Book 3

Nothing To Fear

“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”

Life Sketches p. 196

BOOKS IN OPPOSITION

During the middle 1880s, Dr John Harvey Kellogg privately discussed his philosophical beliefs of a triune God, and as a result, many church leaders were attracted to his ideas. 1 Selected Messages p196.197.

In a letter, Brother Daniells stated that the doctor had confessed to him that he believed in a triune God, for he wrote, “within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity…. (and) he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost”. A G Daniells to

W C White. Oct 29 1903 p1.2. Quoted more fully in ‘Except We Forget’ Book 2 p7.8.

In 1891 the prophet was sent to Australia, a voyage she did not wish to take, but willing to comply with the direction of the brethren, she travelled across the Pacific Ocean.

In 1892, a series of Bible studies appeared called The Bible Students’ Library. It was a set of studies designed for the public, containing brief and pointed essays on Bible doctrines, the fulfilment of prophecy, and other aspects of Seventh-day Adventist teachings. But pamphlet No.90 was not an Adventist doctrine. It was entitled, ‘The Bible Doctrine of the Trinity’, and according to Brother Froom, was “a simple, but adequate pamphlet”. He also stated that it was “the first step in recognition and declaration (of the Trinity doctrine).” Movement of

Destiny. Leroy Froom p323.

Another opinion of this pamphlet was that it “fell short of the true picture of the Trinity. Nevertheless, the fact that it was printed by Pacific Press indicates that the concept of the Trinity was beginning to be accepted by the church.” A Division Publication without

author entitled, ‘The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Adventists.’. Distributed by the Conference to a Victorian church in July 1999.

It is important to realise that this pamphlet was not written by Seventh-day Adventists, but by Samuel Spear, a non-Adventist, who had written an article in the New York ‘Independent’, November 14, 1889. It was reprinted as Pamphlet No.90. by Pacific Press, with permission of the New York paper.

Naturally, the absence of Sister White gave a sense of freedom to those who were promoting variant views on the personality of God. Dr Kellogg was able to quietly promote his triune (albeit pantheistic) beliefs, without fear of meeting the prophet, and his influence grew among the brethren. At the same time, other men printed the same basic doctrine of the Trinity, in a more specific form, including it as one of a set of true Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. According to Brother Froom, the subject of the Trinity “was affirmed by a growing number at and after the Minneapolis Session”. Movement of Destiny p322.

In 1896, Sister White wrote from Cooranbong to the brethren in America. She had not been instructed to deal with the Kellogg issue, and her letter covered other areas that needed addressing, such as selfishness, jealousy of the medical work, the desire for gain, the training of young men and women, mismanagement, self-pleasing, and the need for well-organised efforts to secure labourers.

She wrote of men “who will soon evidence which banner they are standing under, the banner of the Prince of life, or the banner of the prince of darkness”, and if they could only see matters as they had been presented to the prophet, they would realise that “they are as men standing on the brink of a precipice, ready to slide over to the depths below”. She plead with the brethren to “Let Christ work by His Holy Spirit, and awaken you as from the dead, and carry your minds along with His”. Testimonies to Ministers p393..394.

396.

One powerful paragraph stated, “Evil had been accumulating for centuries, and could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. Another spirit must be met; for the essence of evil was working in all ways, and the submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing.” Testimonies to Ministers

Feb 6. 1896 p392. Emphasis added.

Of course it was clear to the majority of believers, but puzzling to some of the brethren.

Had Sister White become a Trinitarian?

Or was she using terminology that revealed the personality of the Spirit of God, against the growing Kellogg-inspired belief in a non-personal Spirit-God pervading all nature?

The following year 1897, Dr Kellogg made public his belief in a triune God who in essence filled the air, the trees, flowers, animals, birds, everything in nature. As a result, those leaders who were attracted to his views took their stand, and in a short time, Battle Creek College and the Sanitarium were rampant with the teachings. ‘Keepers of the Flame’

No.6. ‘The Lesser Light’. Adventist Media Centre. Presenter: Dr Alan Lindsay.

During that same year 1897, Sister White wrote an article for the ‘Signs of the Times’ entitled ‘Christ the Life-giver’. In part it said, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”. John 1:4. It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life.

Physical life is something which each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Life-giver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. ‘No one can take this life from Him. ‘I lay it down of myself’, (John 10:18) He said, In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ”. 1 Selected Messages p296. Emphasis

added.

This is a wonderful enlightening passage, as it makes clear that Christ has an immortal life that can not be taken from Him. His original, unborrowed, underived, immortal life was a natural endowment as the begotten Son of God. Jesus said, “as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself…” John 5:26.

