Divinity of Christ and His Holy Spirit

Following article is a compilation of Spirit of Prophecy in an attempt to better understand and to draw some pertinent correlations between Christ’s divine nature and the Spirit of Christ (aka the Holy Spirit).

The Mystery of Christ’s Blended Personality

“Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood THE MYSTERY OF HIS INCARNATION, THE DUAL CHARACTER OF HIS NATURE. {DA 507.1}

“CHRIST COULD HAVE DONE NOTHING DURING HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY IN SAVING FALLEN MAN IF THE DIVINE HAD NOT BEEN BLENDED WITH HUMAN. The limited capacity of man cannot define this wonderful mystery—the blending of the two natures, the divine and the human. It can never be explained. Man must wonder and be silent. And yet man is privileged to be a partaker of the divine nature, and in this way he can to some degree enter into the mystery” (Letter 5, 1889). {7BC 904.5}

“Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the DIVINE NATURE of the Son of God? No; THE TWO NATURES WERE MYSTERIOUSLY BLENDED IN ONE PERSON-the man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”—Letter 280, 1904 in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1113.2

 “His finite nature was pure and spotless, DIVINE NATURE that led Him to say to Philip, ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father’ also, was not humanized; neither was humanity deified by the blending or union of the TWO NATURES; EACH RETAINED ITS ESSENTIAL CHARACTER AND PROPERTIES.” {Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 182 par.1}

“The TWO expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet THEY HAD A DISTINCT INDIVIDUALITY….” {ST May 10, 1899, par. 11}

“Christ had two natures, the nature of a man and the nature of God. IN HIM DIVINITY AND HUMANITY WERE COMBINED. Upon His mediatorial work hangs the hope of the perishing world. No one but Christ has ever succeeded in living a perfect life, in living a pure, spotless character. He exhibited a perfect humanity, combined with Deity; and by PRESERVING EACH NATURE DISTINCT He has given to the world a representation of the character of God and the character of a perfect man.” {Ms94-1899.47}

Note: “BY A PAINFUL PROCESS, mysterious to angels as well as to men” {Ms29-1899.4}, the Son of God assumed an infinitely unique nature. Christ’s human nature was distinctly different than Christ’s divine nature, in that, one is corporeal, visible, physical while the other is incorporeal, invisible, spiritual. In adopting humanity, two natures (humanity and divinity) of Christ were mysteriously blended into ONE PERSON and yet each respective natures maintained their own “distinct individuality” and retained “it’s essential character and properties”. When Christ was here on earth before His ascension, He faithfully lived out His earthly ministry, only in his humanity, while the expression of His divinity was strictly constrained or repressed even though it was actively present within His personage.

Notice the following statements as to how Christ was faithful to His humanity:

“His divinity was veiled beneath humanity. HE HID WITHIN HIMSELF THOSE ALL-POWERFUL ATTRIBUTES WHICH BELONGED TO HIM AS ONE EQUAL WITH GOD. At times his divine character flashed forth with such wonderful power that all who were capable of discerning spiritual things pronounced him the Son of God. {3SP 259.1}

“Jesus REVEALED NO QUALITIES, and EXERCISED NO POWERS, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” {DA 664.4}

Couple that with the following statements:

“It was a difficult task for the Prince of Life to carry out the plan which He had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing His divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts and was familiar with absolute power. IT WAS AS DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO KEEP THE LEVEL OF HUMANITY AS FOR MEN TO RISE ABOVE THE LOW LEVEL OF THEIR DEPRAVED NATURES AND BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE.” {Con 85.1}

“The Saviour overcame the wily foe, showing us how we may overcome. He has left us His example, to repel Satan with Scripture. HE MIGHT HAVE HAD RECOURSE TO HIS OWN DIVINE POWER AND USED HIS OWN WORDS, BUT HIS EXAMPLE WOULD NOT THEN HAVE BEEN AS USEFUL TO US. Christ used only Scripture.” {Lt1a-1872.8}

Interesting to note that Christ’s divinity was not dormant but that it was an incredible task to persistently constrain His divinity in order to maintain His humanity.

