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Word and Spirit Connection

Word and Spirit Connection

By Paul Chung

Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit that is wholly divorced from the Word of God. And by some, this is being so interpreted that it causes injury to the churches and to the individual believer. Many regard the impartation of the Holy Spirit as some mystical concept of a formless Divine Being, who occupies all space and by way of consent can literally come into the believers’ hearts to reside inside the person, and by some mysterious process of osmosis, God’s divine substance is exchanged, whereby a believer ‘partakes’ the divine nature, etc. and how in Pentecostal faith, receiving of the Spirit is validated by the believers speaking in some unintelligible words (aka speaking-in-tongues), etc.

These kinds of ideas are fraught with spiritualism and while it is presented not without some seemingly supportive evidence, it creates a breeding ground for a person to trust the experience more prominently, whether real or imagined, above the expressed will of God. This is a sure way for the enemy of souls to lead a believer astray by having him trust his feelings or impressions rather than the Scriptures and consequently allow the feelings and impressions, supposedly coming from the “spirit,” to ultimately supersede what is explicitly expressed in the Scriptures.

The author hopes that the following thoughts combined with the compilations of the inspired testimonies will help to bring about the workings of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the word of God so as to safeguard ourselves from any false spiritualistic concepts of the impartation of the Holy Spirit and shed further light on the “personality” of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit-Word connection can be seen in the following analogies in the Scriptures:

  • Being born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8) is the same as being born by the Word (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18) and is by the Will of God (John 1:13);

  • God and Christ dwelling "in" us is congruous to our dwelling "in" Christ - by the Word abiding in us (John 15:7) and our abiding in the Word (John 8:31).

  • Being sanctified by the Spirit (Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11) is the same as being sanctified by the Word (John 17:17);

  • The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12);

  • Blasphemy against the Spirit is rejecting the Word as being from God and speaking words against God (Matthew 12:23-37);

  • We are sealed by the Spirit after receiving the Word (Ephesians 1:13);

  • The Spirit is received by the hearing of Faith (Galatians 3:2) and Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17);

  • The Spirit proceeding from God (John 15:26) is the same as Words proceeding from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

  • The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) comes from the Word (Matthew 13:23, etc);

  • Word as "Comforter" “This is my COMFORT in my affliction: for ‘THY WORD’ hath quickened me.” (Psalms 119:50); Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be FOR MY COMFORT, according to ‘THY WORD’ unto thy servant.” (v. 76)

  • “For the word of God is quick (life), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)

Above passages clearly demonstrate the symbiotic relationship that exist between the Spirit and the Word of God. The passage immediately above in particular says, the word of God “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” What is significant here is that the Word is given personal attributes not unlike how the Spirit is given personal attributes. Keep in mind also that just because the Word was described as having personal attributes does not make it a “person.” The word of God also convicts (Acts 2:37), sanctifies, cleanses (Eph 5:26), reproves, corrects, instructs (2Tim 3:16), a believer can experience new birth by it (1Peter 1:22, 23). What these passages do indicate are the various aspects of the distinct living personality of the Holy Spirit contained in the word of God.

Father and Son’s Words, coming from Their minds, also carry a sense of Their own presence/influence/character/personality/intelligence. Their Words thus extend Their presence/influence/character/personality/intelligence. Moreover the Holy Spirit is personal because it is personally directed by Father and the Son.

“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; It begats life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, It brings with it the life of the infinite one. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.”

— Ellen White, Education, p. 126

We are also told that God spoke the worlds into existence. There was creative power in God’s word and that the same power that created the world into existence and sustains (Ps. 33:9; Heb 1:3, 11:3; Job 33:4) also converts the soul and is always connected to the Word of God.

The power of God through the Word is able to be accessed by intelligent beings only if accepted by Faith. When the Spirit is unlocked in the Word by Faith, it: 

  • Applies the Word to our lives;

  • Transforms us through the Word;

  • Teaches us out of the Word;

  • Brings depth of understanding to the Word;

  • Brings the Word to remembrance when we need it;

  • Form’s Christ’s character within, the Hope of Glory.

  • It is by means of the Word accepted by Faith that God and Christ are said to dwell in us because Their power can act in us and change us.

