The Holy Spirit and His Work

TDOC – [The Doctrine of Christ] by Prescott William Warren written in 1920


LESSON SIXTY-THREE: The Promise of the Spirit


  1. When Christ was about to leave the world, he promised that the Father would send “another Comforter” to take his place. John 14: 16. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.1}
  2. In his talk with his disciples, Christ called the Comforter the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of truth. John 14: 26; 15:26. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.2}
  3. Through the coming of this Comforter, Christ would come to dwell in believers. Compare John 14: 17 and 20, and observe that the Spirit of truth “in you” (verse 17) is the same as “I in you” (verse 20). John 14: 18. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.3}
  4. Christ thus present by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the world cannot receive, because it deals with tangible and visible things, but his presence is real to the believing disciple. John 14: 17, 22, 23. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.4}
  5. Recognizing his equality with his Father, Christ told the disciples~ that he would send the Comforter to them after his departure from them. John 16: 7. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.5}
  6. When Christ returned to heaven, his presence through the Holy Spirit was still with his disciples on the earth. Compare John 14: 26 with 1 John 2: 1, ARV, margin. (The same Greek word is translated “Comforter” in John 14: 26 as is translated “advocate” in 1 John 2: l.) {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.6}
  7. This is the provision for the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of his presence with his followers. Matthew 28: 18-20. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.7}


NOTES: The most essential gift

“Before offering himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon his followers, a gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of grace. {1920 WWP, TDOC 176.8}


‘I will pray the Father,’ he said, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him, but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.1}


“Before this the Spirit had been in the world; from the very beginning of the work of redemption he had been moving upon men’s hearts. But while Christ was on earth, the disciples had desired no other helper. Not until they were deprived of his presence would they feel their need of the Spirit, and then he would come. {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.2}


  • “The Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that he should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be his success or on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Savior would be accessible to all. In this sense he would be nearer to them than if he had not ascended on high.”-“The Desire of Ages,” p. 799. {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.3}


His nature a mystery

  • “It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, ‘the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father.’ It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit, that in his work of guiding men into all truth, ‘he shall not speak of himself.’ “The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them; but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.”-“The Acts of the Apostles,” pp. 51, 52. {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.5}


A universal presence

“In the place of Christ’s visible, bodily, local, limited presence is now substituted an invisible but universal presence, in and with his body mystical. [the church], through his Holy Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.6}


The Spirit of truth

In promising the Holy Spirit to his disciples, our Lord speaks of him as the Spirit of truth. That truth, which he himself is, that truth and grace and life which he brought from heaven as a substantial spiritual reality to communicate to us, that truth has its existence in the Spirit of God: he is the Spirit, the inner life of that divine truth. And when we receive him, and just as far as we receive him’ and give up to him, he makes Christ, and the life of God, to be truth in us divinely real; he gives it to be in us of a truth.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 177.7}


The successor of Jesus

“Jesus is about to vacate his office on earth as teacher and prophet; but before doing so he would introduce us to his successor. As in a complex problem we seek to determine an unknown quantity by the known, so in this paschal discourse Jesus aims to make us acquainted with the mysterious, invisible coming personage whom he names the ‘Paraclete’ by comparing him with himself, the known and the visible one.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.1}


The Comforter and Christ

“But if Christ thus distinguishes the Comforter from himself, he also identifies him with himself: ‘I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you.’ John 14:18. By common consent this promise refers to the advent of the Spirit, for so the connection plainly indicates. And yet almost in the same breath he says: ‘The Comforter whom I will send unto you.’ John 14: 26. Thus our Lord makes the same event to be at once his coming and his sending; and he speaks of the Spirit now as his own presence, and now as his substitute during his absence.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.2}


Christ and the Father

“In the first part of his talk with his disciples, Christ said, ‘I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,” but later he said, ‘I will send him unto you.” This is one of the many incidental evidences that even while he was here on the earth Christ assumed his equality with the Father. The Father sent the Comforter, and so did Christ.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.3}


The indwelling presence

“All the fullness of God becomes operative and personally present in the world and in the spirit of man by the power of the Holy Spirit. This, the Lord Christ and the Father dwell personally and lovingly in him who loves Christ and keeps his word.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.4}