In 1898, a book was printed by Uriah Smith called ‘Looking unto Jesus’. In the preface Brother Smith stated that his book was a new “treatment of an old subject”. His reason for writing was because of the “many false beacons (that) have been erected, not to give warning of

danger, but to lure to disaster, for the one end, which the enemy of all righteousness has sought and still seeks, to gain, is to have our Lord Jesus Christ placed in a false light before the world.” Preface p3.

His book covers a wide range, including Christ before and after the incarnation, the sanctuary, its services and cleansing, the priesthood of Christ, 1844, the close of probation, plagues, and the end of sin.

The first chapter is entitled, ‘Christ as Creator’, beginning as follows, “God alone is without beginning. At the earlier epoch when a beginning could be, a period so remote that to finite minds, it is essentially eternity, appeared the Word. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. John 1:1. This uncreated Word was the being, who, in the fulness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. His beginning was not like that of any other being in the universe. It is set forth in the mysterious expressions, ‘His (God’s) only begotten Son’ John 3:16. 1 John 4:9.

Thus it appears that by some divine impulse or process, not creation, known only to Omnipotence, and possible only to Omnipotence, the Son of God appeared. And then the Holy Spirit (by an infirmity of translation called… the Holy Ghost), the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the divine afflatus and medium of their power, representative of them both (Psalms 139:7), was in existence also.” Looking unto Jesus. Uriah Smith p10. Brackets Br Smith.

(Afflatus, according to the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary means, 1. A breath of wind. 2. Inspiration; communication of divine knowledge; or the power of prophecy. An unusual term to us, but obviously appropriate one hundred years ago)

This position on the life of Christ had been held by Seventh-day Adventists since the beginning, affirming the position of Ellen White, James White, Joseph Bates, J.N. Andrews, E.J. Waggoner, A.T. Jones,

S.N. Haskell, J.N. Loughborough, O.L.Corliss and others, as is attested by their writings.

In fact, in 1905, Sister White was instructed by God that these men should be heard, including those who were no longer alive, “for the

standard-bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings”. The material should be reprinted, “for there is truth and power in them. Men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Preach the Word p5. Counsels to Writers and Editors p31.32. 1905.

During the years prior to the printing of Brother Smith’s book, while Ellen White and Marian Davis were in Australia, Sister Davis was collating Ellen White materials to put together a new book on the life of Christ on behalf of the prophet. Sr White wrote, “Marian greedily grasps every letter I write to others in order to find sentences that she can use in the life of Christ. She has been collecting everything that has a bearing on Christ’s lessons to His disciples, from all possible sources….

I have devoted little time to these books, for speaking, writing articles for the papers, and writing private testimonies to meet and repress the evils that are coming in keeps me busy.” Letter 114. 1896. 3 Selected

Messages p119. 115.122. (When she could, Sister White wrote on the life of Christ, but mainly Sister Davis collated written materials from Sister White)

In 1898, ‘The Desire of Ages’ was printed.

On page 530, one vital sentence was inserted from the letter to the American brethren. It was placed in the chapter on the raising of Lazarus, and speaking of Martha states, “Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’. In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life’. 1 John 5:22. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages p530.

Emphasis added.

When Brother M.L. Andreason saw this term (and two other terms), he became so alarmed, he took a special trip to see the original manuscript. (Obviously Brother Andreason was an anti-Trinitarian, or he would not have been shocked, but he must have understood Trinitarian terminology for him to have had that reaction)

Had Sister White suddenly changed to believe Christ was co-eternal and co-equal with the Father?

Or was she saying exactly the same as when she wrote the full paragraph in the ‘Signs of the Times’, an understanding she had held for over fifty years?

Obviously, Ellen White’s bookmaker had taken one sentence from the previous article and placed it in a different setting. But out of its context, it can be read to mean something else. Those who know the truth understand these words, but apart from its original connection, it is possible to see it in a different way. Whether this was a deliberate attempt to deceive, or an innocent inclusion we do not know, but there are letters recorded that give cause for concern.

A letter by Brother Camden Lacey (who admitted to being a Trinitarian), states that Sister Davis “appealed to me personally many times as she was arranging that chapter [1] (and other chapters too for that matter) and I did what I could to help her….” H.C.Lacey to L.E.Froom

Aug 30.1943. Brackets ( ) in letter.

While we do not wish to accuse anyone, a simple suggestion to include one sentence apart from its original context, if it would portray a picture of an eternal co-equal Christ, is possible. Sister White, re-reading her own words would of course have her original intent in mind.

Both Ellen White and her son Willie were overworked, and they found it impossible to check every aspect of the material collated for the book, even though Sister Davis wanted them to see “every little change of a word”. As a result, Sister White counselled her, and writing to Willie said that in the little things “she can just as well settle herself as to bring them before us.” Letter 64a 1889. 3 Selected Messages p92.