Thus, the Spirit is NOT necessarily the ACTUAL/LITERAL PRESENCE of God (or some formless, invisible being, aka “God the Holy Spirit” who occupies all space) because the actual Person of God or Christ has a corporeal personality (tangible/bodily form) and is limited to a local presence, sitting on the throne in heaven and is only omnipresent BY Their Spirit. Therefore we do not have interaction with God Himself (or the very substance of his corporeal personality), but rather with some mysterious “AGENCY” (aka the Holy Sprit-God’s own Spirit) WHICH IS DISTINCT AND SEPARATE FROM GOD which can be experienced primarily through the word of God.

Christ in you, the hope of glory

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Col 1:26,27

Does this mean that Christ is literally residing inside of us in some mystical fashion? “Christ in you the hope of glory” clearly means Christ’s character shining through the person that was transformed by the word. NOT someone literally residing inside of you as such.

Christ lives in us, Christ formed in us, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). When we read, believe and keep His Word we are transformed by the power that is in the Word. The faith unlocks the "Spirit of God/Christ" that is in the Word; This is the objective biblical picture of how the Sprit of God practically works, but few of us are teaching it. However, much of the discussions centers around the Spirit are spoken of as some mystical or pantheistic "indwelling" of the Spirit, which makes the experience very subjective based on feelings and intuition.

“third Person of the Godhead”

Now the real question here is what is the nature of the Holy Spirit as it relates to Ellen White’s expression, the ‘third Person of the Godhead?’ Or, to ask in another way, how does God/Christ actually dwell in us? Does the ‘third person’ literally enter into a believer? Is there some kind of merging of substance between the third person (Spirit) and the believer in a literal sense? Or is it a mental conception of receiving of God’s Word, believing it, practicing it and being transformed by it? Notice the following statements:

"GOD’S HOLY, EDUCATING SPIRIT IS IN HIS WORD. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth from every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to the soul.” — COL 132.2

“The church itself needs converting, so that its members may be made channels of light, may be blessed and made a blessing. A vague reliance upon God’s mercy will not obtain for us access to the throne of grace, or draw down the blessing from God the Father which he has provided for those who do his will. Faith must center in the word of God, which is spirit and life. Every page of the sacred word is illumined with the beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The word of God is to be the support of the afflicted, the comfort of the persecuted. God himself speaks to the believing, trusting soul; for GOD’S SPIRIT IS IN HIS WORD, and a special blessing will be received by those who accept the words of God when illuminated to their mind by the Holy Spirit. It is thus that the believer eats of Christ, the Bread of Life. Truth is seen in a new light, and the soul rejoices as in the visible presence of Christ.” — ST October 10, 1895, par. 9

“The word of God--the truth--is the channel through which the Lord manifests His Spirit and power. Obedience to the word produces fruit of the required quality--‘unfeigned love of the brethren.’ This love is heaven-born and leads to high motives and unselfish actions.” — AA 519.3

“ ‘Herein is My Father glorified,’ said Jesus, ‘that ye bear much fruit.’ God desires to manifest through you the holiness, the benevolence, the compassion, of His own character. Yet the Saviour does not bid the disciples labor to bear fruit. He tells them to abide in Him. ‘If ye abide in Me,’ He says, ‘and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ IT IS THROUGH THE WORD THAT CHRIST ABIDES IN HIS FOLLOWERS. This is the same vital union that is represented by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine. You live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same fruits as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.”  {DA 677.1} 

“Christ abiding within, is the life of the soul. And we are to receive Christ through his word.” — RH, February 16, 1892

“To dwell and abide in Christ, is to dwell and abide in his word...” — RH, January 14, 1896

“The Word gives light and assurance to all who educate their souls to believe. The heart needs the presence of the heavenly Guest—CHRIST ABIDING IN THE SOUL. We are to dwell in Christ, and CHRIST IS TO DWELL IN US BY FAITH.” {11MR 34.1}

“Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. BUT BY THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. GOD DWELLS IN HUMANITY, and through saving grace the HEART OF MAN BECOMES AGAIN HIS TEMPLE. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul...” — DA 161.1