The promise for us

  • To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as he endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. At this very hour his Spirit and his grace are for all who need them and will take him at his word.”-“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 8, p. 20. {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.5}


Christ and the Spirit

“The name Paraclete is applied to Christ as well as to the Spirit; and properly: for it is the common office of each to console and encourage us and to preserve us by their defense. Christ was their [the disciples] patron so long as he lived in the world; he then committed them to the guidance and protection of the Spirit. If any one asks us whether we are not under the guidance of Christ, the answer is easy: {1920 WWP, TDOC 178.6}


Christ is a perpetual guardian, but not visibly. As long as he walked on the earth he appeared openly as their guardian: now he preserves us by his Spirit. He calls the Spirit ‘another Comforter,’ in view of the distinction which we observe in the blessings proceeding from each.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.1}


Christ is our Advocate with the Father, and the Holy Spirit is Christ’s Advocate with us. As Christ pleads for us at the throne of grace, so the Spirit pleads for Christ in our hearts.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.2}


The needed experience

“Is not the great thing wanted this, that the Spirit of God should be so poured out upon Christ’s people that men should be made aware of his presence with them, and of the presence of Christ at the right hand of God? so poured out that there should be a coming together, in some sense, of the blessed God and of that world which has separated itself from him, that the powers of the world to come should take hold upon men and constrain them to cry out, ‘Men and brethren, what must we do?” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.3}


“We need the power of Christ brought to bear upon our hearts by the Spirit of Christ within us. When Christ was on the earth, he was yet at an immeasurable distance from his disciples. By the gift of the Holy Spirit this distance is annihilated. He comes nearer to his people now than when he washed their feet. He comes into their hearts, and takes possession of their wills, their understandings, their energies.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.4}


The third person of the Godhead

“Not only individual Christians, but whole communities of disciples are found who have been so imperfectly instructed that they have never known that there is a Holy Spirit, except as an influence, an impersonal something to be vaguely recognized. Of the Holy Ghost as a divine person, dwelling in the church, to be honored and invoked and obeyed and implicitly trusted, they know nothing.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.5}


How to receive the gift

“How shall the heart of the believer be changed into a holy of holies, where the fullness of the Godhead shall dwell? Let us fix our eyes steadily on the means that Christ hath pointed out to us. Let us love him and keep his commandments. Let our love to him express itself in the utmost deference to his behests. Let us lovingly obey him. Let us obediently love him. Let us recognize him in his word, and render to his word the honor due to him. Let his word rule in our hearts. We shall no sooner have begun heartily to do this than we shall find the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, with us, and shall be wonderfully aided to discover Christ in his word: and in Christ the Father will be revealed to us, and in all this nothing fictitious, nothing even symbolical. It would be difficult to conceive any addition to this promise. It contains within itself all conceivable wealth of blessing.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 179.6}


The promised presence of Christ

“Jesus read the future of his disciples. He saw one brought to the scaffold, one to the cross, one to exile among the lonely rocks of the sea, others to persecution and death. He encouraged them with the promise that in every trial he would be with them. That promise has lost none of its force. The Lord knows all about his faithful servants who for his sake are lying in prison or, who are banished to lonely islands. He comforts them with his own presence. When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of his disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with his love. When one suffers death for his sake, Christ says, ‘I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. . . . and have the keys of hell and of death.’ The life that is sacrificed for me is preserved unto eternal glory. At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, he is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer.”-“The Desire of Ages,” pp. 799, 800. {1920 WWP, TDOC 180.1}



  1. The glorification of Christ by his death, and his ascension to heaven, were necessary to the fulfillment of his’ promised presence in the Spirit. John 7: 38, 39; 16:7; Acts 2:33. {1920 WWP, TDOC 180.2}
  2. The promise of the Holy Spirit is the provision for the presence of Christ in his disciples. John 17: 26. {1920 WWP, TDOC 180.3}
  3. The presence of the indwelling Christ through his Spirit is essential for every Christian. Romans 8: 810; John 15: 5. {1920 WWP, TDOC 180.4}
  4. This is the fellowship with Christ into which every believer is called. 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3. {1920 WWP, TDOC 180.5}


