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
I. THE SUBJECT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
First of all, please note the great importance
which the Savior placed upon the subject of the
“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.
II. THE GREAT SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE OF
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
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
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON
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
“The Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative,
but divested of the personality of humanity, and
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
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
1 Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, 1:156, 157.
2 Ibid., 109.
3 ———, Evangelism, 616.
4 ———, The Desire of Ages, 669, emphasis supplied.
———, 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