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery and not clearly revealed but based on Inspiration, we can be certain that the Spirit is inseparably connected to the Word of God. In fact, we are told, ‘GOD’S SPIRIT IS IN HIS WORD’ and that ‘IT IS THROUGH THE WORD THAT CHRIST ABIDES IN HIS FOLLOWERS.’ ‘The word of God-the truth-is the channel through which the Lord manifests His Spirit and power.’ Again, when the Word is accepted by faith, the faith unlocks the Spirit (of God/Christ) that is in the Word, and transforms the believer anew by the power that is in the Word. Thus it gives evidence that Christ does indeed dwell in us. See below:

"THE CREATIVE ENERGY that called the worlds into existence IS IN THE WORD OF GOD. THIS WORD IMPARTS POWER; IT BEGATS LIFE. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, IT BRINGS WITH IT THE LIFE OF THE INFINITE ONE. IT TRANSFORMS the nature and RE-CREATES THE SOUL in the image of God." — Education, p. 126

“The word of God is the seed. EVERY SEED HAS IN ITSELT A GERMINATING PRINCIPLE. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. SO THERE IS LIFE IN GOD’S WORD.  Christ says, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63). ‘He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life’ (John 5:24). IN EVERY COMMAND AND IN EVERY PROMISE OF THE WORD OF GOD IS THE POWER, THE VERY LIFE OF GOD, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. HE WHO BY FAITH RECEIVE THE WORD IS RECEIVING THE VERY LIFE AND CHARACTER OF GOD.”  — COL 38.1

That said, the descriptions such as Christ’s baptism where the “Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon” Christ (Lk 3;22) or how the Spirit appeared to the disciples as “divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:3) on the day of Pentacost or how Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the disciples saying “Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” (John 22:22) etc. all makes me hesitant on saying that the Spirit only manifests exclusively through the Word.

Again, there are aspects to the nature of the Holy Spirit that will always remain a mystery, but nevertheless, we can certainly experience the Spirit in a real, practical sense through our interaction with the Word of God.

So to summarize thus far, the “presence” of the Spirit of God is God's power/influence/activity where He is not physically/bodily present and is primarily manifested through the Word.

More inspired testimonies on Word-Spirit Connection

Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water, quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. Jesus declares, 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.' [John 6:53.] And he explains himself by saying, 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' [John 6:63.] Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy, it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature.”  — CE 57.1

“Every seed brings forth fruit after its kind.  Sow the seed under right conditions, and it will develop its own life in the plant. Receive into the soul by faith the incorruptible seed of the word, and it WILL BRING FORTH A CHARACTER and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God.”  — COL 38.2

“THE LIFE OF CHRIST THAT GIVES LIFE TO THE WORLD IS IN HIS WORD. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. THE WHOLE BIBLE IS A MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. WHEN HIS VISIBLE PRESENCE SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN, THE WORD MUST BE THEIR SOURCE OF POWER. Like their Master, they were to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. — DA 390.3

“As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. AND EVERY SOUL IS TO RECEIVE LIFE FROM GOD’S WORD FOR HIMSELF. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another’s mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.” — DA 390.4

“The Comforter is called “the Spirit of truth.” His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO THE MIND, AND IMPRESSES THE TRUTH UPON THE HEART. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. IT IS BY THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, WORKING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.” — DA 671.1

“ We receive God's WORD as food for the soul, through the same evidence by which we receive bread as food for the body. Bread supplies the need of our nature; we know by experience that it produces blood and bone and brain. Apply the same test to the BIBLE; WHEN IT’S PRINCIPLES HAVE actually BECOME THE ELEMENTS OF CHARACTER, what has been the result? what changes have been made in the life? “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. In its POWER, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have been transformed into the image of God. This change is itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by THE WORD, it is one of the DEEPEST MYSTERIES OF THE WORD. We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, IT IS “CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.” Colossians 1:27. Ed 171.4

“It required nothing less than CREATIVE POWER to restore health to that decaying body. The same voice that SPOKE LIFE to man created from the dust of the earth, had SPOKEN LIFE to the dying paralytic. And the same power that gave life to the body had renewed the heart. He who at creation "spake, and it was," who "commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9), had SPOKEN LIFE to the soul dead in trespasses and sins. The healing of the body was an evidence of the power that had renewed the heart. Christ bade the paralytic arise and walk, "that ye may know," He said, "that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins."  — MH 77.2