NOTES: Fellowship with God

“When the Son of God came to earth, and revealed the Father, it was that such intercourse with God, and the assurance of his favor, might become clearer, and be the abiding portion of every child of God. When he was exalted to the throne of glory, it was that he might send down into our hearts the Holy Spirit, to maintain in us, in divine power, the blessed life of fellowship with God.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.1}


The one need

“Has, the Holy Spirit the place in the church which our Lord Jesus would wish him to have? When our hearts open to the inconceivably glorious truth that he is the mighty power of God dwelling in us, that in him the living Christ works through, us, that he is the real presence with us of the glorified Lord on the throne, we shall feel that the one need of the ministry and the church is this: to wait at the footstool of the, throne without ceasing for the clothing with the power that, comes from on high. The Spirit of Christ, in his love and power, in his death and life, is; the Spirit of the ministry.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.2}


Christ restored

“All that Christ had been to them, the Spirit was to restore in greater power, and in a blessedness that should know no break. They were to be far, happier and safer and stronger with Jesus in heaven, than they ever could have been with him on earth. This, the chief beauty and blessedness of their discipleship of such a Master, that he was so wise and patient to give to each one just what he needed, and to make each one feel that he had in him his best friend, could never be left out. The indwelling of the Spirit was meant to restore Christ’s most personal intercourse and guidance, his direct personal friendship.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.3}


The Spirit of the God-man

“But now there comes the last, the long-promised, an entirely new manifestation of the divine Spirit. The Spirit that has dwelt in Jesus Christ, and, in his life of obedience, has taken up his human spirit into perfect fellowship and unity with himself, is now the Spirit of the exalted God-man. As the man Christ Jesus enters the glory of God and the full fellowship of that Spirit-life in which God dwells, he receives from the Father the right to send forth this Spirit into his disciples, yea, in the Spirit to descend himself, and dwell in them.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.4}


A Personality

The Spirit here spoken of is a personal existence. Throughout all that our Lord says in this last conversation regarding the Spirit, personal epithets are applied to him, and the actions ascribed to him are personal actions. He is to be the substitute of the most marked and influential, Personality with whom the disciples had ever been brought in contact. He is to supply his vacated place.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.5}


An unappreciated promise

“Christ declared that the divine influence of the Spirit was to be with his followers unto the end. But the promise is not appreciated as it should be; and therefore its fulfillment is not seen as it might be. {1920 WWP, TDOC 181.6}


The promise of the Spirit is a matter little thought of and the result is only what might be expected, spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Minor matters occupy the attention, and the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in its infinite plenitude. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.1}


It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talent, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but, without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of his disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them channels for the out flowing of the highest influence in the universe.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.2}


“Why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit, since this is the means by which we are to receive power? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to us than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the baptism of the Spirit every worker should be pleading with God. Companies should be gathered together to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely. Especially should men pray that God will baptize his missionaries with the Holy Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.3}


  • “The presence of the Spirit with God’s workers will give the presentation of the truth a power that not an the honor or glory of the world could give. The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the unfriendliness of relatives, the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own imperfections and mistakes.”-“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 8, pp. 21, 22. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.4}


A personal agent

“The Spirit performs such actions as a person only can perform. Thus we read in Scripture: {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.5}

He strives with the ungodly. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.6}

“He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He performs miracles. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.7}

“He caused the Virgin Mary to conceive. He inspired the sacred writers. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.8}

“He speaks expressly of events in the latter times. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.9}

“He said to the churches the messages of the Son of man. He appoints ministers in the church. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.10}

“He commands and forbids. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.11}

“He new creates the soul. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.12}

“He intercedes for us in prayer. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.13}

“He teaches, and comforts, and guides us into all truth. He sheds abroad the love of God in the heart. {1920 WWP, TDOC 182.14}

“He seals the soul unto the day of redemption. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.1}

“He cries in our heart, until he teaches us to cry, Abba, Father. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.2}

“He testifies with personal witnesses. ‘He shall testify, and you also testify.’ {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.3}

“He approves with personal counselors. ‘It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.’ {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.4}

