1. LIMITS TO HUMAN WISDOM
a. What is the greatest mystery for the human mind? Job 11:7; Isaiah 40:28.
“Let none seek with presumptuous hand to lift the veil that conceals [God’s] glory. ‘Unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.’ Romans 11:33. It is a proof of His mercy that there is the hiding of His power; for to lift the veil that conceals the divine presence is death. No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in which the Mighty One dwells and works. Only that which He sees fit to reveal can we comprehend of Him.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 438.
b. How can we comprehend the things of God? Deuteronomy 29:29.
“The revelation of Himself that God has given in His word is for our study. This we may seek to understand. But beyond this we are not to penetrate. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out in conjectures regarding the nature of God; but the effort will be fruitless. This problem has not been given us to solve. No human mind can comprehend God. Let not finite man attempt to interpret Him. Let none indulge in speculation regarding His nature. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 279.
2. DIVINE REVELATION NECESSARY
a. Who does God use to reveal the things of Himself to us? Why is this divine agency necessary even today? 1 Corinthians 2:10 (first part).
“The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God’s Holy Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 113.
“In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. . . . Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings.”—Amazing Grace, p. 198.
b. How were the Holy Scriptures written and why? 2 Peter 1:21; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16.
“The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants.”—The Faith I Live By, p. 10.
“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. . . . The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, pp. 945, 946.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE DIVINE WITNESS
a. What shows that the Holy Spirit is one of the three powers in heaven that comprise the Godhead? Matthew 28:19. What is His work?
“The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.”—Counsels on Health, p. 222.
“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.”—Evangelism, p. 615.
“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, p. 671.
b. What work of the Holy Spirit also indicates that He is a divine person equal with God? 1 Corinthians 2:10 (second part).
“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’”—Evangelism, p. 617.
4. PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
a. Why will the exact nature of the Holy Spirit remain a mystery? John 16:13.
“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 proceedeth 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. . . . Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 51, 52.
b. Though the nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery, what shows that He is “as much a person as God is a person”? Romans 8:16, 26, 27.
“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these [Avondale school] grounds.
“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God.”—Evangelism, p. 616.
c. How do we know that the Holy Spirit has a free will, even while ministering as directed by Christ and the Father? 1 Corinthians 12:11; Acts 13:2.
“When the Saviour said, ‘Go, . . . teach all nations,’ He said also, ‘These signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ The promise is as far-reaching as the commission. Not that all the gifts are imparted to each believer. The Spirit divides ‘to every man severally as He will.’ 1 Corinthians 12:11. But the gifts of the Spirit are promised to every believer according to his need for the Lord’s work.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 823.
“The work of God’s people may and will be varied, but one Spirit is the mover in it all.”—My Life Today, p. 276.
5. A DIVINE COMFORTER
a. In what way is the Holy Spirit “another Comforter”? John 14:16.
“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. . . . Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 671.
b. What will the Holy Spirit do for every believer? John 16:13 (first part).
“As the heavenly torch is placed in his hand, the seeker for truth sees his own frailty, his infirmity, the hopelessness of looking to himself for righteousness. He sees that there is in him nothing that can recommend him to God. He prays for the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ, to be his constant guide, to lead him into all truth.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, p. 450.
“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. 669, 670.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How much does God reveal of Himself to us? Why?
2. What is the only way we can gain a true knowledge of God?
3. How do we know there are three persons in the heavenly trio? Give examples from Scripture.
4. What shows that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person?
5. In what way does the Holy Spirit “comfort” us?