“God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the word of God, and let it enter the soul-temple and expel every idol...The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, IN THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE HOLY PRECEPTS OF THE WORD OF GOD.” — SpTEd, p. 219

“It is THE PRESENCE OF JESUS that is needed in our assemblies, to make the preaching of the word effectual to the salvation of souls. Preaching, in itself, has no natural power to renew the heart, and yet this is the object of preaching. It is THE DIVINE INFLUENCE ACCOMPANYING THE WORD, that brings souls in penitence to the foot of the cross. O that Christ's ambassadors would feel their need of Jesus, that their preaching might not be in vain, nor their ministry unsuccessful. When the minister hears the voice of the great Shepherd saying, "Lo, I am with you alway," he works AS IF IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS; and out of weakness he is made strong. The word becomes quick and powerful, and, IN PROPORTION AS FAITH APPRECIATES THE DIVINE PRESENCE, and honors it, and trusts it, the preaching is in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power.” — RH, September 4, 1888 par. 12

“WHEN HIS WORDS OF INSTRUCTION HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, and have TAKEN POSSESSION of us, JESUS IS TO US AN ABIDING PRESENCE, CONTROLLING OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS. We are imbued with the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. A sense of human accountability and the value of human influence gives character to our views of life and of daily duties. Jesus Christ is everything to us,--the first, the last, the best in everything. Jesus Christ, his Spirit and character, colors everything; it is the warp and the woof, the very texture of our entire being. THE WORDS OF CHRIST ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE. We can not then center our thoughts upon self; it is no more we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and he is the hope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. Continuing to look unto Jesus, we reflect his image to all around us. We can not stop to consider our disappointments, or even to talk of them; for a more pleasant picture attracts our sight,--the precious love of Jesus. HE DWELLS IN US BY THE WORD OF TRUTH. — ST, September 3, 1896 par. 6

“What said Christ to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well? "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." "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." THE WATER TO WHICH CHRIST REFERRED WAS THE REVELATION OF HIS GRACE IN HIS WORD. HIS SPIRIT, HIS TEACHING, HIS LOVE is as a satisfying fountain to every soul. Every other source to which men resort proves unsatisfying; but the word of truth is as cool streams, represented as the waters of Lebanon, which are always satisfying. In Christ is fulness of joy forevermore. The pleasures and amusements of the world are never satisfying, or healing to the soul. But Jesus says, "Whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life." — ST, September 3, 1896 par. 7

“CHRIST'S GRACIOUS PRESENCE IN HIS WORD ever speaks to the soul, representing him as the well of living water to refresh the thirsting. It is our privilege to have A LIVING, ABIDING SAVIOUR. He is the source of spiritual power in us, and his influence will flow forth in words and actions that will refresh all within the sphere of our influence, begetting in them desires and aspirations for strength and purity, for holiness and peace, for that joy which brings no sorrow with it. Such an experience will be the result of having Christ as an indwelling Saviour.” — ST, September 3, 1896 par. 8

“The woman had come for water, and she heard of the water of life. She had been convinced of sin, and believed on Jesus Christ. Thus is the holy oil is emptied by the holy messengers, represented by the two olive trees, into the golden tubes, and from thence into the golden bowls. The emptying process goes on, from the receiving of the golden oil, to the communicating of the same to others. Word are spoken; the unconscious influences that surround the soul are felt, although no words are designedly spoken. A word may be often spoken that will be as seed sown. The presentation of a tract or a paper may carry impressions to hearts, and the result is that the reader or hearer thirsts for the water of life.” — Lt48-1897 (January 21, 1897) par. 8

"To the charge of the high priest, Jesus said, “Thou hast said: nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” With dignity and assurance WERE THESE WORDS SPOKEN; FOR THEY FELL FROM THE LIPS OF ONE WHOSE SPIRIT WENT WITH THEM. The only begotten Son of God was the speaker, and into the hearts of his hearers flashed the conviction, “Never man spake like this man.” — YI May 31, 1900, par. 4