Divested Himself of the form of God

“He was God while upon earth, but HE DIVESTED HIMSELF OF THE FORM OF GOD, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. HE WALKED THE EARTH AS A MAN. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, BUT THE GLORIES OF THE FORM OF GOD HE FOR A WHILE RELINQUISHED. Though He walked among men in poverty, scattering His blessings wherever He went, at His word legions of angels would surround their Redeemer, and do Him homage. But He walked the earth unrecognized, unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by His creatures.” {SDA Bible Commentary, vol.5, p. 1126.8}

“Christ was the Majesty of heaven, the Commander of the heavenly hosts. But He put off His crown, and DIVESTED HIMSELF OF HIS ROYAL ROBE, to take upon Him human nature, that humanity might touch humanity. As the world’s Redeemer He passed through all the experiences through which we must pass. He found Himself in fashion as a man. He humbled Himself to do the greatest work that could be done for the human race. A beam of righteousness from heaven shone amid the moral darkness of this earth, to enlighten every man that cometh into the world.” {The Bible Echo, May 29, 1899, par. 7}

“Our sufficiency is found only in the death and incarnation of the Son of God. BY VOLUNTARILY DIVESTING HIMSELF OF HIS GLORY assuming human nature that could suffer and be looked upon by the whole of the heavenly universe, He could suffer, sustained by divinity…” {Ms131-1897.4}

Notice the language Ellen White used. The phrase, “divested” was to suggest that the life Christ led on earth was stripped or removed of the attributes or characteristics which constitutes His divinity. The Son of God, who is truly God in nature, stripped Himself of His original Divine form. He took another form in its place, a human one. He lived His earthly life, DIVESTED of the FORM OF GOD (personality of God) and yet He ALWAYS RETAINED His divinity along with His humanity.

*This illustrates how it was possible for Christ to retain, simultaneously, both of His personalities (divine and human) but He was able to divest one of his personalities (divinity) while other (humanity) was in operation. Likewise, the reverse is also true wherein Christ can indeed retain His humanity in heaven while He is operating in His divinity (in His Spirit) “divested” of the personality of humanity.

On earth, He lived as a man, divested of His divinity and therefore temporarily forfeited or relinquished his omnipresence but after His ascension and because He was fully reinstated to his former glory, He is now able to fully exercise His divinity, including His omnipresence.

Again, the salient point here is that while Christ retained two natures within Him, He was able to divest one of his personalities (divinity) while utilizing His other personality-His humanity. 

Christ received His former glory after His ascension

“After his humiliation, suffering, and death, the Son of God STEPS BACK TO THE POSITION OF HIS FORMER GLORY, and is ONE WITH THE FATHER IN POWER AND DOMINION.” {Signs of the Times, June 27, 1895}

“Christ’s ascension to heaven, amid a cloud of heavenly angels, glorified Him… The heavenly host prostrate themselves before Him, and raise their song of triumph and joy. Glory encircles the King of heaven, and was beheld by all the heavenly intelligences. No words can describe the scene which took place as the Son of God was PUBLICLY REINSTATED IN THE PLACE OF HONOR AND GLORY which He voluntarily left when He became a man.” {Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899 par.17}

“Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty. Surrounded with sorrow, suffering, and moral pollution, despised and rejected by the people to whom had been intrusted the oracles of heaven, Jesus could yet speak of Himself as the Son of man in heaven. HE WAS READY TO TAKE ONCE MORE HIS DIVINE GLORY WHEN HIS WORK ON EARTH WAS DONE.” 5BC 1129.3

“The apostle Paul speaks of our Mediator, the ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, WHO IN A STATE OF GLORY WAS IN THE FORM OF GOD, the Commander of all the heavenly hosts, and who, when He clothed His divinity with humanity, took upon Him the form of a servant.” {1SM 243.2}

