Explain EGW’s Usage of Person as in “Third” Person
𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐄𝐆𝐖’𝐬 𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧 “𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐝” 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧
Note:EGW always had the 1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary & used it often in her writings. We must always keep in mind how EGW used terms in her day and what they meant to her and the early Pioneers along with thorough investigation of all Scriptures and her writings. Here's one definition of "person" in this Dictionary which is how EGW not only identified but designated the 3rd Person to be, all in relationship as Christ’s representative.
6. Character of office.
How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the person of a magistrate and that of a friend.
Let us go a little further on this subject:
𝐃𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭 & 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐥𝐲 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭
Can we not see the linkage or tie between Christ and the Holy Spirit (His Spirit) in this excerpt below?
What do I mean by direct linkage?
It means that metaphysically speaking, there is a link between Christ and the Holy Spirit, yet they are not distinctly separate, that is why in many good Christian writings they are used interchangeably, one of my favorite Christian authors (Ellen White) does that all the time in her writings. The excerpt below is an example.
Now, based on the supernatural power of Omnipresence, which is an attribute of our Supreme God (The Father) and Jesus Christ (The Son of God). Though they (The Father and the Son) are tangibly located in heaven (Acts 7:55), they are by their Holy Spirit present everywhere, especially where through their words, their names are invoked (see Matthew 18:20 and John 14:21-23). One of the best ways I have heard it explained is this, "The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof." [THE DESIRE OF AGES, PAGE 669].
Independence, does not necessarily mean distinction, it just means that because God is a personal, tangible SPIRITUAL BEING, who resides in a place called heaven, His Spirit is independent of his tangible location, and hence through HIS Spirit, he is everywhere present BY HIS Spirit which is His Representative, same is true of Jesus Christ His Son, because Jesus also possess the same attributes as God, His Father.
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” The Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested; for Christ had not yet been glorified. The more abundant impartation of the Spirit did not take place till after Christ's ascension. Not until this was received could the disciples fulfill the commission to preach the gospel to the world. But the Spirit was now given for a special purpose. Before the disciples could fulfill their official duties in connection with the church, Christ breathed His Spirit upon them. He was committing to them a most sacred trust, and He desired to impress them with the fact that without the Holy Spirit this work could not be accomplished.
The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church." [The Desire of Ages, Page 805]
Very simply, Ellen White explains what she means when she describes the Holy Spirit as "a distinct personality" from Christ in this statement, of which Jesus is the subject:
"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 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." [MR14, p. 23]
“ Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. He personifies Christ, YET IS A DISTINCT PERSONALITY.” (Ms 93, 1893, par. 8.)
The Holy Spirit is Christ as separate from His unique humanity, but it is still in every sense "Himself," and the means by which He (Christ) represents "Himself" in all places at all times. The repetition there is notable.
It is also interesting that she uses the word "divested." To be "divested" literally means to have one's clothing removed. That the Holy Spirit is "divested" of the personality of humanity means that it was once associated WITH humanity, otherwise she could not have accurately used that word; but have simply said that the Holy Spirit was "without" humanity or "separate" from humanity.
What she is describing here is not an eternally separate being, but an element of Christ Himself that was once associated with His human incarnation, not separate from His Person, and is now "divested" of its limitations (once present, now removed like clothing) so that He (the Son of God) may represent Himself in a way befitting His role as the Comforter of every man, woman and child that calls upon His name.
The spirit of every living being has a personality because our spirit is in fact our personality. So the Holy Spirit has a personality because God has a personality. In giving us His Spirit God gives us Himself. It is not another being and it is not some impersonal force. It is the presence and power of God Himself. It is God's own Spirit having God's own personality.
If I could give you my spirit, whose personality would you have? Mine! Thus God's Spirit has God's personality. God and His Son have a Spirit and that is how “They” represent “Themselves” where they are not personally present. This is the nature of the Holy Spirit that we cannot understand.
So the Holy Spirit is not some force or another being, but the presence and power of God Himself given to Jesus.
“The Father gave HIS Spirit without measure to HIS Son,” — (Ellen G. White, RH, November 5, 1908)
“BY the SPIRIT the FATHER and the SON will come and make their abode with you.” — (Ellen G. White, The Bible Echo, January 15, 1893)
The spirit of every living being has a personality because our spirit is our personality. So the Holy Spirit has a personality because God and His Son have a personality. “In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself,” — (E.G. White, 7T 273.1, 1902). It is not another being or some impersonal force. It is the presence and power of God Himself. It is God's own Spirit having God's own personality. If I could give you my spirit, whose personality would you have? Mine! So God's Spirit has God's personality. And since your spirit is your mind, will and emotions, we find that the Greek and Hebrew word for “Spirit” also means “mind” as you would expect. Strong's dictionary says, “breath, figuratively life, spirit, mind.” As Paul said, “no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. Why? Because it is His Spirit.