Why the confusion?

Why this topic is so confusing is because there are so many different viewpoints as to what the "Trinity" actually means. Based on the different viewpoints there are different objections, however they are all thrown into the same "Trinity" (or Anti-Trinitarian) argument.


The fastest way to find clartiy is to start removing objections which are easy to prove or disprove.

There are objections to even using the word "trinity", which could be seen as a valid objection as there is no reference to the word anywhere in the Bible and history shows that it is rooted in Pagan origins.

The word Trinity nowhere occurs in the Scriptures. The principal text supposed to teach it is 1 John 5:7, which is an interpolation. J.N. Loughborough
Out of one hundred and thirteen manuscripts, the text is wanting in one hundred and twelve. It occurs in no MS. before the tenth century. And the first place the text occurs in Greek, is in the Greek translation of the acts of the Council of Latern, held A.D. 1215. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible (1715-1832)

Could the objection be resolved by using the word "Godhead" instead? As this is found several times in the Bible:

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Acts 17:29

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse...

Romans 1:20

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Colossians 2:9

Or use the word "Heavenly Trio" that E.G. White used.

This is a simple one, yes, the word "Trinity" has origins from the Catholic church. With a small amount of research we should be able to find common ground here.

However we cannot throw away a concept because of a false label. We next need to analyze the makeup of the [Trinity|Godhead|Heavenly Trio] (take your pick what label you prefer)

Many will want to point to the origins of Paganism to prove that the concept of the Trinity is false.

This is a historical fact that there are false gods. Infact, we read in the Bible how God's people were even seduced into worshiping these false gods:

And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal (Nimrod) and Ashtaroth (Semiramis). ” Judges 2:13

The Pagan lineage of their false trinity who worshiped Nimrod (Baal), Semiramis (Ashtaroth) and Tammuz was formed. However this was easy to spot as it includes a female deity. Any reference to the Holy Spirit being a female figure, is clearly false as it points to the Pagan trinity.

False Trinity

When Constantine merged Paganism with Christinaity, we see how the female figure of Semiramis was rebranded as "Mother Mary" replacing the Holy Spirit as the 3rd member of the Pagan trinity.

Those who have connected the dots on this are correct that the same way satan, the father of all lies, has created a false sabbath on Sunday he has also created a false Trinity specifically targeting adding confusion around the Holy Spirit.

Following the logic however, by setting Sunday as the day of worship does not invalidate the true Sabbath. So we cannot invalidate the true Godhead by a false Trinity.

What we can however learn from this is how to easily spot the false Godhead, if the Holy Spirit is given a female gender it is clearly from Pagan origins. So our common ground here should be the term is false and there is a false version of the Godhead if given a female role.

Clarifying the Godhead

Next we need to address the Godhead. Let's hold off on defining what specifically it means to be in the Godhead and simply just acknowledge what the Bible has to say about the quantity:

Does the Bible speak of a Godhead which is comprised of three beings?

And [Jesus1] will pray the Father2, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit3 of truth...

John 14:16-17

We need not yet agree to the specifics, but it should be clear there is a count of three.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ1, and the love of God2, and the communion of the Holy Ghost3, be with you all. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13:14

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father1, and of the Son2, and of the Holy Ghost3.

Matthew 28:19

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father1, through sanctification of the Spirit2, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ3: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1 Peter 1:2

While conceding there are three, some will claim that they are one and not distinct. This moves into dangerous ground leading to pantheism, so there must be clarity around this:

Is there evidence in the Bible to support a logical conclusion that God and Jesus have a physical form and unique personages?

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him..

1 Peter 3:22

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Hebrews 1:3

Based on this, it should be evident that the Father and the Son have physical forms but there is no evidence to suggest the Holy Spirit has a physical form.

Holy Spirit
Physical Form:

Before we continue, we should probably clarify who we are told the Holy Spirit is:

There are many speculations as to who the Holy Spirit is, some have incorrectly speculated it was an angel, others an unknown god, but what is clear is that the Holy Spirit is the omnipresence of Jesus.

Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.

10LtMs, Lt 119, 1895, par. 18

The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and the Holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul.

Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894), Lt 66, 1894, par. 18

True faith and repose in God are always accompanied by the illumination 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.