“He invites with personal messengers. ‘The Spirit and bride say, Come.’ {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.5}

“He repeats the beatitude pronounced on those who die in the Lord. ‘Yea, said the Spirit, they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.’ Here are some twenty different actions, some of them standing forth as the greatest facts in the past history of the church of Christ, and many of them being repeated continually in the experience of believers, but all proving beyond contradiction, the operation of an intelligent and personal agent.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.6}


LESSON SIXTY-FIVE The Coming of the Comforter

  1. Just before his ascension, Christ instructed his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the promised Comforter should come to them. Luke 24: 49; Acts 1:4. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.7}
  2. On the day of Pentecost, Christ’s promise that he would send the Comforter was fulfilled. Acts 2: 1-4, 32, 33. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.8}
  3. That the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, remained with the church is shown by the experiences which followed Pentecost. Acts 4: 8, 31; 6: 3-5; 9: 17; 13: 9, 52; 11:15-17. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.9}
  4. The Spirit of God was in the world from the beginning, but after the resurrection of Christ that same Spirit assumed so new an office as the Comforter, that in this sense the Spirit was not given until Christ was glorified by his death and resurrection. Genesis 1:2; John 14:26; 7:38, 39, ARV. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.10}
  5. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is the presence of Christ the power of God for the work of witnessing for Christ. Luke 24: 49; 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24; Acts 1:8. {1920 WWP, TDOC 183.11}


NOTES: The token of the Redeemer’s inauguration

  • “Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that his followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, he was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which he had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to his promise he had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to his followers, as a token that he had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over his people.”-“The Acts of the Apostles,” pp. 38, 39. {1920 WWP, TDOC 184.1}


The power from on high

“All human efficiency in the ministries of the gospel and the propagation of the truth of God in the world must needs be through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the only real ‘power from on high.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 184.2}


“Truths which the Holy Ghost has taught us may be retained in the mind by the mere natural power of memory. Because they have the truth, they imagine they have the Spirit of truth. Perhaps the word of Christ to them is, ‘Tarry you in Jerusalem until endued with power from on high.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 184.3}


“Of theology, in every possible shape, we have no lack. But it is as if, with all our writing, and preaching, and working, there is some thing wanting. Is not the power from on high the one thing we lack? May it not be that, with all our love for Christ and labor for his cause, we have not made the chief object of our desire what was the chief object of his heart when he ascended the throne to have his disciples as a company of men waiting for the clothing with the power of the Holy Ghost, that in that power of the presence of their Lord they might testify of him?” {1920 WWP, TDOC 184.4}


A twofold revelation

“Our Father has given us a twofold revelation of himself. In his Son he reveals his holy image, and setting him before men invites them to become like him by receiving him into their heart and life. In his Spirit he sends forth his divine power, to enter into us, and from within prepare us for receiving the Son and the Father.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 184.5}


The power supplied

“In the presence of a perverse and rebellious race your hearts sink within you, and you ask yourselves, How shall we ever be able to bring men over to our views of Christ? You feel your need of some unknown power, by which the minds of men may be rendered obedient to the truth. You are ready to ask, Is there not something beyond miracles, even? Something beyond a holy life? Is there not in the resources of God some means of reaching the hearts of men, and subduing that hostility by which they are hindered from receiving the testimony of a holy life, of a blessed gospel? There is, I die, I ascend on high that the Comforter may come unto you. Then shall you be strengthened with a strength of which you have hitherto had no consciousness.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 185.1}


The heavenly current

“In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man he supplicated the throne of God, till his humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion he received life from God that he might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.”-“The Desire of Ages,” pp. 424, 425. {1920 WWP, TDOC 185.2}


Christ enthroned

“Self cannot cast out self. Christ must be enthroned for self to be denied. And Christ can only be enthroned when the Comforter is come.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 185.3}