Naturally this leaves the situation wide open for the enemy to bring in his subtle deceptions. Sister White said, “I expect to be betrayed, as was my Master, by professed friends”. Review & Herald. Oct 16.1883.

In our own personal study, we must follow God’s counsel, and compare Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy statements with many other texts and statements to find truth. We cannot take one passage and base a doctrine upon it, or even two or three that seem to support our ideas, at the same time disregarding a mass of statements and texts that state the opposite. On a controversial doctrine, the whole subject must be studied before we can be certain we have arrived at the truth.

It may well be that Satan has placed his subtleties within the writings, but this must never lower our estimation of the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy. Both have been protected from making it impossible to see the truth.

“The enemy of truth, through the ministry of fallen angels, would be pleased to introduce uncertainty in the minds of many in regard to the doctrines that have been established by the sanction of the Holy Spirit.

Disguised as one who has a deep understanding of truth, Satan will seek to point out supposed errors in that which needs no revision, and it will take much time and patient labor to restore confidence in those whose minds are unsettled by unnecessary changes. God forbids His servants to alter that which needs no change.” Manuscript Release Vol 10 p337.

Another passage in ‘The Desire of Ages’ that caused concern for some, was portion of that written in the 1897 article in the ‘Signs of the Times’. “The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer….” The Desire of Ages p671. Emphasis added.

You will be well aware by now, that a deliberate effort was being made to deceive Seventh-day Adventists into accepting the Trinity doctrine, and so it is possible its inclusion was suggested by someone favouring the Trinity belief.

Did it have the same meaning for Sister Davis as for Ellen White? We do not know, but Brother Lacey stated, “I presented that very theme [of the Holy Spirit] to the interest (I well remember) of Sr Marian Davis, who took copious notes, and also to that of Elder

A.G. Daniells, who was frequently present, and expressed

conservative appreciation.” Letter H.C.Lacey to L.E.Froom. Aug 30 1943. (Brackets in letter) [added for context] (The meeting referred to was at Cooranbong in 1896. We do not have copies of the

meeting taken by Brother Lacey at Cooranbong, but from his letter to Brother Froom, it is quite clear he took a stand for the Trinity, as he also confessed in having “been a Trinitarian at heart” even while still in College)

Another subtle form of deception was to change lower case letters into capital letters. When ‘The Desire of Ages’ was printed in 1898, the words ‘third person’ were in lower case. (The 1896 letter printed in

Testimonies to Ministers also had the words ‘third person’ in lower case. See below)

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer…”

Copied from actual books To My Brethren in America:

Evil had been accumulating for centuries, and could only be

restrained and resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the

third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified

energy, but in the fullness of divine power. Another spirit must be

met; for the essence of evil was working in all ways, and the

submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing.

Cooranbong, Australia. February 6. 1896. Testimonies to Ministers. Pacific

Press 1947 p392.

However, in editions of ‘The Desire of Ages’ printed from 1940, both words were changed to capital letters. Other samples are shown, with one exception.

The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s

Redeemer. The Desire of Ages. Pacific Press 1940 p671.

The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. The Desire of Ages. Pacific Press. 1947 p671.

The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. The Desire of Ages, deluxe edition. Signs

Publishing. 1978 p607 (671)

The power of evil had been strength-ening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. The Desire of Ages. Signs Publishing. 1930s-1940s p772.

Some brethren feel that capitalising gives proper respect to the Deity, as I have just done, however, in this issue it makes a big difference. The prophet did not use capital letters for ‘third person’, but she did for Godhead.

Although it has not been admitted specifically that these changes have been made, admission has been made of changes. A ‘Record’ article stated, “Some reprints of older books and articles still contained such views (anti-Trinitarian), but these were eventually discontinued

or edited to reflect the new understanding”. The Trinity: Heresy or Hopeful Signs? Record. Jun 19. 1999 p8) Emphasis added.

In 1971, Brother Leroy Froom wrote, “The removal of the last standing vestige of Arianism (anti-Trinitarianism) in our standard literature was accomplished through the deletions from the classic D&R in 1944…” Movement of Destiny. Leroy Froom p465. (Brother Froom has

called the pioneers Arians, implying that they believed Christ was created, however, this is false. Other church historians call the pioneers Semi-Arians, accepting the fact that they believed Christ was begotten and not created)

In the light of these admissions, we can come to no other conclusion, but that the capitalisation of ‘Third Person’ was to sway the reader’s thinking into accepting the Trinity doctrine.

Sadly, it has been successful, as the majority of Seventh-day Adventists now subscribe to this teaching.

In 1901, Sister White returned to America.