Desire of Ages (DA 166.2)

The Lord is soon to come. We want that complete and perfect understanding which the Lord alone can give. It is not safe to catch the spirit from another. We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ. If we commune with God, we shall have strength and grace and efficiency.

E.G. White, Review & Herald, November 29, 1892, par. 3; 1892

While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.

Desire of Ages (DA 166.2)

Some stop here and conclude that if the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus there are only two personages the Father and Son and any acknowledgement to the individuality of the Holy Spirit is pagan worship. Is this true? What can we learn about the Personality of God?

It would help to begin by defining what Personality is, Merriam-Webster defines as:



The quality or state of being a person. The whole collection of individual emotions and behavior that make one person different from others.

So Personality is what constitutes a distinct personage. To have individuality you must have the capacity for independent thoughts and individual emotions.

Can we find evidence of this?

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.

Manuscript Releases (20MR 68.5)

The Holy Spirit has emotions and can be grieved away...

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit can be lied to...

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Acts 5:3-4

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality.

8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 8

The Holy Spirit is making decisions:

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.

1 Corinthians 12:11

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.

1 Corinthians 2:11

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.

21LtMs, Ms 20, 1906, par. 32

The Holy Spirit always leads to the written Word. The Holy Spirit is a person; for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.

21LtMs, Ms 20, 1906, par. 31

The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy clearly identify the Holy Spirit as having a distinct personality. There are also many straight forward quotes:

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.

Special Testimonies, Series B, 7:62-63 (1905) (EV 615.1)

...we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds...

14LtMs, Ms 66, 1899, par. 11

Holy Spirit
Capacity for Thought:

There are some who accept that the Holy Spirit of God has the capability of thought independent the same way Jesus does but also argue that the Holy Spirit is the mind of God and the mind of Christ and the passage that God and Christ and are one in Spirit is referring to being one in the Holy Spirit.

For the sake of maintaining common ground, we can simply accept that we do not fully understand the mind of God nor do we need to as it seems hard to see why this point would be salvational.

What is important is defining who is worthy of worship as this seems to be an area of disagreement.

Who is worthy of worship?

Let's take three very clear statements we can start with Matthew 4:10 or Luke 4:7-8 where Jesus is speaking to satan in the wilderness:

Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matthew 4:10

Someone could then pair this verse with:

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

1 Timothy 2:5

If we take these two verses alone, it seems very clear. We are only to worship God the Father and not Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit
Worthy of Worship:

True worship is incredibly important. If we are worshiping the wrong deities we are dishonoring God. The question becomes is this the full picture? Is God the Father the only member of the Heavenly Trio who should be worshiped?

We need then to investigate if Jesus is equal with the Father and deserving of worship.

Some then take a stance that there is only one God and interpret this to mean the Father and that Jesus is not to be worshiped, which is false.

Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

John 1:1

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

John 1:1

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

Philippians 2:5-6

I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

John 10:30-33

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Colossians 2:9

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Hebrews 1:6

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth

Philippians 2:10

That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 5:23

Based on these quotes it should be clear that in addition to the Father and Jesus are worthy of our praise and worship.

Holy Spirit
Worthy of Worship:

We should probably ask, does this contradict Matthew 4:10 that the Father alone should be worshiped? Or are these two statements in harmony?

So when we are then presented this quote from E.G. White we should ask is this in harmony with Matthew 4:10?

The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.

Youth Instructor, July 7, 1898 par. 2; 1898

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:3

By this text should we conclude that the Holy Spirit should not be included in our worship?

Is the Holy Spirit worthy of worship?

The Bible does not seem to have any definitive statements as to if we are to worship all three members of the Godhead, does E.G. White give us any statements regarding this?

We are instructed to worship our Creator!

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Revelation 14:6-7

During the recount of creation, we are instructed that the Holy Spirit was there:

...And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2

The original word for moved has the sense of hovering or brooding, and does not mean moving, merely. It evidently refers to a process of formation, by the power of the Spirit of God, which immediately followed the act of creation.

EJ Waggoner, The Spirit of God (SGOM 9.4)

It would seem that all three members of the Godhead had a role in our creation.

And then the golden harps are touched, and the music flows all through the heavenly host, and they fall down and worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

21LtMs, Ms 139, 1906, par. 32

This is a most precious promise. When I feel oppressed and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just call upon the three great Worthies, and say: 'You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me, and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character'. And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer.

