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Many SDA people are led away by Restitution ministries doctrine on the nature of the Holy Spirit.

I was invited by the elder of my SDA church to a secret meeting regarding this doctrine.

I listened to the lowly voice of man from the USA speak of the Holy Spirit as a force.

I asked God afterwards for an answer to this strange doctrine, and received a thought to purchase an electronic Bible for the first time...Now through reading the Bible in Hebrew, I was able to go back and rebut the SDA elder's belief in His theory of faith, but He refused a meeting on this.

I have read the SDA Biblical research report on this , but they fail to convince...this theory of faith will lead many to a wrong understanding of GOD, so while I will present you God's answer to me on this subject, I will lay back for a while, and show you the challenge of this false doctrine....

The Nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery, just as in EGW time she knew little of DNA or the working of genetics, so as knowledge has increased so has our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit, and much of that work is still a mystery...and will remain so....My beloved elder has left the SDA church and lost his way, tried to form his own church assembly....I will trust those of you with this problem seek answers here...This study comes several years after it came to me, hence the patient wait for some to seek the Bible truth on the Nature of the Holy Spirit.

Indeed the Holy Spirit is a personal co-eternal Being, but how do we confront the offshoot restitution ministries people with our own Bible truth on this subject ?

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Here is a typical email problem received from Restitution ministries believers and their theory of faith:-

"Where is your text, that there are three co-eternal Beings in a Family of GOD..."?

In the NT the Bible speaks of three names :-

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

However these people make using other Bible verses the Holy Spirit , as a force of Jesus or the Father...and only since the Fall do we find mention of three Beings, rather than before the Fall we find mention of only two.

So is there any place for three functional descriptors of GOD ? especially in the Old Testament?

What about here ?

Job 40:1 ¶ Moreover the LORD "Yahweh" answered Job, and said,
 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty "Shadday"  instruct him?

he that reproveth God "Eloah" , let him answer it.

There are Three functional descriptors of GOD here, who are these functions ?

Ge 19:24 ¶ Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Joh 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

These two verses clearly identify the two Yahweh's based on assumptions of context....

Ge 19:24 ¶ Then the Jesus-Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Father-Yahweh out of heaven;

Here we have two Beings doing two things simultaneously ...I have supplied their identities as Jesus Yahweh and Father Yahweh...the Hebrew term Yahweh means "He who exists" and can reference Jesus or the Father....

So in Job we see

Jesus-Yahweh speaking to Job....

What about Shadday and Eloah ?

In this poetry parallel, both functions are similes of each other...However this does not equate them as a single concept as scholars want poetry parallels to be, similes: yes, but the same concept: no.

Notice this verse

Ge 17:1 ¶ And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD "Jesus-Yahweh" appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God "Shadday strong authority" ; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Ge 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God "Elohiym"  talked with him, saying,

Notice in this verse passage, Jesus and Shadday, appear before Abraham, and the Hebrew word Elohiym tells you the Godhead was there, meaning plural persons spoke before Abraham....

Job 33:4 The Spirit "Ruwach"  of God "strong authority"  hath made me,

and the breath of the Almighty "Shadday" hath given me life.

Here in this poetry parallel, the Holy Spirit is a simile of the Shadday who gives ongoing life.

Who is the Shadday ?Is this a simile of the Father? Or a power on it's own?

Eze 1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty "Shadday", the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.

Around the throne the Shadday speaks and all the angels let down their wings....

Eze 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

And going into further the vision behold Yahweh on a throne....

Eze 2:2 And the spirit "Holy Spirit" entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

From this passage the Shadday is not the Father, yet is a simile of the Father's powers as seen by Job's poetry, and is a simile of the Holy Spirit in functional form....

Thus in Job we have three functional descriptors speaking, the oldest book in the Bible:-

Job 40:1 ¶ Moreover the LORD "Jesus-Yahweh" answered Job, and said,
 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty "Shadday (Holy Spirit)"  instruct him?

he that reproveth God "Eloah (Father)" , let him answer it.