THE ONLY SAFETY FOR ANY OF US IS TO PLANT OUR FEET UPON THE WORD OF GOD AND STUDY THE SCRIPTURE, making God's Word our constant meditation. Tell the people to take no man's word regarding the Testimonies, but to read them and study them for themselves, and then they will know that they are in harmony with the truth. The Word of God is the truth. Of a good man the psalmist declares, "His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2). He who puts mind and heart into this work gains a solid, valuable experience. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS IN THE WORD OF GOD. HERE IS THE LIVING, UNDYING ELEMENT SO DISTINCTLY REPRESENTED IN THE SIXTH CHAPTER OF JOHN. [John 6:53-57, 63, quoted.] — 21MR 131.3 (Letter 132, 1900, PP. 10, 11; To S. N. Haskell and wife, October 10, 1900; 9MR, p. 113 )

Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and by some this is being so interpreted that it is an injury to the churches. ETERNAL LIFE IS THE RECEIVING OF THE LIVING ELEMENTS IN THE SCRIPTURES AND DOING THE WILL OF GOD. This is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. To those who do this, life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel, FOR GOD’S WORD IS VERITY AND TRUTH, SPIRIT AND LIFE. It is the privilege of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour to feed on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit’s influence renders that Word, the Bible, an immortal truth, which to the prayerful searcher gives spiritual sinew and muscle. — 21MR 131.4

“Search the Scriptures,” Christ declared, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PRESENT WITH THE EARNEST SEARCHER. ITS ILLUMINATION SHINES UPON THE WORD, STAMPING THE TRUTH UPON THE MIND WITH A NEW, FRESH IMPORTANCE. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. GOD HIMSELF HAS SPOKEN TO THE MIND AND HEART, MAKING THE WORD SPIRIT AND LIFE. — 21MR 131.5

“Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carried him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, THAT GOD’S SPIRIT AND LIFE ARE IN HIS WORD. If they had received in the heart the, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn ETERNAL ELEMENT CONTAINED IN THE WORD OF GOD the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.” — Letter 132, 1900. (2SM 39.2)

“God’s people throughout the world are to become one in interested action. We must eat the breath of life, the Word of the living God.” — Lt12-1900 (February 5, 1900) par. 4

“The Word of God is open to all. Those who study this Word, asking the Lord for wisdom, will become wise unto salvation. Those who refuse to do this, who turn from the Bible and from books which make Bible truth easy to be understood, take responsibility of their course upon themselves. ‘Sin lieth at the door.’  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and, like its Author, is perfect. HE WHO BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE, AND MADE HIM A LIVING SOUL, HAS ALSO BREATHED INTO HIS WORD THE BREATH OF LIFE. IT IS A LIFEGIVING POWER. ‘The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’ ” — Lt29-1900 (February 17, 1900) par. 17; {Lt29-1900.17}

“We are to open the Word of God with reverence, with a sincere desire to know the will of God concerning us. Then the heavenly angels will direct our search. GOD SPEAKS TO US OUT OF HIS WORD. WE ARE IN THE AUDIENCE-CHAMBER OF THE MOST HIGH, IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD. CHRIST ENTERS THE HEART. The Holy Spirit takes of the things of God and shows them to us. We see more clearly the greatness of God's love and the fulness of His salvation. We appreciate more fully His gracious design to make us partners in the heavenly firm. We are drawn into full sympathy with the plans of God. His secret is with us, and He shows us His covenant.” — ST, June 26, 1901

Distinct Personality

“The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ's name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality.”  {20MR 324.2}  1893

The Holy Spirit is truly Christ in nature but not in personality when it comes to the Spirit in your heart. It is Christ’s divine nature we receive through His spoken word that comes from Himself.  The word carries with it the distinct intelligence/characteristics/mind of Christ.

"The mind of the Father was the mind of the Son.” — Lt1-1882.1

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" — Phil 2:5

In this way we have both the Father and Son as we have their mind/personality within our hearts produced by the word of God. This life, given in the Word, forms Christ within but it functions in the human body as a “distinct personality”.