Manuscript Releases (7MR 267.2)

Holy Spirit
Worthy of Worship:

Here is a quote from the Review & Herald by Uriah Smith under the headline "Worshiping the Holy Spirit" which did not draw any rebuke from Sister White so must have been a shared opinion:

Do the Scriptures warrant the praise or worship of the Holy Spirit? If not, does not the last line of the doxology contain an unscriptural sentiment?" - D. H.

“Answer.--- We know of no place in the Bible where we are commanded to worship the Holy Spirit, as was commanded in the case of Christ (Heb. 1:6), or where we find an example of the worship of the Holy Spirit, as in the case of Christ. Luke 21:52. Yet in the formula for baptism, the name ‘Holy Ghost,’ or ‘Holy Spirit,’ is associated with that of the Father and the Son. And if the name can be thus used, why could it not properly stand as a part of the same trinity in the hymn of praise, ‘Praise God from Whom all Blessing Flow?’ ” Uriah Smith, Review and Herald, October 27, 1896, p.685

Again, there are three statements:

One statement says... Apples are in the box, next statement says Apples and Oranges are in the box. The other statement says Apples Oranges and Pears are in the box.

Apple: "shalt worship the Lord thy God, and HIM ONLY shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10

Apple Orange: “The Father and the Son ALONE are to be exalted.” YI, July 7, 1898 par. 2; 1898

Apple Orange Pear: "worship the Father and the Son AND the Holy Spirit..” 21LtMs, Ms 139, 1906, par. 323

While there are many more statements, the entire matter should be able to be decided by these three statements.

Err on the side of caution!

There is a saying to "err on the side of caution", simply meaning if there really is no way to know, make decisions in a cautious way, rather than taking risks.

What this mean?

What is the role of the Holy Spirit? To guide us to truth!

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 16:13

Many have read and remember the quote:

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew 12:31-32

Probably no other text in the Bible has been the subject of more speculation, or has been more misunderstood, than this one. Many honest, conscientious people have gone well-nigh into despair over the thought that they were guilty of the sin here mentioned, and that simply because they had received erroneous ideas as to what that sin is. Although there is so much misunderstanding in regard to it, we think that an understanding of it may be gained quite readily by a consideration of the connection and of parallel texts. Every word which our Saviour uttered was timely, and applied to the circumstances then present; it is this feature which makes them practical in all ages. Therefore if we would get a full understanding of any of his words, we must consider the occasion which called them out. E.J. Waggoner, The Signs of the Times (SITI April 14, 1887, page 230.2)

Nothing we do is beyond forgiveness!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Except the continual rejection of the Holy Spirit's leading!

If you still feel remorse for sin and desire to ask for forgiveness, then the Holy Spirit is still working in you!

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins...” Hebrews 10:26

In every case where the judgments of God have been brought upon people, it was because there was no possibility of their reformation; they had, in short, committed the unpardonable sin. This was the case with the antediluvians, the Sodomites, the wicked inhabitants of Canaan (see Genesis 15:16), who were destroyed to make room for the Israelites, and finally with many of the people of Israel. Says the sacred historian:

Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place; but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 2 Chronicles 36:14-16

There was no remedy;” that is, their sin was unpardonable. Now since God’s object in giving men this existence is solely that they may prepare for a better, and an eternal existence, it follows that when they utterly refuse to accept of God’s plan for them, and devote themselves wholly to evil, there is no use to continue their existence longer. They are of no use to themselves or to anybody else. Like trees that bear only thorns instead of fruit, they are cut off as cumberers of the ground. Their continued existence would be only detrimental to the soil which might be yielding something useful. Here then is another way in which men may commit the unpardonable sin. E.J. Waggoner, The Signs of the Times (SITI April 14, 1887, page 230.9)

In Revelation 22:8-9 when John fell down to worship the angel that brought Him the revelation, the messenger rebuked him “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant". So if we attempt to give glory to the Holy Spirit, whose primary role is to bring us to truth, would the Holy Spirit not rebuke us if we were wrong?

However, if we have grieved (Ephesians 4:30) the Holy Spirit away by excluding Him from the Godhead, who is there (other than your brothers and sisters in Christ) to point you to the truth?

