John 14:16-18

In this series of sermons, we are dealing with the biblical truth that, through Christ, the Holy Spirit is God’s answer for our world. I will use John 14:16-18 as introduction to this message. Let’s read it.

Before we can deal with the fact that the Holy Spirit is God’s answer for life, for home, for effective witnessing, and thus for a finished work, we must first seek to learn His specific functions. In this message, the purpose is to show from Inspiration who the Holy Spirit is (as far as it is possible for the human mind to grasp) and to do this not from logic or mere fact but, much more importantly, to understand this through the Christian’s faith in Christ and His righteousness.


First of all, please note the great importance which the Savior placed upon the subject of the Holy Spirit:

“Christ the Great Teacher had an infinite variety of subjects from which to choose, but the one upon which He dwelt most largely was the endowment of the Holy Spirit. What great things He predicted for the church because of this endowment. Yet what subject is less dwelt upon now? What promise is less fulfilled? An occasional discourse is given upon the Holy Spirit, and then the subject is left for after consideration.”1

As we contemplate this statement, we realize that, more than 100 years after it was written, it still appears to be true today! Notice the following statement in which the servant of the Lord was shown even more graphically the need of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives:

“. . . I seem to be in a meeting, presenting the necessity and importance of our receiving the Spirit. This was the burden of my labor—the opening of our hearts to the Holy Spirit. . . . In my dream a sentinel stood at the door of an important building, and asked every one who came for entrance, ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost?’ A measuring-line was in his hand, and only very, very few were admitted into the building.”2

How much more we need the divine presence of this gift which was purchased for us at infinite cost! Our need is far greater than we imagine to bring about a finished work of character development within us individually, and through the latter rain to also affect this finished work that has been over 170 years in process—and in reality is still far from being completed today.


In Genesis 1:1, we read that “God created the heavens and the earth.” Who was this God? In some places in Scripture, the reference is to Christ as the Creator (see John 1 and Col. 1). In Hebrews 1:1, 2, it implies that the Father was the Creator with Christ acting as co-Creator; and then, according to Genesis 1, it is the Spirit of God who was the active agent of creation. How do these passages harmonize?

The secret is found in the first verse of the Bible. The word “God” in this verse is the Hebrew word Elohim, which is the plural form of the word and means “two or more.” Hence, all the passages are correct, and the Scriptures are trying to tell us that all three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—worked together in the creation of our world. Let us illustrate this even further.

The Old Testament includes many references which indicate that the heavenly Godhead consists of more than one person or personality. In Genesis 1:26 there are three personal pronouns—us, our, and our. Notice also that, in Genesis 3:22 and 11:6, 7 and also in Isaiah 6:8, it is obvious that there is definitely more than one personality indicated.

In the New Testament, it is also clear that there is more than one being intended in the truth of the divine Godhead and that the Holy Spirit is included. Matthew 28:19, 20 associates the Holy Spirit with God the Father and God the Son as their equal! Thus, the Trinity is not 1+1+1=3, but rather 1+1+1=1 Godhead with 3 separate personalities. Thus, the Holy Spirit is equally divine with the Father and the Son.


One of the reasons the Holy Spirit is so mysterious in our thinking is because we think of Him as “It.” However, He or Him does not refer to the Holy Spirit as male in contrast to female but rather to denote a personality. According to the Spirit of Prophecy, the Holy Spirit is a person yet does not have a human personality. Notice the following inspired declaration: “We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.”3

“The Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof.”4

You may want to look up the following biblical references which are ascribed to the Holy Spirit indicating that He is a Person—a divine Person:

1. He speaks (1 Tim. 4:1).

2. He intercedes (Rom. 8:26).

3. He testifies (John 15:26).

4. He directs (Acts 16:6, 7).

5. He appoints (Acts 20:28).

6. He can be lied to (Acts 5:3, 4).

7. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30).

Thus we see some of the emotions and actions which are characteristics of personality.

Therefore, it should be clear that the Holy Spirit is not some mystical force or vague influence; rather, He is a Person with the attributes of a divine personality.

We must here remember that in our desire to better understand the Holy Spirit, we must not even attempt to bring Him down to our level. The Holy Spirit is a divine Person—He is God! Notice the following attributes possessed by divinity and specifically attributed to the Holy Spirit:

1. He is omnipresent, i.e., present everywhere (Ps. 139:7).

2. He is omniscient, i.e., all-knowing (1 Cor. 2:10, 11).

3. He is called “God” (Acts 5:4).


In conclusion, there is one very important point to remember whenever one attempts to understand the Holy Spirit. Of course, there must be much prayer but especially in the study of the Holy Spirit. Inspiration declares: “The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. . . . Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.”5 Let’s pray.

1 Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, 1:156, 157.

2 Ibid., 109.

3 ———, Evangelism, 616.

4 ———, The Desire of Ages, 669, emphasis supplied.

5 ———, The Acts of the Apostles, 52.

David Wolkwitz is a retired ordained minister who served as pastor, chaplain, evangelist, administrator, and departmental director. As a speaker, he challenged his audiences to pray daily at 6:15 a.m. for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This sermon is used by permission from the General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department.