Many who see the Holy Spirit do not see a person being in function, because the Holy Spirit is a medium administrator of the flow of power from the Father and Jesus....why is this flow from one to another ? Why not direct ? Because in the presence of Godly powers dysfunction cannot exist...but in a medium dysfunction can exist...its a Science property of mediums, because the power is changed in the presence of a medium....this is why we  see the Holy Spirit  as administrator of Jesus, the breath of salvation, and the Father, the breath of life.

Many would be confused by this already because we do not understand how mediums work, and its a mystery the function

of the Holy Spirit, but sadly we have people assemblies making strange theories of faith to deceive the very elect.

That's the fastest easiest way to rebut Restitution Ministries, proof of three functional descriptors of GOD in the oldest book....I will add some more rebuts later on...but this one is the best God gave me several years ago now.

Shalom

The Holy Spirit and the Godhead

Some in our church are teaching that the Holy Spirit is neither a person nor a member of the Godhead. Is that true?

Some Adventists have discovered that practically all of our pioneers were anti-Trinitarian and have concluded that the church today should reject the doctrine of the Trinity. The truth is that the Lord guided this movement to a more biblical understanding of God. Today, based on the Bible, we affirm the truth of one God in a plurality of Persons. I mention here just some of the biblical support available.

1. The Spirit as Power. The opinion that the Spirit is not a person is partially based on the fact that very often He is described as a power coming from God, falling on people, and enabling them to do certain tasks (e.g., Judges 3:10; Acts 2:4). Moreover, the Greek word for “spirit” (pneuma) is neuter, that is to say we can refer to the Spirit as “it,” implying that He is not a person. But that is a phenomenon of Greek grammar that doesn’t necessarily have any theological significance.

2. The Spirit and Jesus. With the coming of Jesus our understanding of the Godhead was greatly enriched. Because Jesus was God in human flesh (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13), distinct from the Father (Matt. 3:17) yet one with Him (John 14:10), His followers began to realize that there was in the mystery of God a plurality of persons. The mystery increased when Jesus described the Spirit not as something but as Someone, who would take His place in the experience of the disciples: “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor . . . the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16, NIV).

Jesus introduced His disciples to the mystery of a Godhead that consisted of three distinct Persons: Jesus, the Father, and the Counselor/Spirit. In this particular passage the Spirit is not described as an impersonal power but as a person. Jesus refers to Him as “another [Greek allos] Counselor,” one who intercedes for someone else. He is called “another” because Jesus is also a counselor (1 John 2:1). Only a person can function as a counselor.

But there’s more to it. If the Spirit was going to continue the function of Jesus as counselor, then, He had to possess the same nature Jesus had, that is to say, He had to be divine. Jesus said that “no one [allos] else” could do the work He did (John 15:24, NIV), but He clarifies that there is One who, like Him, will be a new counselor. When Jesus refers to the Spirit as counselor using the masculine pronoun (He), Jesus is identifying Him as a person: “He will testify about me” (verse 26, NIV). Hence the Holy Spirit is both divine and a person.

3. The Apostles and the Spirit. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit they experienced Him as a power poured out on them by God (Acts 2:33); but they also recognized Him as the divine Person promised to them by Jesus.

In the narrative of Ananias and Sapphira we find a clear view of the disciples’ understanding of the nature of the Spirit. Peter confronted the guilty couple with their sin by saying to them, “You have lied to the Holy Spirit. . . . You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3, 4, NIV). We have here two important pieces of information. First, the Spirit is a person because we can lie only to persons, not to things. Second, He is divine, because lying to Him is the equivalent to lying to God.

Throughout the New Testament we find clear evidence that the apostles believed the Spirit was a person at par with the Father and the Son. They knew that the Spirit speaks (Acts 21:11), exercises His will (Acts 16:6), sends messengers (Acts 13:4), reflects theological truth (Acts 15:28), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), apportions gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), intercedes (Rom. 8:26, 34), gives joy (Rom. 14:17), etc. These are all characteristics of persons that allow us to definitively refer to the Spirit as a person. By mentioning Him in conjunction with the Father and the Son the biblical writers were testifying to the unity of the three Persons (2 Cor. 13:14; 1:21, 22; Rom. 15:30; Eph. 2:18; 1 Peter 1:2; Rev. 1:4, 5). As a church we simply proclaim the biblical teaching without attempting to explain the mystery of God’s unity. 