Heresies are now arising among the people of God, and they will continue to arise. As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error.

22LtMs, Ms 43, 1907, par. 20

We need the Holy Spirit!

Now, more than ever, we need the Holy Spirit!

The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.

Series A, no. 10, 37 (Evangelism, 617)

Evil has been accumulating for centuries and could only be resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead.

Letter 8, 1896 Manuscript Releases (4MR 329.5)

Here are several more statements by Adventist Pioneers:

It seems strange to me, now, that I ever believed that the Holy Spirit was only an influence, in view of the work he does. But we want the truth because it is truth, and we reject error because it is error, regardless of any views we may formerly have held, or any difficulty we may have had, or may now have, when we view the Holy Spirit as a person. satan's scheme is to destroy all faith in the personality of the Godhead, also in his own personality...Let us beware lest Satan shall lead us to take the first step in destroying our faith in the personality of this person of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. It was once hard for me to see how a spirit could be a person; but when I saw "that God is a spirit" (John &: 24), and that he is no less a person; when I saw that the last Adam (Christ)"was made a quickening spirit" (1 Cor. 15: 45), and that he is a person... I could understand better how the Holy Spirit can be a person..." ” R.A. Underwood, “The Holy Spirit a Person”, Review and Herald, May 17, 1898, p.310
From the figures which are brought out in Revelation, Ezekiel, and other Scriptures, and from the language which is used in reference to the Holy Spirit, we are led to believe he is something more than an emanation from the mind of God. He is spoken of as a personality, and treated as such. He is included in the apostolic benediction (2 Cor.13: 14), and is spoken by our Lord as acting in an independent and personal capacity as Teacher, Guide, and Comforter. He is an object of veneration and is a Heavenly intelligence, everywhere present, and is always present [thus was alays in existence; Heb. 9:14]” ” G.C. Tenny “To Correspondents”, Review & Herald, June 9, 1896, pg. 362
And the Holy Spirit is a person. This great truth is not recognized, indeed it is not believed, by more than a very few even of Christians. For everybody knows that almost invariably, with very, very few exceptions, the Holy Spirit is referred to and spoken of by Christians as “it.” But the word “it” never applies to a person. The word “it,” in the very genius of our language, refers and applies only to things, never to persons; to things of inanimate substance, as a stone, a horse, a tree; or to things of concept, or experience, as space, height, breadth, peace, joy, grief, an impression, an influence. But the Holy Spirit is none of these: the Holy Spirit is not an influence; nor an impression, nor peace, nor joy, nor any thing. The Holy Spirit gives peace, and gives joy, assuages in grief, makes an impression, exerts an influence; but the Holy Spirit is none of these things, nor any other thing. No, eternally no! The Holy Spirit is a Person, eternally a divine Person. And he must be always recognized and spoken of as a Person, or he is not truly recognized or spoken of at all. ” A.T. Jones, The Medical Missionary p. 98, 1907
You ask what we teach about the Trinity. Inasmuch as we find no such expression in the Scriptures, we do not teach anything about it. But as to the Being of God,—the Godhead,—Divinity as revealed in the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Spirit, we believe and teach just what the Bible says, and nothing else. No man can by searching find out God. No creature can understand the Almighty to perfection. The finite mind cannot comprehend infinity. Therefore, discussions about the Trinity, about the nature of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, are manifestations of gross presumption. ” E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth for 1902 - Vol. 18 - No. 06, p.8)

We are to pray for divine enlightenment, but at the same time we should be careful how we receive everything termed new light. We must beware lest, under cover of searching for new truth, satan shall divert our minds from Christ and the special truths for this time. I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the “present truth,” when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth.

Letter 7, 1891 (1SM 159.3)

Very many will get up some test that is not given in the Word of God. We have our test in the Bible—the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] This is the true test, but many other tests will arise among the people. They will come in in multitudes, springing up from this one and that one. There will be a continual rising up of some foreign thing to call the attention from the true test of God.

16LtMs, Ms 149, 1901, par. 8

The Sabbath question is a test that will come to the whole world. We need nothing to come in now to make a test for God's people that shall make more severe for them the test they already have. The enemy would be pleased to get up issues now to divert the minds of the people and get them into controversy...

16LtMs, Ms 149, 1901, par. 8