The conquering power

“Self is not powerful enough to conquer self, the human spirit to get the victory over the human flesh. That were like a drowning man with his right hand laying hold on his left hand, only that both may sink beneath the waves. ‘Old Adam is too strong for young Melanchthon,’ said the Reformer. It is the Spirit of God overcoming our fleshly nature by his indwelling life, on whom is our sole dependence. Our principal care therefore must be to ‘walk in the Spirit’ and ‘be filled with the Spirit,’ and all the rest will come spontaneously and inevitably. As the ascending sap in the tree crowds off the dead leaves which in spite of storm and frost cling to the branches all winter long, so does the Holy Ghost within us, when allowed full sway, subdue and expel the remnants of our sinful nature.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 185.4}


Filled with the Spirit

  • “As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in co-operation with him, and he will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward his work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.”-“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 7, pp. 32, 33. {1920 WWP, TDOC 185.5}


“O that we might take these perishing sinners, who compass us about in such countless numbers, to the very sea of glass before the throne where Jesus sits in glory, and give them just one view of the majesty and grace of him whom all the heavenly hosts adore, that they might hasten to believe upon him and submit themselves to Him! Well, Jesus has appointed you to something like this very office you so much desire. Be filled with the Spirit, and let the mighty Spirit in you testify to Jesus and convince the multitude around of the glory and unspeakable beauty of him whose promises they have so long disdained.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 186.1}


A revelation in power

  • “On the day of Pentecost the Infinite One revealed himself in power to the church. By his Holy Spirit he descended from the heights of heaven as a rushing, mighty wind, to the room in which the, disciples were assembled. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour upon the church the riches of the Spirit’s power.”-“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 7, p. 31. {1920 WWP, TDOC 186.2}


It plainly appears that the dispensation of the Spirit is the dispensation of the mighty power of Christ, and that there is no form, or measure of opposition which Christ on his throne in heaven is not competent, by the omnipotent Spirit acting through his church, to overcome.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 186.3}


“He that is surrounded by the seraphim with veiled faces, who looks and the earth melts, before whom the nations are less than nothing, and vanity, he draws near to the believer and takes up his abode with him.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 186.4}


To whom the Spirit is given

  • “Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in his people ‘to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch f or his guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and he is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.”-“The Desire of Ages,” p. 804. {1920 WWP, TDOC 186.5}


LESSON SIXTY-SIX The Office and Work of the Comforter

  1. The Comforter makes known Christ to the world, and is his true vicar. . Romans 8: 9, 10. (In this scripture the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and Christ are used in such a way as to show that the presence of one involves the presence of the others.) John 16:14; Acts 16:7; 1 Corinthians. 15:45; 2 Corinthians 3: 17; 4:10, 11; Galatians 4: 6; Ephesians 3: 16, 17; Philippians 1:19. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.1}
  2. The Comforter transforms our characters, and bears witness that we are the children of God. 2 Corinthians 3: 18; Colossians 1:27; Acts 5: 32; John 15: 26; Romans 8: 16; 1 John 5: 7. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.2}
  3. The Comforter convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. John 16: 7-11. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.3}
  4. The Comforter is the Spirit of truth, the teacher of truth. John 15:26; 14:26; 1 John 5: 7; John 16:13, 14. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.4}
  5. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is the director of the church. Acts 13:14; 16:6-10; 10:17-20, 44-48; 15:28. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.5}
  6. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, seals believers. Ephesians 1:13; 4: 30; Revelation 7: 3. {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.6}


NOTES: The Spirit shows Christ to us

“The office of the Spirit is to take of Christ and show unto us.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.7}

“He is with us to make Christ known to us, and it will never do for us to think so meanly of his capacity as to doubt that he can make him known to us so that he shall be to us the chief among ten thousand, the one altogether lovely.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.8}


The desired gift

The gift of the Holy Ghost to others is not a gift whereby they originate the knowledge of new truths, but a gift whereby they recognize and apprehend the old unchanging mystery, still receiving afresh the one revelation of Christ, ever approaching, never surpassing the comprehensive but immovable boundaries of the faith once delivered to the saints. This is the gift, the only gift, which we desire for our church and for ourselves; for it is one which makes the written word a living word, which fills a church with joy, and seals a soul for glory.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 187.9}


Father, Son, and Spirit

To know the Father we must know the Son: to know Christ we must know the Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 188.1}


