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Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47741
12/30/05 03:19 AM
12/30/05 03:19 AM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
quote:
"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds."
Tom, this quote tells me that the Holy Spirit is a person in exactly the same way God is a person. Of course they are not the same persons. They are two separate Beings.

I hear Colin, on the other hand, saying that God and the Holy Spirit are the same person, that they're not two separate persons, in the same way we can be absent in body but present in spirit. Spirit in this sense is not a person, rather it is the person's spirit. Colin seems to be saying the Holy Spirit is God's spirit - not a separate person or Being.

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47742
12/29/05 04:35 PM
12/29/05 04:35 PM
C
Colin  Offline
Active Member 2012
Very Dedicated Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,826
E. Oregon, USA
quote:
Originally posted by Mountain Man:
quote:
"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds."
Tom, this quote tells me that the Holy Spirit is a person in exactly the same way God is a person. Of course they are not the same persons. They are two separate Beings.

I hear Colin, on the other hand, saying that God and the Holy Spirit are the same person, that they're not two separate persons, in the same way we can be absent in body but present in spirit. Spirit in this sense is not a person, rather it is the person's spirit. Colin seems to be saying the Holy Spirit is God's spirit - not a separate person or Being.

Thank you for clarifying your understanding of what I've said, and you're right, that's what I wrote...What's wrong with it?? [Confused] [Wink] [Wink] ....I can't say that God's own, personal Spirit is the Holy Spirit filling the universe with creative power while in us he is God's very presence? You, on the other hand, are falsely proof texting, since EGW is clear in her whole writings that the Spirit is of God (Father and Son's divinity) as well as a person - the divine Spirit. That's the mystery of it. She even refers to the Spirit as "it" and "what is it", instead of 'who is he'.... [Smile]

The Spirit as "he" is God's presence in us, the Spirit as "it" is God's power in and around us - also in the universe.

When we say we are absent in body but present in spirit we are not speaking literally, for our bodies are finite and we mean we are merely but actually thinking about someone in particular with whom we are not present. When God says his Spirit dwells in us by faith, he is speaking literally since his nature is infinite, but his body is 'tied down to his throne', so his Spirit brings his presence to us. That is the language of Scripture, which Ellen White didn't dare to dabble in or with - by her own admission, since the Spirit of God - being God's nature's Spirit - is his Spirit (as you have understood me to say) and a person with the personality of exercising God's power in the universe and now also testifying to us and our world of Christ's righteousness.

The Bible only names the Spirit as Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus, who actively represents Jesus to us. Is that not enough to give the understanding of the divine spirit proceeding from Father and Son's persons but having its own personality, too?

We do have this from Sister White.
quote:
The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour.
From her contemporary Adventist leaders and teachers (quoted by me on page 1 of this thread) we understand God's Spirit to pervade our lives, our world and the universe - but of course only our lives are pervaded by God's presence through his Spirit - not all of nature.

The Spirit manifests God's power and divine grace, in the fulness of the Godhead. That's not a person as we understand persons, who have beings or bodies like we perceive persons, but God's Spirit, the divine Spirit, is a person, if incomprehensible Why do we add to that? We are told by EGW not to use our own perception or reasoning to understand God's nature, but rather take the Bible for what it says. Well???

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47743
12/29/05 07:58 PM
12/29/05 07:58 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
quote:
When God says his Spirit dwells in us by faith, he is speaking literally.
I don't think this is right. In fact, I've asked many, including MM, quite a number of times just what they mean when they say "the Holy Spirit dwelling in you."

My understanding of what this means is NOT as some sort of ununderstandable undefinable mystical presence in us in some non-describable way, like air, or something like that, but rather is referring to the communication between God and us through the Spirit. That is, we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit; we hear what He is saying to us, and agree to it. It refers to communication between mind and mind.

Faith is an action of the mind. To say the Holy Spirit dwells is us by faith is to say that when we respond to the appeals of the Holy Spirit by faith, we are acting in harmony with Him. It's like this:

quote:
When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness.(COL 312)
I believe this is what it means to say that Christ dwell in our heart by faith. That is, this is another way of communicating the same thought as the wedding garment statement. The idea is that Christ is closer than a brother; there is a harmony, a closeness, a union which so unites us that we couldn't be closer.

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47744
12/29/05 08:02 PM
12/29/05 08:02 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Colin, sorry to keep asking the same thing over and over, but I still don't know your answer to the 2 or 3 question. That is, when the Godhead is in conference, are there 2 present, or 3? How many minds are present? (Sorry if you've already answered this, and I missed it)

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47745
12/29/05 09:47 PM
12/29/05 09:47 PM
V
vastergotland  Offline
Active Member 2011
3500+ Member
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,965
Sweden
Sometimes it is said that one point where SDA beliefs differ from most of the rest of Christianity is on the question of wether a soul can live outside or without a body. Now, if a human living body is one soul and we are made in Gods image, would God have a "soul" detachable from His body? Gods mind leaving His body becoming the Holy Spirit. This is one strange thougth.

/Thomas

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47746
12/29/05 10:25 PM
12/29/05 10:25 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Interesting point, Thomas.

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47747
12/30/05 02:29 AM
12/30/05 02:29 AM
Redfog  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 733
Michigan, USA
There are so many things that it is impossible for us to wrap our human minds around. The Holy Spirit is one of them, however Mrs. White says: ".... we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person....".

At the same time she also says: "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."

