In Manuscript Releases, volume 14, pages 23 and 24, could Ellen White be suggesting that Christ and the Holy Spirit are the same persons?
The text says: "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. 'But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you) teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you' [John 14:26]. 'Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you"'[John 16:7]."
To understand this statement it's indispensable that we correctly interpret the second and third sentences, which, in the English original, appear the following way: "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." Isolated from its context, these sentences end up becoming ambiguous. Consequently, the reflexive pronoun "Himself" that appears in the expression "the Holy Spirit is Himself" could be interpreted as if referring to the Holy Spirit or to Christ. If we choose the first alternative, then we'll have to understand the sentence the following way: The Holy Spirit Himself is divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. But, in this case, the pronouns "He," "Himself", and "His" of the following sentence would be interpreted as also referring to the Holy Spirit, which would force us to understand the sentence as follows: The Holy Spirit would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as Omnipresent. But such interpretation is deprived of meaning and, therefore, unacceptable.
Despite any ambiguity, the context confirms that in both sentences the pronouns "He," "His," and "Himself" are referring to Christ and not to the Holy Spirit. Thus, the sentences maybe understood the following way: "The Holy Spirit is Christ divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. Christ would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent." This interpretation is confirmed by a parallel declaration found in The Desire of Ages, p. 669, which states that "the Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof."
Some claim that, when affirming that the Holy Spirit is Christ, Ellen White would be affirming that the Holy Spirit is a mere uncharacterized energy that flows from Christ. But such interpretation is not confirmed by the context in which the above-mentioned expressions appear. By attesting that the Holy Spirit is Christ "divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof," Ellen White suggests a clear distinction between the divine nature of the Holy Spirit and the divine human nature of Christ. Moreover, the statements that the Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father in the name of Christ Qohn 14:2 6) and by Christ Himself Gohn 16:7), quoted in the same paragraph, affirm that the Holy Spirit is distinct, both from the Father and from the Son. To be sent by both people, the Holy Spirit must have a personality distinct from both of them, for no one sends himself.
When suggesting that the Holy Spirit is Christ, Ellen White employed an expression to accentuate the meaning similar to the one Christ used when He said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). These expressions emphasize the essential unity between the Holy Spirit and Christ, and between Christ and the Father respectively, without denying the distinction of personality of each one of them. Hence, by saying that the Holy Spirit is Christ, Ellen White suggests that the presence of Holy Spirit in the world as Christ's representative would not represent any loss for the disciples. No matter how much people may seek endorsements for their anti-trinitarian theories in the declaration of the Manuscript Releases, such attempts will never be able to obscure the clear teachings of the Bible and of Ellen White about Divinity as formed by three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Dr. Alberto R. Timm, from the Ellen G. White Research Center in Brazil, provided the answer to this question. The purpose of this section is to clear any doubts about subjects related to church doctrines and ministerial questions.