Note: Before His incarnation, Christ was “IN A STATE OF GLORY” and “IN THE FORM OF GOD.  After Christ’s ascension, we learned that He has fully regained His former glory which should include all the prerogatives of a divine Being. The difference is that His nature is now forever linked with humanity through incarnation. However, It is without any inspired evidence to suggest that Christ’s blended personality should in any way make His divinity inferior in that He could no longer be omnipresent. On the contrary, evidence clearly suggests that, though Christ is “forever to retain His human nature” {DA 25.3}, He can simultaneously be divested of the personality of humanity when operating in omnipresent capacity via His own divine Spirit.

The ability to be omnipresent is one of the crowning attributes of God and His Son. Thus, to deny the omnipresence of Christ is to denigrate His divinity!

He will impart to us His divine nature

Please note the following statements concerning Christ’s divinity and how it is imparted to us:

“Here we have plainly revealed to us that if we preserve the meekness and lowliness of Christ, if we walk humbly by the side of the Burden-bearer, if we come in close contact with our Redeemer, in being thus yoked up with Him, HE WILL IMPART TO US HIS OWN INDIVIDUALITY.” {Ms70-1896.33}

“He will IMPART TO US HIS DIVINE NATURE, and we may bring our godliness into our everyday life, and imitate the great Teacher in seeking to win souls.” {RH May 10, 1887, par. 11}

“You want that help THAT COMES FROM CHRIST, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. You are to be a partaker of the divine nature. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THAT CAN SAVE US. CHRIST COMES IN HIS DIVINE NATURE, and here is every soul will be enlightened according to what you study, according to what you give the mind to feed upon.” {Ms138-1906.20}

“His own individual presence was necessary, that in seeing him we might see the Father. He placed his throne, his spiritual kingdom, upon the earth. He revealed his special grace, and opened to our view the wonders of heavenly things. HE IMPARTED HIS OWN DIVINE SPIRIT TO HUMANITY, thus exalting humanity in the scale of moral worth with God. {YI July 29, 1897, par. 9}

There is no safe peace without the PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. There is no real peace except that which flows from the cross of Calvary. Christ is accepted as a theory in the mind before He becomes the Prince of Peace in the heart. But that He may become the Prince of Peace in the heart, HE HAS PROMISED TO IMPART TO US HIS SPIRIT. HE SAID, “I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS.” [John 14:18.] {Ms40a-1890.58}

“He will IMPART TO US HIS CHARACTER, so that we may follow His example of loyalty to God,…” {BEcho June 10, 1895, par. 6}

“If we will seek to teach the truth in its simplicity, the Lord will let his blessing rest upon us. HE WILL IMPART HIS SPIRIT to us, giving us comfort and strength and hope. {RH January 7, 1909, Art. A, par. 19}

“The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works transformation of character. This knowledge, received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. IT WILL IMPART TO THE WHOLE BEING A SPIRITUAL POWER THAT IS DIVINE.” {MH 425.3}

“The Lord Jesus loves His people, and when they put their trust in Him, depending wholly upon Him, He strengthens them. He will live through them, giving them the inspiration of HIS SANCTIFYING SPIRIT, IMPARTING TO THE SOUL A VITAL TRANSFUSION OF HIMSELF. He acts through their faculties and causes them to choose His will and TO ACT OUT HIS CHARACTER (Lt12-1894.16)

“Some, at least, have no evidence that they have an abiding Christ, and that He has inspired them with wisdom in counsel through THE TRANSFUSION OF HIS OWN SELF IN THE HEART (Ms32-1897 (April 13, 1897) par. 11)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Jn 6:63] CHRIST IS NOT HERE REFERRING TO HIS DOCTRINE, BUT TO HIS PERSON, THE DIVINITY OF HIS CHARACTER…” {RH April 5, 1906, par. 12}