Although concerned about the situation at the Sanitarium in Battle Creek, it appears that the Lord instructed her to remain silent until the alpha of heresy reached a crisis point. Then she would be required to, “Meet it firmly, and without delay”. (See 1 Selected Messages p196.197.200)

In 1902, Dr Kellogg’s book ‘The Living Temple’ was printed, where he forcefully promulgated his view of God being an essence in nature, an influence that pervaded all living things. At the time of its printing, the doctor was not clear in his understanding. At first he believed it was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who filled all space, but later said it was God the Holy Ghost. Letter A.G. Daniells to

W.C. White. Oct 29.1901 p1.2.

The climate was ripe for this material, and its sentiments were seen as ‘new light’ on the personality of God and the Holy Spirit, however, a crisis was looming.

When a confrontation was about to burst at the 1903 Autumn Council, a letter arrived from Sister White stating that the writer of ‘The Living Temple’ was “on a false track”, and that he “had lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time”. 1 Selected Messages p202. ‘Keepers of

the Flame’ No.6. Elder Daniells replied to Sister White saying that “the conflict was severe, but your message came and settled the controversy.” Ibid.

Between 1903 and 1904, Ellen White wrote many letters and testimonies about Dr Kellogg’s teachings. She said she “must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God”, and that the statements made in ‘The Living Temple’ in regard to that subject were incorrect. 1 Selected Messages p203.

Although Dr Kellogg’s book was largely on the subject of health, its underlying base was the presence and personality of God, and it was his sentiments the prophet was counselling the brethren not to enter into controversy about, not statements from the Bible.

We are advised not to speculate with philosophical arguments about God the Father, or His Spirit, but we can certainly quote the revealed Word from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.

In 1904, Sister White stated, “I am compelled to speak in denial of the claim that the teachings of ‘Living Temple’ can be sustained by statements from my writings. There may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer of ‘Living Temple’, would seem to be in harmony with the teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion that the sentiments in ‘Living Temple’ are in harmony with my writings. But God forbid that this sentiment should prevail.” 1 Selected Messages p203.

Unfortunately, brethren and sisters used Spirit of Prophecy statements to ‘prove’ their Trinitarian belief about the personality of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. In doing this, they were actually accusing the prophet of using her own writings to sway church members into accepting the ‘new understanding’ about God that was then taking over the church.

In 1999, an article appeared in the ‘South Pacific Record’ stating that the “watershed for the Adventist understanding of the Trinity came in

1898…. (when) Ellen White published her monumental ‘The Desire of Ages,’.” ‘Record’ Jun 19.1999.

The author has assumed that Sister White “differed sharply with most of the pioneers regarding the pre-existence of Christ”, and that she “lost no time in bringing up the main point. Her third sentence in chapter 1 declared, ‘From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father’.” (DA p19) Ibid

Consider for a moment what is taking place. It is absolutely clear that twenty-first century Seventh-day Adventists, from as far back as the early years of the twentieth century, have written books ‘of a new order’, especially relating to their belief in the presence and personality of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. And then, in typical Kellogg fashion, have quoted Ellen White to ‘prove’ the correctness of their doctrine.

To be able to do this, it is necessary for these church members to ignore other plain Bible and Spirit of Prophecy statements that prove their position to be totally false. Unfortunately, they must sweep aside the plain words of Scripture as well as the prophet.

We must ask, did Ellen White ‘differ sharply’ from the other pioneers in her belief on the Godhead? Many brethren believe she was anti-trinitarian, but changed her view after 1888. Either way, both parties believe she quietly placed a supposed ‘trinitarian’ belief in ‘The Desire of Ages’ without saying a word to anyone.

Is this the method the prophet used to correct the church?

No matter what Dr Kellogg believed regarding the personality of God, he was removing a vital pillar. There are many variations of the Trinity doctrine, but irrespective of which version is believed, not one of them is in harmony with that which was given by God at the beginning of the movement.

If Sister White was a Trinitarian from the movement’s beginning, she was in harmony with Dr Kellogg, and should have commended him for removing a ‘false’ pillar. On the other hand, if she had been an antitrinitarian, but changed her view to become a Trinitarian, and quietly placed the new belief in ‘The Desire of Ages’, she was doing exactly the same as Dr Kellogg, but in a different way. In truth, the prophet was upholding the doctrine of God as revealed by the Spirit between 1844 and 1848, a truth that became the main support of the foundation, and one that can never be removed.

If we believe Sister White changed her belief on the most fundamental teaching in the whole of Scripture, we must also believe that her writings prior to 1898 were not just immature, but completely false.

The article in the ‘Record’ continued, “Yet even this sentence (see last quote p12) was not sufficiently unequivocal to clarify her position regarding the deity of Jesus. Later in the book, writing on the resurrection of Lazarus, she quoted the words of Christ, “I am the resurrection, and the life”, and followed them with a seven-word comment that would turn the tide of anti-Trinitarian theology among Adventists: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived”.” (page 530).

