Who is the Third Person of the Godhead

In Ministry of Healing p. 429 sister White says, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.’ Deuteronomy 29:29. THE REVELATION OF HIMSELF THAT GOD HAS GIVEN IN HIS WORD IS FOR OUR STUDY. THIS WE MAY SEEK TO UNDERSTAND. BUT BEYOND THIS WE ARE NOT TO PENETRATE. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out in conjectures regarding the NATURE OF GOD, but the effort will be fruitless. This problem has not been given us to solve. No human mind can comprehend God. None are to indulge in speculation regarding His NATURE. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion.” 

In the above statement, Ellen White warns us not to "penetrate" beyond what God has revealed to us, namely, not to indulge in speculating the "nature" of God. But she also says, "THE REVELATION OF HIMSELF THAT GOD HAS GIVEN IN HIS WORD IS FOR OUR STUDY. THIS WE MAY SEEK TO UNDERSTAND." 

Ellen White also mentioned,

“The Scriptures CLEARLY indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as CLEARLY the personality and individuality of each.” 8T 268.1

Romans 1:20 says, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and *GODHEAD; SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.”

"The invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity." Romans 1:20, A.R.V."(Ellen White Ministry of Healing 410). 

Note: Ellen White quoted ARV where the word, “Godhead” was translated as “divinity”
Click HERE learn more about what "Godhead" means.

Important to point out that the much of the point of contention regarding the personality of God is NOT about the "NATURE" which is a mystery but about the "IDENTITY"... "WHO" is the Holy Spirit not so much "WHAT" is the Holy Spirit...

Below is a short study on the identity of the Holy Spirit-responding to often misunderstood statement by Ellen White:

Unfortunately, many of Ellen White’s books are a compilations of different writings taken from her original manuscripts and we need to take into the account its original context, and also compare them with scores of her other writing in its entirety to come to an accurate intent and the meaning of certain expressions she chose to use.

Example: “Sin could be resisted and overcome ONLY through the mighty agency of the THIRD PERSON OF THE GODHEAD,” — (E.G. White, The Desire of Ages, 671.2)

Below are couple of more examples taken from the writing of Ellen White using the same expression:

“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.” — (E.G. White, Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37, 1897)

""He [Christ] determined to give his representative, the third person of the Godhead." 6SDABC p. 1052

Here we find that the "third person of the Godhead" is identified as Christ's "representative", the Holy Spirit.

Many (Seventh-day Adventists) argue that this quotation proves that Ellen White was a Trinitarian for she had said, the Holy Spirit is a "person". But who is the third person, who is the “ONLY” one who can overcome sin in you?

What does inspiration mean when it says "third person of the Godhead" or the Holy Spirit? Should I come up with my own human idea? Or should I continue to search inspiration, and ALLOW INSPIRATION TO EXPLAIN INSPIRATION?

Notice what she says about who or what is this “mighty agency” that helps us to resist and overcome sin:

“There is no power in you apart from CHRIST, but it is your privilege to have Christ abiding in your heart by faith, and HE can OVERCOME SIN in you, when you cooperate with His efforts.” — (E.G. White, OHC, 76.5)

“With HIS SPIRIT CHRIST sends a reconciling influence and a power that TAKES away SIN.” — (E.G. White, RH, May 19, 1904)

“JESUS ALONE has power to SAVE FROM SIN, to free from the POWER OF EVIL; and to doubt him who has laid down his life for us, is to grieve and insult the Father,” — (E.G. White, RH, Feb 10, 1891)

“The ONLY defense AGAINST EVIL is the INDWELLING OF CHRIST in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” — (E.G. White, DA, 324.1)

“They have ONE God and ONE Saviour; and ONE Spirit--the Spirit of Christ--is to bring unity into their ranks.” — (E.G. White, 9T 189.3, 1909)

Our condition through sin has become preternatural, and the power that restores us must be supernatural, else it has no value. THERE IS NO POWER THAT CAN BREAK THE HOLD OF EVIL FROM THE HEARTS OF MEN, AND THAT IS THE POWER OF GOD [Father] IN JESUS CHRIST. ONLY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE CRUCIFIED ONE IS THERE CLEANSING FROM SIN. HIS GRACE ALONE CAN ENABLE US TO RESIST AND SUBDUE THE TENDENCIES OF OUR FALLEN NATURE. This power the spiritualistic theories concerning God make of no effect. If God is an essence pervading all nature, then He dwells in all men; and in order to attain holiness, man has only to develop the power that is within him. – {CCh 322.8}

“It is the SPIRIT that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are life." CHRIST IS NOT HERE REFERRING TO HIS DOCTRINE, BUT TO HIS PERSON, the divinity of his character . ” { E. G. White, Review and Herald , April 5, 1906 par. 12}

"To all who desire to be recipients of HIS SPIRIT, THE VIRTUE FLOWS OUT FROM CHRIST. And it is IN THIS WAY that the character of God, the perfection of Christ and the Father, is brought before the world." (RH, October 14, 1902 par. 11)

"The HOLY SPIRIT, which PROCEEDS FROM THE ONLY BEGOTTEN-SON, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ." (EGW Selected Messages book 1, p250 - 251)

“Then Jesus would BREATHE UPON THEM THE HOLY GHOST. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.” (EW 55)

Note: This is similar to how Satan breathes his unholy influence on people. “Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence.” {EW 56} 

Let us raise the question, does a “Third Individual God-Being” proceed out of Jesus and jumped out of him? Does Jesus “breathe” a “Third God”? Or is this Third Person the very breath and spirit of Christ that He himself breathes upon the faithful?