The function of the Spirit

“The meaning of Christ’s manifestation is the essential thing for men to understand. In manifesting himself he has revealed the Father. He has in his own person shown what a divine nature is; and therefore in order to his glorification all that is required is that light be shed upon what he has done and been, and that the eyes of men be opened to see him and his work. The recognition of Christ and of God in him is the blessedness of the human race; and to bring this about is the function of the Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 188.2}


The gift of the Indwelling Christ

Without the Holy Ghost we have no Christ. Christ, with all his infinite resources, with all his love, all his glory, is brought nigh to the individual believer and made a part of his being by the gift of the indwelling Christ. The Spirit of God and the truth of God are not to be divorced. Without the Spirit there is no saving truth for us; without the truth there is no Holy Ghost for us. The truth and our own natures are in necessary and violent enmity, without the conciliating Spirit. The truth lives and our own nature lives when the life-giving Spirit comes to us in the Word. Our own spirit is not a divine spirit of truth until permeated by the divine Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 188.3}


The mission of the Comforter

“The world, which knows not what sin really is, knows not what true righteousness is. Men imagine an external morality will suffice, and desire not the righteousness of God. Hence, when the perfectly righteous One came to his own, his own received him not: they condemned the Holy One of God as a malefactor; but he, rejected of men, ascended to the Father, and there presented his own spotless obedience to the scrutiny of infinite justice and infinite love. The world saw him no more; but the Great Surety having paid man’s debt on the cross, appears in heaven for man, our sinless advocate and mediator, the man Christ Jesus. His mission of the Comforter proved the acceptance of his mighty work. This likewise resulted in the saving conviction of some, the condemning conviction of others. Thus, as the divine Spirit in convincing of sin does not stop short at any sinful acts, but goes down to and exposes the very germ and source of sin, which is unbelief, so in convincing of righteousness he does not stop short at any works of the law, which can never justify the sinner before God, but rises up to and exhibits the only justifying righteousness, even that which is of God by faith, and which is the only spring of acceptable and evangelical holiness.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 188.4}


Dealing with unbelief

“The way to war with all other sins is to war with unbelief, for the life of every sin is hid in unbelief, and if you slay this last you slay all.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 188.5}


The Holy Spirit convinces us of the sin of unbelief, by teaching us to recognize righteousness in Christ, not in ourselves. The great quarrel between the unbeliever and Christ is on this ground: the unbeliever says that he is righteous, and denies that Christ is. Unbelief in Christ is an affirmation of one’s own righteousness.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.1}


The work of the Spirit

The great office of the Spirit in the present economy is to communicate Christ to his church which is his body. And what is so truly essential of Christ as holiness? In him is no sin; whosoever abides in him sins not.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.2}


“What then is the office of the Holy Ghost, so far as we can interpret it, but that of communicating and applying the work of Christ to human hearts? If he convinces of sin, it is by exhibiting the gracious redemptive work of the Savior and showing men their guilt in not believing on him. If he witnesses to the penitent of his acceptance, it is by testifying of the atoning blood of Jesus in which that acceptance is grounded; if he regenerates and. sanctifies the heart, it is by communicating to it the life of the risen Lord.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.3}


The indwelling of Christ in the human spirit-the whole process of sanctification, growing conformity to the divine image, increasing meekness for the inheritance of the saints in light-all this is by his [the Comforter’s] action.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.4}


An absolute used

“We are baffled, bewildered, confounded, by our utter unfitness to convince men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. Is it not that we fail to realize how absolute is our need of the mighty and manifest advent of the Spirit?” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.5}


“In these days of skepticism and of an accommodated Bible, what thanks can we render to the God of all grace that he is pleased to pour out his Spirit in such a way on Christendom as to give authority to the awful truths of the final judgment, and thus by convincing men of the inevitable day of wrath, of the triumphant righteousness of, Christ, of that all-comprehending sin of unbelief, to dispose them to look unto the Crucified One whose blood cleanses from all sin!” {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.6}


Comfort, in the truth

  • “The Comforter is called ‘the Spirit of truth.’ His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus he becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood.”-“The Desire of Ages,” p. 802. {1920 WWP, TDOC 189.7}