Yes, it did turn the tide for many, for Trinitarians believe that this original, unborrowed, underived life proves Christ is eternal, without beginning. But Sister White says you and I can have this same original, unborrowed, underived, immortal life too.

Does this prove we are eternal, and without beginning! (We have it by the indwelling Spirit)

Let us ask the question again --Did the prophet put this one seven-word sentence, out of its original context, in ‘The Desire of Ages’ to teach the church that Christ is part of the Trinity? Did Marian Davis? Did Camden Lacey suggest it? The only person we can be certain of is Ellen White because her writings can be studied and compared with Scripture. The other brother and sister must be left with the Lord.

Quoting the ‘Record’ article again, “The Desire of Ages’ contained equally uncompromising statements regarding the deity of the Holy Spirit. On pages 669-671, Ellen White repeatedly uses the first-person pronoun ‘He’ in referring to the Holy Spirit, climaxing with the impressive statement, ‘The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail…. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power’.” (Page 671). (Note the capital letters for ‘third person’; in itself a subtle message)

There is no question the Trinity was not believed by the majority prior to 1898, for sufficient information has been written by Trinitarians to establish this fact. This means there has been a change, but to charge the prophet with bringing about that change is certainly not showing respect.

The ‘Record’ article states that the result of Sister White’s (supposed) intention, was to bring “a division of opinion among the ministers and leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Some, such as General Conference president A.G. Daniells, Review and Herald editor, William Prescott and Andreason, accepted these statements as inspired doctrinal correction for the church.” Ibid.

Yes, many were deceived by the Jesuit-type influence that had been laid many years earlier, but instead of putting the blame where it belongs, “Ellen White’s testimony…” (in The Desire of Ages) was blamed for creating “a paridigm shift that couldn’t be reversed.” Ibid.

But not everyone fell for the deception. The ‘Record’ article says of these, “Others, disbelieving that they could have been wrong for so many years, continued to repeat the old arguments.” Ibid.

It is true, they may be ‘old arguments’, but these very arguments are our absolute guarantee that Sister White was not responsible for bringing a pagan doctrine into the church, one that is clearly the Omega of apostasy.

During the early years of the nineteenth century, Sister White wrote about these ‘old arguments’ saying that “God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and still another will arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But

we stand by the old landmarks. (1 John 1:1-10 quoted)

I am instructed to say that these words we may use as appropriate for this time, for the time has come when sin must be called by its right name. We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present, claiming that they are truth.

But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

Let all men beware what is the character of their work. They would better be falling into line for their own souls’ sake and for the sake of the souls of others….

It is nothing to the credit of any man to start on a new track, using Scripture to substantiate theories of error, leading minds into confusion, away from the truths that are to be indelibly impressed on the minds of God’s people, that they may hold fast to the faith.” Letter 329. To J.A. Burden. Dec 11 1905. Manuscript Release No.760

Yes, old arguments, but arguments that are still valid even into the third millennium, and on until the coming of the Lord.

Let none be afraid to take the position that the “leading points of our faith as we hold them today (1903) were firmly established (18441848). Point after point was clearly defined, and all the brethren came into harmony. The whole company of believers were united in the truth.” MS 135 1903. Ellen G White, The

Early Years Vol 1 –1827-1862 p145.

Sad to say, there are those who state something completely different from the prophet. The ‘Record’ article even says, “Whatever may have been Ellen White’s original beliefs, she never expressed anti-Trinitarian views in her writings…” Record. Jun 19.1999.

Amazing!

Her writings are clearly anti-Trinitarian, and although some later statements appear Trinitarian to some brethren, she still wrote in the same vein as at the beginning, right to the end of her life.

Anyone reading the material written by Walter Martin during the 1950s, will remember that he presented pages and pages of Spirit of Prophecy statements that proved to him Ellen White was anti-Trinitarian. “After his extensive study, Walter Martin came to the conclusion that Ellen G White was at first Arian in belief, but later became Trinitarian.” Walter Martin at the Campus Hill Church, Loma Linda. Jan 26.1989.

The Foundation of Our Faith. Allen Stump p73.200.201.

The writers of the book ‘Questions on Doctrine’, after having been confronted with this charge of Walter Martin, were compelled to use terms like “the apparently misunderstood teachings of Ellen White….” Questions on Doctrine p138.

But they were not misunderstood. Ellen White believed an anti-Trinitarian doctrine from the beginning of the movement, but in their endeavour to become a main-line denomination, and accepted by the Evangelicals, these church leaders had to re-interpret the prophet.

Brother Leroy Froom believed Ellen White was always a Trinitarian, and that “her published utterances from 1846 to 1888 never needed revision, repudiation of position, or withdrawal on these points.”