Some really great comments Nathan, well researched and written...

QUOTE" Moreover, the Greek word for “spirit” (pneuma) is neuter, that is to say we can refer to the Spirit as “it,” implying that He is not a person...

In the Greek yes I agree Nathan....but I believe the NT was originally written in Hebrew, and ruwach in Hebrew is feminine in case. This does not imply gender, but it does imply femaleness personality.

QUOTE: " “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor . . . the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16, NIV).

Well done Nathan, "another counsellor" implies Jesus who is a counsellor would send another counsellor similar to Himself, and obviously a co-eternal Being....

Beware that the Restitution Ministries make havoc of NT Bible texts, which I will demonstrate here, NOT to condemn your content, but merely show how  they condemn it, so you will be vary if ever your confront them.

They say the Father and Jesus is able to make an intelligent force speak, grieve and groan inside believers acting on behalf of the person of the Father or Jesus. Strange idea ? Yes it makes the force active and intelligent, but how can a force be separate from mind and yet be intelligent ?

I could find no logical Bible context to defeat a theory of faith like that....

Where the Bible speaks of  "pneumia Christos" "spirit of Christ"

one has to make sense of these two words side by side.

The best and most consistent translation for all occurrence of "ruwach / pneumia" is "Holy spirit wind" a special kind of wind...See studies of Holy Spirit http://spiritualsprings.org/ss-858.htm which goes through all 700+ references to this word in both OT and NT.

The question Restitution Ministries people pose is the Holy Spirit wind a force ? A wind is a force of energy carrying somebody else's energy as it moves in a media called air. So maybe they could be right? But a passive wind is just not sufficient to handle the medium complexities of dysfunction in the universe during sinning of Lucifer and finally mankind. The medium has to be intelligent enough to administrate, varying the medium properties for each individual's needs and their stand in sinning, while not destroying them as they choose their destiny for ongoing living or final ongoing non-existence.

A fixed curved magnifying glass can view sinning under the microscope of souls, but if we want further focus we change to another lens of different focal length. But since souls sinning are living and constantly changing in their walk of darkness and sinning, only an intelligent medium would be able to constantly change the properties for life or for death for each and every living soul, hence a passive force; even if intelligent, could not allow dysfunction to exist while not destroying it unless the medium was a co-eternal Being, administrating some else's power through that Being. That's how mediums work, they channel powers through themselves constantly adjusting the focus and extent of their Being for the individual requiring their attention, both the breath of life and or the breath of salvation.

To put simply the Holy Spirit is not a fixed medium like selective lens for examining a sinner's sinning. The Bible aptly describes the Holy Spirit as a counsellor, able to make any sinner who confesses sinning in the grace of God to look as if no condemnation was forth coming when the Father views into the medium. A personal comforter able to handle non-believers, while not destroying them is something the Father or the Son cannot do, for they are in heaven in all the glory they have always had. The Holy Spirit lives personally inside of humans, not using it's own power, but the power of the Father and the Son, passing such power indirectly unto each believer empowered with love. Why this power coming via the Holy Spirit does not destroy sinners from the Father or Son, is because when powers enter a medium, the properties of that power changes. This is a known Science law, and this is why we need the Medium of the Holy Spirit as our personal comforter.

The medium of the Holy Spirit can make us who are crooked look straight....

 Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

If we use the term "Medium of the Holy Spirit" we will overcome the issues people have with "spirit of God" or "spirit of man" or "spirit of Christ" ...

QUOTE: "Throughout the New Testament we find clear evidence that the apostles believed the Spirit was a person at par with the Father and the Son. They knew that the Spirit speaks (Acts 21:11), exercises His will (Acts 16:6), sends messengers (Acts 13:4), reflects theological truth (Acts 15:28), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), apportions gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), intercedes (Rom. 8:26, 34), gives joy (Rom. 14:17), etc.