The advocate in the heart

“The Holy Spirit is Christ’s advocate in the heart, pleading his cause, urging his claims, vindicating him from the unworthy representations made by that which is earthly in our nature. In order that we may be taught to see Christ glorious, it is necessary that the Spirit of God should liberate us from all those false ideas of glory which so universally obtain among men. If we are intent upon our own glory and pine inwardly for the admiration of men, if we desire to have our faults ignored and our virtues magnified by men, if we are cultivating a spirit of self complacency, it is impossible that we should advance in the knowledge of the glory of Christ. We must decrease that he may increase.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 190.1}


The means of constant victory

We do consider it possible that one may experience a great crisis in his spiritual life in which there is such a total self-surrender to God and such an infilling of the Holy Spirit, that he is freed from the bondage of sinful appetites and habits, and enabled to have constant victory over self, instead of suffering constant defeat.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 190.2}


An assuring conviction

“This witness of the Spirit is the assuring conviction of the new birth and of the spiritual life which is wrought in the heart by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit of God.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 190.3}


A question answered

“The question is, Shall the sinner’s pretensions be sustained, or shall the assertions of Christ be ratified? This question is answered by the outpouring of the Spirit of God. He makes known the righteousness of Christ, and the fact of his righteousness overwhelms with the deep confusion of a manifest and gigantic unrighteousness the miserable sinner who so long rejected the Savior.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 190.4}


A threefold work

“The Comforter in every part of his threefold work glorifies Christ. In convincing of sin he convinces us of the sin of not believing on Christ. In convincing us of righteousness, he convinces us of the righteousness of Christ, of that righteousness which was made manifest in Christ going to the Father, and which he received to bestow on all such as should believe in him. And lastly, in convincing of judgment, he convinces us that the prince of the world was judged in the life and by the death of Christ. Thus throughout, Christ is glorified; and that which the Comforter shows to us relates in all its parts to the life and work of the incarnate Son of God.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 190.5}


The only effectual teacher

  • The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit, will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God.”-“The Desire of Ages,” p. 803. {1920 WWP, TDOC 191.1}


  • “Jesus had opened before his disciples a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep his lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the scribes and Pharisees. They had been educated to accept the teaching of the rabbis as the voice of God, and it still held a power over their minds, and molded their sentiments. Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ’s kingdom, though he had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of his lessons seemed almost lost upon them. Jesus saw that they did not lay hold of the real meaning of his words. He compassionately promised that the Holy Spirit should recall these sayings to their minds. And he had left unsaid many things that could not be comprehended by the disciples. These also would be opened to them by the Spirit. The Spirit was to quicken their understanding, that they might have an appreciation of heavenly things. ‘When he, the Spirit of truth, is come,’ said Jesus, ‘he will guide you into all truth.”-Id., pp. 801, 802. {1920 WWP, TDOC 191.2}


“It is to be feared that there are very few who are not cutting themselves off from important discoveries of Christ’s glory by the habit of secret self-laudation, and by a desire for the applauding regards of men. There is not anything more utterly opposed to the mind of the Spirit. While these self-complacent thoughts prevail, the Spirit of God is vanquished. It is the mission of the Spirit to correct this error, and cause us to discover all glory in Christ, and count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of him who gave himself for us.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 191.3}


The sin of sins

The sin of not believing on Christ is to be estimated by the character of Christ; the things that he suffered; the reason for which he suffered; his present exaltation; the glory of his mediatorial reign; his long-suffering toward the unbeliever; the disastrous influence of unbelief; the unspeakable blessing called down upon the world by faith. Rightly ponder any of these considerations, and the sin of unbelief will be seen to be infinite. And yet there is no sin that so lightly burdens the consciences of men as the sin of not having believed in Christ. Men condemn themselves bitterly for other sins for a lie, for instance, into which they may have been surprised; and yet there is not in their heart a whisper of self-reproach for having made Christ a liar. This is that one sin which gives all other sins a perpetuity of damning power.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 191.4}


The highest of all gifts

  • “In describing to his disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired his own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help he had provided for his church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that he could solicit from his Father for the exaltation of his people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon his church.”-“The Desire of Ages,” pp. 800, 803. {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.1}