Movement of Destiny p73

However, to retain this claim, it was necessary for the writers of ‘Questions of Doctrine’ to explain many Spirit of Prophecy quotations, or re-interpret her words.

Brother Froom believed the prophet’s writings for the first forty five years were correct, but ‘immature’, and that it was amazing she was kept from being influenced by the positions of “the vocal minority of strong minds” (as he called her peers), who believed the anti-Trinitarian view.

According to the church historian, Sister White came to maturity on the subject of the personality of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit towards the end of the nineteenth century, for he stated that these “early

enunciations of truth were developed with amazing fullness

following 1888.” Ibid. In other words, the prophet of God was in complete opposition to the beliefs of the pioneers for over fifty years, and in total harmony with the new doctrine that was coming into the church after Minneapolis. Remember that the leaders have expunged and edited all anti-trinitarian material to “reflect the new understanding”. ‘Record’ Jun 1999.

Brother Froom stated that the “lesser items”, that is, other than the “rugged structural truths”, which he lists as the Sanctuary, Sabbath, Conditional Immortality, and the Spirit of Prophecy, these lesser items were “more difficult to resolve”.

Obviously one of these ‘lesser items’ was the personality of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, of which he states that the “truth was not as easily discerned. Conclusions were harder to reach. Here they wrestled and prayed, and talked things through until they could come to united conclusions. Here was where the Spirit of Prophecy was of priceless help. The timing and the topics indicate their relationship and sequence.” Movement of Destiny p110.

According to Ellen White, the time of wrestling and praying was between 1844 and 1848, which is when the Spirit of Prophecy was a priceless help in giving inspired instruction regarding the pillars of the faith, including the presence and personality of God, Christ, and the holy Spirit.

The prophet wrote in 1855, “The truth is now made so plain that all can see it and embrace it if they will, but it needed much labor to get it out clear as it is, and such hard labor will never have to be performed again to make the truth clear.” MS 2. Aug

26. 1855. Ellen G White, Messenger to the Remnant by Arthur L White p40. If we are having to perform hard labour to find the truth today, it is because the truth has been lost, and we must search for it again.

“Our position looks very clear; we know we have the truth”, said Ellen White. Record Book 1 p72. E G White letter. March 1849.

The prophet has warned about departing from the truth in strong terms. “He who denies the personality of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, is denying God and Christ. ‘If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son and in the Father’. 1 John 2:24

If you continue to believe and obey the truths you first embraced regarding the personality of the Father and the Son, you will be joined together with Him in love. There will be seen that union for which Christ prayed just before His trial and crucifixion.” Review & Herald. Mar 8. 1906.

In this statement Sister White is counselling believers to continue to believe and obey the truths they first embraced regarding the personality of the Father and Christ, eight years after she supposedly changed her belief from that which she had at the beginning!

(If the prophet believed the Trinity from the beginning, she was out of step with the other pioneers, and yet she stated they were all in harmony. On the other hand, if she was anti-Trinitarian as were her peers, and changed her belief at the turn of the century, she was accusing Dr Kellogg of removing the same pillar she herself had removed. It cannot be both ways!)

Ellen G White’s writings are either consistent with that which was given in the beginning by God (right up to the day she died), or they are completely false.

This is the challenge made by the prophet herself. “God is either teaching His church, reproving their wrongs and strengthening their faith, or He is not. This work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work… bears the stamp of God or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway mark in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil.5 Testimonies p671.

The decision is yours, and mine to make, but make it we must.

“When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions, contrary to the light God has given, are to be entertained.

Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture, which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as the foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit…. We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the applications of them, if such applications moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.” E G White

Letter 329. 1905. Counsels to Writers and Editors p31.32)

These words are so clear that none need make a mistake.

TIME AND PLACE

When confronted with the controversy over the Trinity, many brethren immediately go to the Index or the CD Rom, and look up ‘Holy Spirit’, and suddenly they are confronted with statement after statement that appear to support the Trinity, and that to them is the end of the argument.

If they do study any further, it will be from the perspective of a foregone conclusion. Everything they see will ‘prove’ the Trinity. We are all prone to do this. We must be willing to set aside our own ideas, and allow God to explain His Word to us by His Spirit.

Another important aid to many in ‘proving’ the Trinity is the book ‘Evangelism’, for it contains very specific quotations that appear conclusive, however, with many statements out of context and subheadings, it becomes a tool in the hand of Satan to deceive those who are not willing to study deeply.

In 1946, men who were surface-readers were given the choice of accepting the statements as fact, or reject the Spirit of Prophecy. Brother Froom stated, “You know what it did with men in the Columbia Union… They either had to lay down their arms, and accept those statements, or else they had to reject the Spirit of Prophecy.” Letter from Leroy Froom to Roy Allen Anderson. Jan 18 1966. (See Book 2 p42.43) It was a ploy, and most fell for it.