The identity the third person of the godhead becomes obvious if you read the entire quotation from the same book-see below.

“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.” The Desire of Ages {DA 671.2}

Thus, the Third Person of the Godhead is non other than Christ’s own Spirit given to us as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil....

Here’s another example:

"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit ... is as much a person as God is a person.... (The Faith I Live By p. 52 paragraph 2; FLB 52.2)

Let’s read this in its context below:

"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit ... IS AS MUCH A PERSON as God is a person... The Holy Spirit HAS A PERSONALITY, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a DIVINE PERSON, else He could not search out the secrets, which lie hidden in the mind of God.” FLB 52.3

If you keep reading in that same chapter, several paragraphs down, you'd find on FLB p. 55.3:

"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." FLB 55.3

So why does Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy often speak of the Holy Spirit like it is “ANOTHER” Person?

Because Christ's Spirit CAN and DOES function like a SEPARATE PERSON. His own Spirit represents Himself, glorifies Himself, and hence personifies Himself. This is what most fail to understand. And so His Spirit is therefore spoken of as “ANOTHER” quite often. This is the nature of the Holy Spirit that Ellen White said we cannot understand; it is a mystery.

Both the Father and the Son have a distinct personality and therefore, when Christ gives us Himself (as His Holy Spirit) it is not devoid of personality. It is not just some impersonal force or essence. No, it is very personal and intimate. It is Christ’s own person, having Christ’s very own personality

So the Holy Spirit is indeed like a third person, though not a literal person. Ellen White understood that “representative” does not make another third being, but that Christ represents Himself in a different form. God and His Son have a Spirit and that is how “They” represent “Themselves” while they are not personally present.

We need to be mindful that there are volumes of statements by Sister White which states that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (“The Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT OF CHRIST-13MR 313.3, 1895) thus when she uses terms like "person" or "personality" she is merely underscoring the thought that the Holy Spirit is not some kind of “ actuating energy”, or some “essence pervading all nature”, rather, Holy Spirit is the very personal presence of Christ Himself. Therefore, even though the Holy Spirit personifies Christ, He is not devoid of personality, it is the personality of Christ in His Spirit NOT that Holy Spirit is a different being other than Christ.

Below are just a handful of statements by Ellen White identifying "WHO" the Holy Spirit (Christ's representative)is. There are much more but this should suffice for now to make a point:

“It is not essential for you to know and be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. 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." "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" [John 14:16, 17]. This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter. Again Jesus says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth" [John 16:12, 13]. {Manuscript Releases vol.14 p. 179.2}

“The Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT OF CHRIST; it is HIS REPRESENTATIVE. Here is the divine agency that carries conviction to hearts. When the power of His Spirit is revealed through the servants of God, we behold divinity flashing through humanity.” — (E.G. White, 13MR 313.3, 1895) “Cumbered with humanity, CHRIST could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is [Christ] HIMSELF, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. HE would REPRESENT HIMSELF as present in all places by HIS Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” — (E.G. White, Lt119, Feb 18, 1895)

“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. If we commune with God, we shall have strength and grace and efficiency.” — (Letter to Prescott W.W. E.G. White, Lt66, April 10, 1894)

“but it is the leaven of the SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST, which is sent down from heaven, called the HOLY GHOST, and that Spirit affects the heart and the character.” — (E.G. White, Ms36-1891) 

“Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of CHRIST. HE IS THE COMFORTER. He will abide in their hearts, making their joy full.” — (E.G. White, RH, Jan 27, 1903)

“JESUS comes to you as the SPIRIT OF TRUTH; study the mind of the Spirit, consult your Lord, follow His way.” — (E.G. White, 2MR 337.1)

“As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving JESUS THE COMFORTER.” — (E.G. White, 19MR 297.3)

“CHRIST is to be known by the BLESSED NAME OF COMFORTER. “The Comforter,” said Christ to His disciples, “which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, [John 14:26 quoted]” — (E.G. White, Ms7-1902, Jan 26, 1902)

“The SAVIOUR [CHRIST] IS OUR COMFORTER. This I have proved Him to be.” — (E.G. White, 8MR 49.3)

“There is NO COMFORTER LIKE CHRIST, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart. . .” (RH, Oct. 26, 1897)

For further study, Check out the links and the video below

Spirit that Represents Christ is His Own Spirit: Click HERE

Is the Holy Spirit Christ's Representative or Christ Himself-An Interesting Comparison: Click HERE