books on the question in our literature.” 

“I was compelled to search out a score of valuable books written by men outside of our Faith….for initial clues and suggestions, and to open up beckoning vistas to intensive personal study. Having these, I went on from there. But they were decided early helps. And scores, if not hundreds, could confirm the same sobering conviction that some of these other men frequently had a deeper insight into the spiritual things of God than many of our own men had on the Holy Spirit and the triumphant life. It was still a largely obscure theme….” {Movement of Destiny, p.322}.

I would encourage you to verify the information and to look into more of the evidence. A detailed article on how the Trinity came into Adventism and more personal confessions by Mr. Froom can be found at the following link: Prophet Still Speaks and Trinity Truth.

Recommendations for every Christian:

  1. I encourage you to read Desire of Ages again with the understanding of the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of Jesus and not a different being apart from the Father and the Son. Once you are aware of the truth you will see it everywhere in the Bible and Ellen White’s writings.
  2. Explore this excellent website about Seventh-day History and how the Trinity came into the Seventh-day Adventist church. http://theprophetstillspeaks.co.uk/
  3. Study Matthew 16:16. It’s the foundation of the church. The truth can be found in this verse if one will only look. https://www.jetsoflight.org/christ-trinity-two-foundations-worship/
  4. Examine this simple question and answer Bible study through the Word of God regarding the truth about the Father and the Son: Acts321.org
  5. Oh, did I mention that Leroy Froom changed a book that Ellen White said was “God’s helping hand”. I had a chance to read both books (original and edited) side-by-side and I can only describe the editing by Mr. Froom and his helpers as a “gutting out of the heart of the original book”. The new book that was revised after the death of Ellen White is a hurting book. It is definitely not the same. Here is what Ellen White said about the unedited book that was not touched by LeRoy Froom:
    Daniel-and-Revelation-Book-Uriah-Smith-Unedited“Daniel and Revelation, Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Desire of Ages should now go to the world. The grand instruction contained in Daniel and Revelation has been eagerly perused by many in Australia. This book has been the means of bringing many precious souls to a knowledge of the truth. Everything that can be done should be done to circulate Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation. I know of no other book that can take the place of this one. It is God’s helping hand.”–MS 76, 1901. {PM 356.2}Interesting where Leroy Froom’s hands have been. The reason behind changing this book has to do with the agenda of him finding false light about the Holy Spirit from men that were not Seventh-day Adventists. He was on a mission to change the original fundamental beliefs to something new. I quote Mr. Froom:

    “The next logical and inevitable step in the implementing of our unified “Fundamental Beliefs” involved revision of certain standard works so as to eliminate statements that taught, and thus perpetuated erroneous views on the Godhead. Movement of Destiny. These productions must therefore be brought into harmony with the NOW declared Faith of the Church.” (Movement of Destiny, – LeRoy Froom p. 422)

    Seventh-day-Adventist-Church-Website-Aug28-2016
    Welcome to the year 2016. LeRoy Froom has successfully completed his mission in bringing everything into harmony with the NOW declared Faith of the Church. Do Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Trinity? Yes. Do they believe that the Holy Spirit is a different being other than the Father and the Son? They sure do. I hope whoever is reading this information has an ear to hear. God is the Father and not a Trinity. God truly has a Son. His name is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead who is the Spirit of Christ. “They have ONE God and ONE Saviour; and ONE Spirit–the Spirit of Christ” — (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 9 p.189.3, 1909) It’s time for Seventh-day Adventists to come back to the true Heavenly Trio.

    Heavenly-Trio-Ellen-White

Christian regards,
Jason

If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
Ezekiel 33:3-5