How Many Holy Spirits? One or Two?
Silly question, right? And yet we now have some starting to teach an error that would effectively make two Holy Spirits. One for the Spirit of God and one for the Spirit of Christ.
Sadly, those teaching two Holy Spirits are no better than those who teach three gods. Scripture tells us several times that there is only ONE God.
And Scripture also tells us that there is only ONE Spirit, not two!
Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body, and ONE SPIRIT [Holy Spirit], even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord [Jesus Christ], one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
So Paul says in Ephesians 4:4 that there is “one Spirit.” But the Bible speaks about the “Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ”, which involves two Divine beings. If the Father has a Holy Spirit, the Son must too. So how then is there only ONE Spirit as Paul so clearly informs us?
The answer is something the majority miss because most have been indoctrinated with the Catholic idea of the Holy Spirit as another being rather than God’s own Spirit. God and His Son have a shared Spirit and that is how “They” represent “Themselves” where they are not personally present.
Can we prove they are one in Spirit? Many times from both Scripture and SOP in fact.
Starting with the pioneers of the SDA Church. Note carefully from the following that the key pioneers came together with Ellen White regularly and they prayed and fasted and often studied through the entire night. And when their study could reveal no more, Ellen White would go into vision and she was given clear explanations of the passages they had been studying, which she then shared with those studying with her.
“After the passing of the time in 1844 we searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with the brethren, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. AGAIN AND AGAIN THESE BRETHREN CAME TOGETHER TO STUDY THE BIBLE, in order that THEY might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When THEY came to the point in THEIR study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me. I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages WE had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how WE were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped US to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, his mission, and his priesthood.” — (E.G. White, RH, May 25, 1905)
Not only that, but God told Ellen White that the words of the pioneers had to be repeated. Would God ask this of her if the basics of the pioneer’s teachings were incorrect? Such as who the Holy Spirit is. Of course not!
“God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it? — He has said that the dead are to speak. How? — Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced.” — (E.G. White, RH, May 25, 1905, ‘The work for this time’, address at the 1905 General Conference, May 16)
So what did they teach on the Holy Spirit?
“Finally, we know the Divine unity of the Father and the Son from the fact that both have the same Spirit. Paul, after saying that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, continues: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom. 8:9. Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.” — (E.J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 23, 1890)
“The terms “Holy Ghost”, are a harsh and repulsive translation. It should be “Holy Spirit” (hagion pneuma) in every instance. This Spirit is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit being the same whether it is spoken of as pertaining to God or Christ. But respecting this Spirit, the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it is a person like the Father and the Son. Rather it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present.” — (Uriah Smith, RH, Oct 28, 1890)
There is no way these words can be misinterpreted. And there is no way Ellen White would not have corrected them if they were wrong on something this important.
And so there should be absolutely no question that Ellen White taught the same thing through inspiration!
“They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet ONE IN SPIRIT, and heart, and character.” — (E.G. White, YI, Dec 16, 1897)
She reveals why the Father and Son are one in Spirit as she explains that God gave “all things” to His Son which includes not only His self-existent life (John 5:26) as she and Scripture states, but also His Spirit.
“All things Christ received from God, but He took to give.” — (E.G. White, DOA, p. 21)
“The Father gave his Spirit without measure to his Son, and we also may partake of its fulness.” — (E.G. White, RH, Nov 5, 1908)
Thus the Holy Spirit is the very presence of God Himself coming to us through His Son.
“In giving us HIS Spirit, God gives us HIMSELF, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world.” — (E.G. White, 7T 273.1, 1902)
So as Ellen White said, the Spirit of God comes to us through His only begotten Son. So the Holy Spirit can rightfully be called the Spirit of Christ, though it is His Father’s Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God,” — (E.G. White, RH, April 5, 1906)
So, when Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit, whose Spirit is it referring to? Note the following:
Luke 12:11-12 “take you no thought how or what thing you shall answer, or what you shall say: For the HOLY GHOST shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say.”
Now note the SAME ACCOUNT from Matthew and whose Spirit is called the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 10:19-20 “take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which speaketh in you.”
Matthew called the “HOLY SPIRIT” the “SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER,” and so it is God’s Spirit, and why it is also called the “Spirit of God.”
And so we know that Scripture states there is only ONE Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of God.”
So how do we reconcile ONE Spirit with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ? There is only one way and that is by acknowledging that the Father gave His Spirit to His son and that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God manifested and coming to us through His Son.
We have seen this already from “inspiration” and the SDA pioneers.
Here is even more evidence from Scripture.
We have already seen that the “one Spirit” i.e., the Holy Spirit belongs to the one true God the Father.
So how do we have access through Christ as our mediator to the Father? Through Christ by the “one Spirit” which is His Father’s Spirit. Thus, again we see they are one in Spirit and it is only by this that we have access to the Father since they are one in Spirit!
Ephesians 2:18 “For through him [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
So, do we know for a fact that this means that they are one in Spirit and when we have the Holy Spirit, we have both the Father and Son? Yes! Of course.
How do the Father and Son BOTH make their abode in you if there is only ONE Spirit?
John 14:23 “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [Jesus and His Father] will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Below Ellen White quotes John 14:23 and states it is by “the spirit” that the Father and Son live in us. Not by two spirits! How many is “THE Spirit”? One!
“By THE SPIRIT the FATHER AND THE SON will come and make their abode with you. [John 14:23 quoted]” — (E.G. White, BEcho, Jan 15, 1893)
Thus the Father and Son are one in Spirit, and that one Spirit proceeds from the Father and comes to us through His Son. This is why Paul equates the “Spirit of God” with the “Spirit of Christ” as it is the same one Spirit of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. And so we find that the Holy Spirit is the same Spirit whether it is spoken of as pertaining to God or Christ.
Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of his.”
There is more than enough truth and evidence above that reveals there is only ONE Holy Spirit and that the Father and Son are ONE in Spirit.
Anyone teaching contrary to the above is teaching against inspiration and the truth God gave to His remnant Church and needs to be avoided and prayed for.