“How shall I bear impressively the commission CHRIST has given to His people—the privilege of being workers with THE SPIRIT OF ALL TRUTH MANIFEST IN THE FLESH—THE DIVINE SON OF GOD, clothed with humanity, A CHANNEL DEVISED AND PREPARED TO BE CONTINUALLY RECEIVING AND IMPARTING THE HEAVENLY CURRENT? HIMSELF the overflowing Fountain, HE receives to communicate to all those who will accept the gift. (21LtMs, Ms 125, 1906, par. 13)

“The office of the Holy Spirit is to control all our spiritual exercises. The Father hath given His Son for us, THAT THROUGH THE SON THE HOLY SPIRIT MIGHT COME TO US and lead us to the Father. THROUGH HIS DIVINE AGENCY, we have the spirit of intercession whereby we may plead with God as a man pleadeth with his friend {7LtMs, Lt 11b, 1892, par. 13}

“True faith and repose in God are always accompanied by the illuminations of the Holy Spirit, whose temple we are. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, IT IS HIS REPRESENTATIVE. Here is THE DIVINE AGENCY that carries conviction to hearts. When the power of His spirit is revealed through the servants of God, we behold divinity flashing through humanity. When accompanied by the Holy Spirit, the presentation of truth as it is in Jesus will be of more value than all the honor or glory of the world. {EA 231.1}

“TO REJECT THE HOLY SPIRIT, through whose power we conquer the forces of evil, is the sin that surpasses all others; for IT CUTS US OFF FROM THE SOURCE OF OUR POWER – FROM CHRIST AND COMMUNION WITH HIM. When there is a manifest awakening in church or school, and it is evident that the Holy Spirit is working, the first intimation of the heavenly influence should be honored. Let the routine of study or work be secondary, and let every one co-operate with THE DIVINE AGENCY, with hearty thanksgiving that God has visited his people {RH August 25, 1896, par. 11}

“THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SOURCE OF ALL POWER, AND WORKS AS A LIVING, ACTIVE AGENT IN THE NEW LIFE CREATED IN THE SOUL. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO BE IN US A DIVINE INDWELLER.  {RH June 29, 1897, par. 10}

“The living church of God is individually A HABITATION OF GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT, that man may become A WELL-BUILT TEMPLE FOR THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, THAT THE LORD JESUS MAY DWELL IN HIS INNERMOST BEING, ennobling and sanctifying his human nature by His divine attributes, MAKING MAN A TEMPLE FOR THE LIVING GOD. Man need never dwell upon the inefficiency of human effort, as if it is presumptuous [to think] that man’s human agency is essential in the Lord’s great plan of salvation {13LtMs, Ms 193, 1898, par. 3}

“THE DIVINE SPIRIT REVEALS ITS WORKING ON THE HUMAN HEART. WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT OPERATES UPON THE MIND, THE HUMAN AGENT WILL UNDERSTAND THE STATEMENT MADE BY CHRIST, “He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” Subjection to the Word of God means the restoration of one’s self. LET CHRIST WORK BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT, and awake you as from the dead, and carry your minds along with His. LET HIM employ your faculties. He has created your every capability, that you may better honor and glorify His name. Consecrate yourself to Him, and all associated with you will see that your energies are inspired of God, that your noblest powers are called into exercise to do God’s service. The faculties once used to serve self and advance unworthy principles, once serving as members of unrighteous purposes, will be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ, and become one with the will of God.—Letter 8, 1896, pp. 1, 5. (To “My Brethren in America,” February 6, 1896. 2MR 34.2)

“The DIVINITY OF CHRIST is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” {DA 530.3}

As you consider the statements above, it becomes convincingly evident that Christ, imparting His own divine nature, is synonymous with Him imparting His own Spirit (aka Holy Spirit) to us. It is the very divine Person of Christ imbued with His character/presence/power, “A VITAL TRANSFUSION OF HIMSELF“.

