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Abstract

Throughout history there have been two major understandings of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The first is the indwelling of the transcendent timeless God within the timeless soul of a body/soul, dualistic anthropology. The second is an allinclusive view in which either everything is God, pantheism, or everything is within God, panentheism. Adventism has traditionally rejected both of these understandings. Adventism teaches a monistic anthropology, denying the indwelling of the soul and a panentheistic point of view. How then is Adventism able to define the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? In order to begin to answer this question it seems fitting to study the prophetic voice of the Adventist church and come to at least an initial interpretation of Ellen White’s understanding of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In this article an initial understanding of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be presented through a limited in-depth chronological study of four significant sources of the writings of Ellen White, rather than a surface study of her entire works. These are excerpts from Steps to Christ, “Growing Up Into Christ” (chapter 8), a letter written to Sister Wessels, Sr., referenced in Special Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Series A No. 9 pg. 7580, Desire of Ages, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” (chapter 73), and Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8 section 5. The results of this study show White’s understanding of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as an abiding in Christ through a devotional interpersonal relationship of faith demonstrated most clearly in transformation of character for the Christian believer.

 

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