The local, corporeal (tangible/physical/visible) Personality of Jesus is in Heaven alongside His Father, but we are given Their Personality through their Word. This way of experiencing their Personality is ‘distinctly’ different than if we were to be literally present with them-it’s experienced internally. Jesus has the “life/mind of God” in Him, and yet Jesus is a distinct personality, and so it is with the Spirit. The Spirit is imbued with the “life/mind of Christ and God but nevertheless has its own distinct personality-it’s spiritual:

“Science and literature cannot bring into the darkened mind of men the light which the glorious gospel of the Son of God can bring. The Son of God alone can do the great work of illuminating the soul. No wonder Paul exclaims, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ [Romans 1:16.] THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST BECOMES PERSONALITY IN THOSE WHO BELIEVE, AND MAKES THEM LIVING EPISTLES, known and read of all men. In this way the leaven of godliness passes into the multitude. The heavenly intelligences are able to discern the true elements of greatness in character; for only goodness is esteemed as efficiency with God.”  (RH, December 15, 1891) {CE 97.1}

“THE SAME POWER THAT CHRIST EXERCISED WHEN HE WALKED VISIBLY AMONG MEN IS IN HIS WORD. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead, and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken to all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ.” {MH 122.1}

“The opening of God’s word is followed by remarkable strengthening of man’s faculties; for the entrance of God’s word is the application of divine truth to the heart, purifying and refining the soul through the agency of the Holy Spirit.” {CE 199.1}

Click HERE for a further study on the Holy Spirit having a “distinct personality” (20MR 324.2).

Living Water - Spirit

“Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water, quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. Jesus declares, 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.' [John 6:53.] And he explains himself by saying, 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' [John 6:63.] Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy, it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature.”  —CE 57.1

“The words spoken by Christ were the living water. But she soon became so interested that she left her water pot and, going into the city, bore the words to her countrymen, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” — CTr 231.4

“The Bible is the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of God. But those who have a knowledge of the truth do not understand it as fully as they might. They do not bring the love of Christ into the heart and life. The student of the Word finds himself bending over a fountain of living water. The church needs to drink deeply of the spirituality of the Word. Their service to God needs to be very different from the tame, lifeless, emotionless religious experience that makes many believers but little different from those who believe not.”  — OHC 348.3 

We have now seen that the word of God is “living water” but remember how this is connected to the Spirit:

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39)

Notice what happens to a person when they hear/understand the word of Christ:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:24-25)

“Christ is our life, just as in the body the life is in the blood. CHRIST ABIDING IN THE SOUL IS THE LIFE BLOOD OF THE SOUL. He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, as well as our redemption. THERE IS NO PART OF THE SPIRITUAL BEING BUT [THAT] CHRIST IS THE LIVING SUPPLY. Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” [Verses 22, 23.] “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” [Verse 25.] Ephesians 5:9. “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” [Verses 9, 10.] CHRIST IS TO US ALL AND IN ALL. IS NOT CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OF GLORY? IS NOT THE ABIDING PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE SOUL LIFE, AS THE BLOOD DWELLS AND MOVES IN THE VEINS? <Christ is> the source and pledge of our joy and glory and hope? “As thou, Father, art in me and I in thee.” <He prays,> “That they also may be one in us: ... I in them and thou in me, ... that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:21, 23, 26.] The blood is formed in the body from the food eaten. SO CHRIST IS FORMED IN US FROM EATING HIS FLESH AND DRINKING HIS BLOOD. {Lt4-1902.5}

“We need to understand these words of Christ, “The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”—the Holy Word accepted and brought into the practical life. [John 6:63.] Spiritual life consists in Christ’s being the light and life of the soul temple, as the blood is the life of the body. ALL WHO STUDY THE WORD ARE REPRESENTED AS EATING THE WORD, FEEDING ON CHRIST. Even as the bodily necessities must be supplied daily, so the Word of God must be daily studied—eaten and digested and practiced. This sustains the nourishment to keep the soul in health. The neglect of the Word means starvation to the soul. The Word describes the blessed man as one meditating day and night upon the truths of God’s Word. We all are to feast upon the Word of God. The relation of the Word to the believer is a vital matter. Appropriating the Word to our spiritual necessities is the eating of the leaves of the tree of life that are for the healing of the nations. Study the Word, and practice the Word, for it is your life. {Lt4-1902.6}


Additional Notes

Connection with Christ - By Ellen White

The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eye-salve,” THE WORD OF GOD, MAKES THE CONSCIENCE SMART UNDER ITS APPLICATION; FOR IT CONVICTS OF SIN. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God’s great moral looking-glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 5}