Two kinds of “personally”

“I testify to my brethren and sisters that the church of Christ, enfeebled and defective as it may be, is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard. While He extends to all the world His invitation to come to Him and be saved, He commissions His angels to render divine help to every soul that cometh to Him in repentance and contrition, and HE COMES PERSONALLY BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT into the midst of His church.” {CET 206.1}

“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 successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high.” {DA 669.2}

Note: Is Ellen White speaking from both sides of her mouth? The second quotation comes from The Desire of Ages p. 669, and it is often cited to affirm that Christ cannot be the Holy Spirit because He is “cumbered with humanity” and therefore He “could not be in every place personally.” And yet we find in the preceding quotation that Christ does come “personally by HIS Holy Spirit.”

In light of what we’ve looked at thus far, the first quote above, “He comes personally by His Holy Spirit,” is referring to Christ’s divinity, “divested of the personality of humanity,” as explained by the second quote. The Desire of Ages statement about the Holy Spirit being Christ’s “representative” do not necessarily necessitate that it has to be an entirely different individual. “Personally,” therefore, can logically apply to either humanity or divinity of a same Person. In other words, you can say, Christ could not come personally in His humanity (physical/visible) for the reasons cited (cumbered with humanity) but He can certainly come personally by His divinity or Spirit (invisible divine power/presence, devoid of the personality of humanity).

Summary

What we can deduce from the above statements?

The human and the divine nature of Christ are distinguished as the “two expressions,” with each having a “distinct individuality.”

Moreover, the Spirit or the “Words” that Christ speaks is described above as “HIS PERSON, THE DIVINITY OF HIS CHARACTER.” In other words, Christ’s Spirit or His divinity has a “distinct individuality” that is different from His humanity (not that His divinity is an entirely different individual or a person).

According to the 1828 Webster dictionary, “personality” is defined as “that which constitutes individuality”. However, in the case of Christ, the “individuality” does NOT necessarily have to mean two entirely different individuals. The mysteries of Christ’s nature is such that He has within Himself two distinct natures each having its own “distinct individuality”. Furthermore, we are told that Christ can indeed impart to us this “individuality” which is His Spirit or the divinity of His character.

Suffice it to say, when Christ imparts His own individuality (“divinity of His character”) to us, He is not imparting an entirely different individual but His own divine personality that is distinctly different than His human personality. It is His divinity or His own Spirit, imbued with His character.

“The Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT of CHRIST; it is HIS REPRESENTATIVE. Here is the DIVINE AGENCY that carries conviction to hearts. When the power of HIS SPIRIT is revealed through the servants of God, we behold DIVINITY flashing through humanity.” — (E.G. White, 13MR 313.3, 1895)

Again, the “Holy Spirit” or the “Spirit of Christ” is distinct from Christ because HE/IT operates under a different capacity (office/agency) with different personality (that which constitutes individuality-the divinity of Christ, divested of humanity) compared to Christ’s visible, physical, human personage.

The Holy Spirit accomplishes what Christ cannot do physically, since it can be everywhere present, whereas Christ in his humanity accomplished what the Holy Spirit cannot do in that He identified with humanity on earth and has flesh and blood to make atonement for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

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5 Responses

  1. I wish we could talk by phone or messenger like brother Mike McCaffrey. I just want to share how the only true God found me in 2015. Thanks!

  2. November 27, 2022 at 11:00 am
    Just today as I meditate on the word of God, a question popped up in my mind. Is the Holy Spirit and the Divinity of Christ the same? EGW says that the Divinity of Christ is our only hope of salvation. If the Holy Spirit is the impartation of Christ’s spiritual life in the soul and His Divinity/Divine Nature is also being imparted to us then the Holy Spirit and the Divine Nature of Christ are one and the same. Correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, praise God for the light He revealed to you in this article. It’s amazing! Thank you.

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