How can the Holy Spirit divest of something He never possessed?

Only Christ possessed humanity. Our critics asks us, how can the Holy Spirit divest of something He never possessed based on the following statement? In other words, their arguement is Holy Spirit is none other than Christ himself. Let us see the statement:

“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.” (MR, No. 1084 – Manuscripts 5a, 1895).

Let’s allow the Spirit of Prophesy to interpret itself. Here is another similar statement:

“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.” - Desire of Ages, p. 669

“Divested” does not mean that the Holy Spirit once had human personality; it is used by way of contrast with Christ. The key to understanding the use of “divested” in relation to the Holy Spirit is “representative.” Ellen White could have said: “The Holy Spirit is Christ, but divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.” On the contrary, she indicates that the Holy Spirit is “divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof” as “Christ’s representative,” not as Christ. Take away the personality of humanity and you have Christ as He is represented by the Holy Spirit.

In addition, the word "divested" carries two meanings... to disposses or to deprive (see websters). Now look up the word deprive, it too carries two meanings. Deprive can mean:

1: obsolete: remove
2: to take something away from
3: to remove from office
4: to withhold something from

See, it can either mean to take away something someone already had, or without something a person NEVER had. Look at it in

1. to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons): to deprive a man of life; to deprive a baby of candy.
2. to remove from ecclesiastical office.

1. To take something away from: The court ruling deprived us of any share in the inheritance.
2. To keep from possessing or enjoying; deny: They were deprived of a normal childhood by the war.

Therefore the above statement is simply saying that Christ can’t be at all places at once because now he has a human body. So the Holy Spirit, who has NEVER had a human body (divested); he can. Therefore through the Holy Spirit as Christ representative, he can be at all places at once, and fulfill Christ’s words: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be among them."

By the way, a bible example of someone being deprived (or divested) of something they never had is Adam and Eve. God "withheld" from them the forbidden fruit. He was depriving them of it, or they were divested of it. Unfortunately they made their own decision although God did not want that.

Some of our critics only accept certain quotes, and with those quotes they take "divested" to mean the first definition. But if we accept quotes like the ones where she says that the Spirit is a divine and separate person with a personality, then "divested" must hold the second meaning... to be withheld of something he never had, which was a human personality like that of Chris's.


"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'" [1 Corinthians 2:11] (Evangelism, p. 617).

Next: She said Jesus was not God Almighty?