THIS IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Said Christ: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father.” {RH November 23, 1897, par. 6}

SELF-SUFFICIENCY IS THE FATAL DANGER OF A LUKEWARM STATE. The Laodiceans boasted of a deep knowledge of Bible truth, a deep insight into the Scriptures. They were not entirely blind, else the eye-salve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eye-salve that you may see. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 7}

The Lord sees the necessities and the peril of the soul. He came to our world in the garb of humanity, that his humanity might meet our humanity. While we were in sin, he pledged his life for us. He loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Therefore he does not leave his tempted ones with eyes that are nearly blind to their own imperfections. The man who uses the eye-salve is enabled to see himself as he is. His wretchedness is discovered; he feels his imperfections, his spiritual poverty, and his need of being healed of his spiritual malady. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 8}

The rebuke of wrong is designed for the good of the professed follower of Christ, who is misrepresenting Christ by his spirit of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. “As many as I love,” says Christ, “I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” {RH November 23, 1897, par. 9}

THE RECEPTION OF THE WORD, THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN, IS DECLARED TO BE THE RECEPTION OF CHRIST HIMSELF. AS THE WORD OF GOD IS RECEIVED INTO THE SOUL, we partake of the flesh and blood of the Son of God. AS IT ENLIGHTENS THE MIND, THE HEART IS OPENED STILL MORE TO RECEIVE THE ENGRAFTED WORD, THAT WE MAY GROW THEREBY. Man is called upon to eat and masticate the Word; but unless his heart is OPEN TO THE ENTRANCE OF THAT WORD, unless he drinks in the Word, unless he is taught of God, there will be a misconception, misapplication, and misinterpretation of that Word. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 10}

As the blood is formed in the body by the food eaten, SO CHRIST IS FORMED WITHIN, BY THE EATING OF THE WORD OF GOD, which is his flesh and blood. HE WHO FEEDS UPON THE WORD HAS CHRIST FORMED WITHIN, THE HOPE OF GLORY. THE WRITTEN WORD INTRODUCES TO THE SEARCHER the flesh and blood of the Son of God; and through OBEDIENCE TO THAT WORD, HE BECOMES A PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE. As the necessity for temporal food cannot be supplied by once partaking of it, so the Word of God must be daily eaten to supply the spiritual necessities. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 11}

As the life of the body is found in the blood, so spiritual life is maintained through faith in the blood of Christ. He is our life, just as in the body our life is in the blood. He is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, just as the bone, sinew, and muscle are nourished, and the whole man built up, by the circulation of the blood through the system. IN VITAL CONNECTION WITH CHRIST, IN PERSONAL CONTACT WITH HIM, is found health for the soul. It is the efficacy of the blood of Christ that supplies its every need and keeps it in a healthy condition. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 12}

By reason of the waste and loss, the body must be renewed with blood, by being supplied with daily food. SO THERE IS A NEED FOR CONSTANTLY FEEDING ON THE WORD, the knowledge of which is eternal life. That Word must be our meat and drink. It is in this alone that the soul will find its nourishment and vitality. We must feast upon its precious instruction, that we may be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and grow up into Christ, our living Head. WHEN HIS WORD IS ABIDING IN THE LIVING SOUL THERE IS ONENESS WITH CHRIST; THERE IS A LIVING COMMUNION WITH HIM; there is in the soul an abiding love that is the sure evidence of our unlimited privilege. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 13}

A soul without Christ is like a body without blood; it is dead. It may have the appearance of spiritual life; it may perform certain ceremonies in religious matters like a machine; but it has no spiritual life. So the hearing of the word of God is not enough. Unless we are taught of God, we shall not accept the truth to the saving of our souls. It must be brought into the life practise. {RH November 23, 1897, par. 14}

WHEN A SOUL RECEIVES CHRIST, HE RECEIVES HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. HE LIVES THE LIFE OF CHRIST. AS HE TRAINS HIMSELF TO BEHOLD CHRIST, TO STUDY HIS LIFE AND PRACTISE HIS VIRTUES, he eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. When this experience is his, he can declare, with the apostle Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” {RH November 23, 1897, par. 15}


A. G. Daniels, The Power of God's Word, The Youth's Instructor - November 15, 1900

"The Lord says that "where the word of a king is, there is power." Eccl. 8:4. A king's word has power because the king himself has power. And the measure of the power in a king's word is according to the power which he possesses."