Well written Nathan, and well noted by all of us....

Restitution Ministries people might say it is the omnipresent force of Jesus that does these things...so we have two Beings, the Father and His omnipresent force that is also able to speak, think etc....and the Son Jesus and His omnipresent form who is able to speak and grieve etc...Again these theories of faith believing in them hard for there is little Bible texts for omnipresent for the Godhead, and little description of how communication between the Godhead actually works, if you leave the MEDIUM out of this...

Thus to me the best rebut for their theory of faith, is Job that speaks of only three functional; descriptors of the Godhead...Yahweh, Shadday and Eloah...I have found no other common functional descriptors of the God head than these....

Thanks for sharing your faith'

God bless

Happy Sabbath' Shalom

 

Isn't this an old controversy?  Ellen White dealt with this in her day.  The claim that God is only a force of nature, Pantheism.

Interesting Daniel for the sake of readers young and old, what is pantheism, and what SOP actually define the term ?

Thanks for bringing it to our attention

Shalom

Pantheism refers to an impersonal god that is in all things as an energy, but has regard, thought, or care for mankind.  Further, it has no thought, thus an impersonal god. It is similar to the deist perspective that a god created everything, and just let it run like a watch and takes no interest in it afterward.  There was a huge debate over that during the time of Battle Creek and the Kellog Sanitarium.  Ellen White wrote a letter to them prior to this debate even happening from Australia to arrive in time to try to diver this disaster.  She also counseled Kellog, who adopted this view not print this viewpoint to rebuild the burned down sanitarium.  He, did not listen.

So, my point, in the Adventist world, is this is an old controversy made new.

Daniel

I don’t know about the Restitution ministries, but I think you maybe distorting things for your own purpose. I’ve never heard anyone suggesting that the God is a “force of nature.” The Holy Spirit power of God is indeed a force, it’s God power in us.

Jesus said,

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

God’s power in you is the evidence of God’s own promise.

 

dunamis: (miraculous) power, might, strength

Original Word: δύναμις, εως, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: dunamis

Phonetic Spelling: (doo'-nam-is)

Short Definition: might, power, marvelous works

Definition: (a) physical power, force, might, ability, efficacy, energy, meaning (b) plur: powerful deeds, deeds showing (physical) power, marvelous works.

As George Satayana said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

1Jo 5:7 So there are three witnesses in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One;

As I have studied this, my understanding is this was not in the original writings but was added.  It really states:

There are three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.

“During the controversies of the 4th century over the doctrine of the Trinity the text was expanded – first in Spain ca 380, and then taken up in the Vulg. By the insertion of “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

A few Greek manuscripts contain the addition. Hence it passed into the KJV, but all modern critical editions and translation of the NT, including the RSV, omit the interpolation, as it has no warrant in the best and most ancient manuscripts or the early church fathers.” (The Interpreter’s Commentary on the Bible, Pg. 931)

@Gene QUOTE"I don’t know about the Restitution ministries, but I think you maybe distorting things for your own purpose.

I would agree with Gene here Daniel, I do not think they see the "force of the Holy Spirit" as a passive energy like thing left alone running in Nature, but an intelligent active omnipresent function of the Father of the Son....that's how Restitution Ministries would see it....

@Daniel QUOTE"Pantheism refers to an impersonal god that is in all things as an energy, but has regard, thought, or care for mankind.

So help me out in case I have wandered off the correct path....How does the breath of life work in all living things ?

My understanding is the Holy Spirit acting as a medium, is channelling the Father's omnipresent powers through the Holy Spirit. Than the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit lives in all living things, administrating this "life force via the Father" as the "breath of life" in all living things. This implies the Holy Spirit is a living active presence in all living things, but takes an active interest in human beings because we can choose salvation through Jesus, if we want to be saved.

Is that how you see things a little ? Or is this pantheism ? SOP has very little details on this topic...

Happy Sabbath

Shalom

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