There are other things you need to consider. The prophet has stated that the time of writing is important, as well as the circumstances. She wrote, “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered.” 1 Selected

Messages p57.

So once again, we must take into account that during the time when Sister White used terminology that spoke strongly of the identity and work of the Holy Spirit, there was a reason for it.

Although the tide was turned at the 1903 Autumn Council, Dr Kellogg’s book continued to circulate among the believers, and three years after it was printed, the prophet wrote the following testimony. Read it slowly, considering the time and the circumstances. (1905)

“I am instructed to say, the sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: ‘The Father is as the light invisible; the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad’. ‘The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life’. Another representation: ‘The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power’.

All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and

diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God cannot be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father cannot be described by the things of earth.

The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.

The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be ‘the express image of His person’. ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’…

The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour.

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, those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life of Christ.

Work will be done in the simplicity of true Godliness, and the old, old times will be back when, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, thousands were converted in a day. When the truth in its simplicity is lived in every place, then God will work through His angels as He worked on the day of Pentecost, and hearts will be changed so decidedly that there will be a manifestation of the influence of genuine truth, as is represented in the descent of the Holy Spirit.” Series B No.7 p62.63. 1905. Evangelism p614.615.

This is a powerful testimony showing us the difference between Dr Kellogg’s philosophical teachings and the majesty of the God of truth.

One of the big problems confronting those who are studying this subject is the word ‘persons’. Immediately a Trinitarian mindset (innocently learned), will think of three separate Beings sitting upon their thrones, all co-eternal, and co-equal with each other. But neither the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy give this picture.

The Father is always the divine Source of all things, an eternal Being,

without beginning, who has a glorious throne in heaven. The Son is always the only Son, begotten of the Father at some far distant point in eternity. At present He is seated upon His Father’s throne, but soon He will be given the throne of David, His earthly ancestor, and after the millennium will rule the redeemed upon this earth.

The Spirit is always the divine presence of the Father (given also to the Son), where He is able to work in every part of the universe. There is no throne of the Spirit mentioned in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, for the Spirit is the personal presence of the two who are seated upon the Father’s throne.

These are described by the prophet as three living persons, and this is not denied. The Father is a person and He is alive; the Son is a person and He is alive. The Spirit is also a person, but not a third ‘different’ person.

Of course, as soon as the phrase ‘Spirit is a person’ is used, the Trinitarian mind jumps to a third co-equal Being, but it is important to remember that Sister White is comparing the personality of the Spirit with an inanimate essence pervading all nature.

The Spirit is not simply a force, but the person of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in Spirit. If this is clear in your mind, you will have no problem with Ellen White’s statements referring to the ‘three persons’, no matter how they are worded.

In 1896, the prophet used the term “third person of the Godhead”, and in 1898, the passage was repeated in ‘The Desire of Ages’. (It was also repeated later in Special Testimonies No.10 p25, and many of the compilations)

If you understand ‘first person’, ‘second person’, and ‘third person’, you will have no problem with the latter term in the quotations given year by year. (See Word Study ‘Third Person’ for a further explanation)

Sr White also wrote the following in December 1898. “What gift could He (Christ) bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the third person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled”. Signs of the Times Dec 1. 1898. (It was the gift of

Himself in Spirit)

(Both the quotation written in 1896 and the above in 1898 using the term ‘third person of the Godhead’ are found in the Review & Herald, Signs of the Times, Southern Watchman, Manuscript Releases, 1888 Materials and elsewhere. Most are repeats and not new articles. (See Word Sudy ‘Third Person’ for further details)

The next few pages contain quotations of the prophet that were given during the time of the Dr Kellogg crisis. They are all revealing the personal nature of the Father, Son, and their omnipresent Spirit, rather than the wide-spread teaching that God was impersonal, pervading all nature. Over the ten years (between 1900 and 1910), forty statements were given with slight variation, and rather than quote each one, those that differ substantially will be noted.

In 1900, Sister White stated the following regarding the Father, Christ and the Spirit,

• The one baptised is “… a receiver of the pledge from the three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.Manuscript 57 1900. 6 Bible Commentary p1074. Similar in Manuscript 56.1900. Manuscript Release.Vol 6. p163. (Without the work of God the Father on the heart by His divine Spirit, no one would acknowledge the death of Christ on

Calvary, for “without this regenerating agent… the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail.” Desire of Ages p671)

“… (at baptism)… The three great powers in heaven are

witnesses; they are invisible, but present”. Manuscript 57 1900. 6 Bible Commentary p1974.

This latter point has caused some confusion.