"The Bible not only tells us that the Lord made all things by his power, but it tells us the way he did this. He did not work with his hands, nor did he use machinery. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made." "For he spake, and it was; he commanded, and it stood fast." Ps. 33:6,9. 

What a wonderful word was that! There was nothing. All was blank nothingness. God spoke, and the worlds were framed. Darkness covered the earth. He commanded the light to shine out of that darkness, and there was light. The earth was barren. There was not a blade of grass nor a single living creature. The Lord spoke, and the earth was robed in unspeakable beauty, and peopled with myriads of living creatures. And by that same word of power the Lord upholds all that he has created. Heb. 1:3. 

Because God's power is enshrined in his word and imparted through it, that word is called "the word of his power." Whatever is created by that word, whether it be a world, a blade of grass, or a new heart in a sinner, receives the power of God. In the tiny seed is wrapped the power of God that was imparted to it at creation. 

Every created thing about us is continually revealing this power, but we do not always recognize it. Now and then we see such remarkable manifestations of it that we can not help perceiving the power that is everywhere at work. ..."

And in concluding the illustration:
"The power of that seed is the power' of God's word; for it was that word that made the seed. That power is nothing else than the power of the living God. And as the Lord changes not, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever, his word remains the same. All that it has ever been it still is, and all it has ever done it can still do. In the beginning it created all things. It has ever since upheld all that it created. Some day it will open every grave that has ever been made, and bring forth every human body that has ever been buried. 

To-day that word is able to save our souls. It can break every band with which Satan has bound us. It proclaims liberty to every captive. It speaks life to every one dead in trespasses and sin. Only let that word enter your heart, and it will do a more marvelous work with you that it did with that grave at Hanover."

"Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:21.


George W. Shone, Review & Herald May 30, 1929 “The Christ of the Bible” (Conclusion)

We have already seen that Christ is our righteousness; therefore, when Christ dwells in the heart by faith, we have righteousness by faith.

Some one may ask, How can Christ dwell in me? This question evidently arose in Paul's day, and the answer is recorded "for our learning:" "The righteousness which is of faith saith thus, Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down:) or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in' thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach." Rom. 10:6-8. (Compare verse 17.)

The word of God received into the heart, to control and mold the life, is receiving Christ to dwell in the heart, directing the life in everything; for Christ is the Word that was from the beginning. When we thus receive Christ in His word to dwell in us, we receive power, omnipotent power, to save and keep us from all the power of Satan; in other words, to keep us from sinning. "Thy word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Ps. 119:11. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for His seed [word, 1 Peter 1:23] remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:9.

As we feed upon the word for our daily spiritual life, we "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18. We become "strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might." Eph. 6:10. And in this way we become sanctified through the word. John 17:17. The same thought is expressed by Peter thus: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth." ("Thy word is truth.") 1 Peter 1:22. It is through the word that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God. Rom. 8:16. (Compare Eph. 6:17.)


"Preach the Word." 
~ I. H. Evans - "Preach the Word" Southern European Quarterly Review, June 1930

“THE WORD ITSELF HAS LIFE AND POWER. It is its own defense and its own best interpreter. "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." How dare poor, mortal man substitute his own imaginings for so living, so vital a thing as the Word of God?

THAT WORD POSSESSES SPIRIT, POWER, LIFE. IT CONVICTS OF SIN, IT MOVES TO REPENTANCE, IT GIVES THE ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS, IT COMFORTS THE MOURNING HEART, AND POINTS TO THE LAND BEYOND THE GRAVE. Human devisings and man-made theories fall before this Word as the grain falls before the scythe. Nothing can stand before the Word of God, when it is preached by a real Christian, who speaks in the name of the Lord. "Is not my Word like as a fire? saith the Lord ; and like a hammer, that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

Our strength lies in preaching the Word. It often seems as if something else might be stronger, more attractive. Such thoughts are delusion. THE WORD IS THE LIVING, VITALIZING MESSAGE that we are to preach. That is our ordination charge, and that charge is from the Word itself”