The only guide

Christ was the truth; and none but the Spirit of truth could guide them into anything like a worthy apprehension of his character and work, his sufferings, his death, his will, his help.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.2}


In the guidance of the Holy Ghost we enjoy that which is fully equal to the guiding, comforting, and strengthening influence of the Lord Jesus as enjoyed by the apostles.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.3}


“We put on freedom just in the measure that we bring to the study of the word of God the sense of our absolute dependence upon the Spirit of God to guide us into the truth. Without his guidance it will prove a mere labyrinth to us. He that gave the truth gave the Spirit of truth.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.4}


Without the Spirit of truth our memories will remain unacquainted with the words of Jesus. But before the Spirit thus makes the chambers of memory redolent with the fragrance of the things of Christ, he subdues the affections and guides the will.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.5}


“What magnificent revelations may we not expect from such a teacher! What sublime views of Christ must those be that the Spirit himself entertains! How far doubtless do they transcend our highest conceptions of him who is fairer than the sons of men!” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.6}


A blessed truth

“Language could not be more express as to the great and blessed truth that, under the dispensation of the Spirit, Jesus comes nearer to his people, and makes more intimate and enriching communications to them, than was possible in the days when He dwelt upon the earth.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.7}


The key to the prophecies

“Other things being equal, the man who has enjoyed the richest and fullest experience of the operations of the Spirit in his own heart will be most competent to interpret the prophecies to his fellow men. {1920 WWP, TDOC 192.8}


These prophecies were originally given by the medium of holy men of old, the holiest of their generation, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and the key to them will be placed by the same Spirit in the hands of Lim who yields himself heartily, fearlessly, and unflinchingly to the guidance of the Spirit.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.1}


A special gift

  • And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive you the Holy Ghost; ‘whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins you 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.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.2}
  • -“The Desire of Ages”, p. 964. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.3}


The presiding Spirit

“In the simple story of the primitive mission, as recorded in the thirteenth of Acts, we see how every step in the enterprise was originated and directed by the presiding Spirit. We observe this: {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.4}


“1. In the selection of missionaries: ‘The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’ 13:2. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.5}

“2. In their thrusting forth into the field: So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia.’ 13:4. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.6}

“3. In empowering them to speak: ‘Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, said.’ 13: 9. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.7}

“4. In sustaining them in persecution: ‘And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.’ 13: 52. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.8}

“5. In setting the divine seal upon their ministry among the Gentiles: ‘And God, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us.’ 15:8. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.9}

“6. In counseling in difficult questions of missionary policy: ‘It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.’ 15: 28. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.10}

  1. In restraining the missionaries from entering into fields not yet appointed by the Lord: They were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel in Asia. . . . They assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” 16: 6, 7. {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.11}


“Very striking is this record of the ever present, unfailing, and minute direction of the Holy Ghost in all the steps of this divine enterprise.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 193.12}


All gifts in the one Gift

Thus we have had the endowment of the Spirit presented to us under three aspects-sealing, filling, and anointing-all of which terms, so far as we can understand, signify the same thing the gift of the Holy Ghost appropriated through faith. Each of these terms is connected with some special divine endowment-the seal with assurance and consecration; the filling with power; and the anointing with knowledge. All these gifts are wrapped up in the one gift in which they are included, and without whom we are excluded from their possession.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 194.1}


The pledge of purchase

“The allusion to the seal as a pledge of purchase would be peculiarly intelligible to the Ephesians, for Ephesus was a maritime city, and an extensive trade in timber was carried on there by the shipmasters of the neighboring ports. The method of purchase was this: The merchant, after selecting his timber, stamped it with his own signet, which was an acknowledged sign of ownership. He often did not carry on his possession at the time; it was left in the harbor with other floats of timber; but it was chosen, bought, and stamped; and in due time the merchant sent a trusty agent with the signet, who, finding that timber which bore a corresponding impress, claimed and brought it away for the master’s use. Thus the Holy Spirit impresses on the soul now the image of Jesus Christ; and this is the sure pledge of the everlasting inheritance.” {1920 WWP, TDOC 194.2}



God bless

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