So in light of the above, and other passages that people on here have quoted I think it's pretty clear that the Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Godhead, beyond that maybe we need to head the advice of the SOP and realize that continued debate is pointless because we cannot understand it. God has not revealed to us this mystery, therefore any debate is just pure speculation and it does nothing to strengthen the church. We can debate the nature of the Holy Spirit until the cows come home and still not be any closer to the truth.

Redfog

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47748
12/30/05 05:26 AM
12/30/05 05:26 AM
C
Colin  Offline
Active Member 2012
Very Dedicated Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,826
E. Oregon, USA
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Ewall:
Colin, sorry to keep asking the same thing over and over, but I still don't know your answer to the 2 or 3 question. That is, when the Godhead is in conference, are there 2 present, or 3? How many minds are present? (Sorry if you've already answered this, and I missed it)

Quite right, that point had slipped away... [Big Grin]

When I say 2 it's with Jn 1:18 and Matt 11:27 in mind, as examples. Nevermind planning salvation and interceding for his people today, both of which activities the Spirit materialises in our faith experience, the very knowledge of God is actively shared by Father and Son, while only the Son makes that knowledge known to us - we're unable to see the Father at the moment, but the Father is on his throne while Christ is the mobile of the two. After his ascension he came to us through his Spirit.

Yes, God communicates with us through Bible study and prayer as well as the still small voice, of course. Why would the Spirit commune with the Father & Son if he is the "Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead" making God's power and presence felt where God is not personally presence - like among us? Thomas' point is interesting about God's Spirit possibly being akin to the roaming soul we do not have, etc. It sounds alright, to me.

The other thing I haven't responded to are your comments on my assertion that God is speaking literally about his Spirit dwelling in us.
quote:
My understanding of what this means is NOT as some sort of ununderstandable undefinable mystical presence in us in some non-describable way, like air, or something like that, but rather is referring to the communication between God and us through the Spirit. That is, we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit; we hear what He is saying to us, and agree to it. It refers to communication between mind and mind.
Granted, I may have been use a little hyberhole. The theatrical version of this situation is the Holy Spirit on the right shoulder and the devil on the left. [Big Grin]

It is perhaps more accurte to say that the Spirit of God is right next to us and manifests God's presence in our spiritual awareness, that is the "mind of Christ" he creates in our minds. The point is about the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son to represent them to us, manifesting their presence to and in us, as well as around us, but not bringing his own presence, since he is their presence.

Thus, we pray for Jesus' presence among us, and the Spirit answers that prayer. We commune with the Father in Jesus' name and the Father's presence is made manifest, to be perceived by the measure of faith used on our part... unbelievers must have a measure of faith, else how do they testify that believers in their midst have been with Jesus? That the Spirit testifies of Jesus and not of himself is surely significant as the limit of revelation.

Doesn't it just amount to the Spirit implementing God's will by grace through faith in our experience, as God's invisible omnipresence? He is the personal presence of God for us, but is obviously not the Father himself, etc.. That's the Spirit in our lives, but not your typical lodger. [Wink] [Cool] [Roll Eyes]

Just spotted that other question you raised, about the Spirit as Jesus' presence, testifying of Jesus but not of itself. Yes, your sentence made sense... [Big Grin] [Roll Eyes] The weirdness of it is solved by realising that the Spirit of Jesus isn't Jesus himself (see, I do acknowledge them as separate persons [Cool] ), but his divine spirit making his presence spiritually real for us.

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47749
12/30/05 06:02 AM
12/30/05 06:02 AM
C
Colin  Offline
Active Member 2012
Very Dedicated Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,826
E. Oregon, USA
Originally from Thomas, about me saying that the Spirit is divine only by its identity as God's Spirit
quote:
To have a personal something implies ownership or hiearchy, at least it does to me. The kind of thing you might say to a person you wish to mark dominance over when used about a human.
Whatever happened to equality among the Godhead? Or did we have that wrong aswell, having now to adjust to a hiearchy within it?

/Thomas

Well, yes human ownership is often oppressive in reality, whether of human, animate or inanimate property. While it's worth chuckling for a fleeting moment over the known fact that God is not oppressive over his creation - which he owns, God's Spirit isn't something he owns, surely. He doesn't own eternal life, he has it - he lives it; still, the Spirit of God (which is the Biblical wording much of the time... [Cool] ) isn't an attribute of God, but an intrinsic part of the make up of divine nature. It exists as divinity exists, and is divinity's constant omnipresence. God's Spirit even maintains the harmony between Father and Son, according to Ellen White, but the divine Spirit doesn't depart from God's will, as it naturally implements that will. it wishes no alternative to its natural purpose: divine persons don't naturally.... [Wink]

Jesus had a choice of God's will or his own will in the Garden of Gethsemane, as throughout his earthly life, because his [I]human will[I] was naturally contrary to God's will. As divinity, Jesus couldn't sin, for God naturally doesn't go against his own will and nothing to force him away from that - unlike our good intentions. But Jesus was righteous by faith as a human being, and that was only possible by the power of God's Spirit in his life, by his choice. Even the decisions in the wilderness temptations, as well as the Gethsemane trial, were by "the faith of Jesus" as a human being.

Re: God: The Holy Spirit #47750
12/30/05 06:08 AM
12/30/05 06:08 AM
C
Colin  Offline
Active Member 2012
Very Dedicated Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,826
E. Oregon, USA

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