Quite obviously, the Father who is seated upon His heavenly throne surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousands angels, and the Son who ministers at His right hand, are not present in their glorious forms at every baptism. However, by the Spirit, who is the personal presence of the Father and of the Son, they are indeed present and witnessing the pledge at all baptisms. Remember God and Christ are omnipresent by the Spirit. (‘omni’ means ‘all’ or ‘everywhere’)

In 1901, Sister White used a different term:

  • “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven…” Manuscript 92 1901. (Baptism) 5BC p1110.

  • … made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the three great personal dignitaries of heaven….” Manuscript 92 1901. (Baptism) 7BC p959.

  • “We are baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite powers are unitedly pledged….” Sermons & Talks Vol 2 p167. Manuscript 144 1901

Ask yourself the following questions: Is the Father one of three great powers of heaven? Of course. Is the Son? Yes. Is God’s personal Spirit an infinite power? There is no question.

The word ‘dignitary’ means ‘one who holds high office, especially ecclesiastical, or church’. Do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit hold high office in religious circles? There is no higher than the God of heaven.

This terminology was certainly a rebuke to Dr Kellogg’s essence pervading all nature, and in ‘The Living Temple’, he was referring to all three.

Another statement in 1901 was, “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.”

Counsels onAudios | Contact Site | Hands | Health | Letters Library | Missions | News | Sermons Short Stories | Sunset Calendar | Toolbox | Vatican Watch | Videosp222.

This last quotation was made into a tract by the Sydney Sanitarium, from an article in the Union Conference Record, April, 1901. Although the above words are the same in the tract, the article is different from the original, for it includes the angels. “…the inhabitants of the heavenly universe are appointed…” to assist in the plan of redemption. The leaflet for the Sanitarium has been included in ‘Counsels on Health’

p222. Alongside the book ‘Evangelism’ this is one of the most quoted passages in the whole controversy, because in the 1948 edition of ‘Counsels on Health’ (and subsequent editions), the word ‘themselves’ has a capital letter; the original did not. Naturally, this capitalisation has the desired effect. The writer can personally testify of this, as it has been presented on a number of occasions to prove the Trinity. I can assure you, the capital letter makes a lot of difference. (Note the year!)

Slowly read the following two paragraphs from the 1948 edition, and note whose love is revealed.

222 Counsels onAudios | Contact Site | Hands | Health | Letters Library | Missions | News | Sermons Short Stories | Sunset Calendar | Toolbox | Vatican Watch | VideosIt is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image by a constant manifestation of benevolence. This work began in the heavenly courts. There God decided to give human beings unmistakable evidence of the love with which He regarded them. He ‘so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John

3:16 The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ, He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting.

The word ‘Godhead’ does not necessarily mean that ‘the three’ were stirred with pity, which is the first reaction, but the Father was stirred with pity for the fallen race. If you read the first paragraph again, you will see that it was the Father who was stirred enough to send His beloved Son. And in the second paragraph, again it is the Father who

gave all the resources of heaven. (This does not mean that the Son did not have infinite pity, but the tenor of the passage is the Father’s love and concern for the human race)

Another query appears to say “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption”, meaning they ‘worked the plan out’ together, however, this is not in harmony with many other Spirit of Prophecy statements.

  • “The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success.” Signs of the Times. Jun 17. 1903.

    • “Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with His

    • Father in laying the plan of salvation.” Review & Herald. Sep 13.1906.
  • “A covenant has been entered into by the Father and by

the Son to save the world through Christ.” Signs of the Times. Oct 10 1892.

In counsel together, the Father and the Son determined that Satan should not be left unchecked to exercise his cruel power upon man.” Manuscript 31. 1911.

Remember, Christ is the only being who can enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. Patriarchs and Prophets p34.

“…and the counsel of peace was between them both.” Zechariah 6:12.13.

Two points should be noted. Firstly, the Spirit of God is always a part of God Himself, even though He can operate by that Spirit elsewhere in the universe. Secondly, ‘working out the plan’ can also mean ‘fulfilling the plan’, not ‘formulating’ it.

In the 1828 Dictionary, ‘work out’ means ‘to effect by labor and exertion’. It does not mean ‘to devise a plan of labor’, but the actual working out of the plan already formulated. A text given as a reference in the dictionary is Philippians 2:13. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. This does not mean to devise a plan, but to co-operate with God in His plan.

If you read the Ellen White reference again, you will see that the three great powers of heaven “gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption”, a plan that had been formulated by the Father and the Son in the councils of heaven prior to the creation of the earth. At the fall of man, the working out of the plan began. Let us praise God for His great salvation.

In 1902 and 1903, Sister White used the term “three great powers of heaven” a number of times, such as the two below,

  • “As you openly renounced sin and Satan, the three great powers of heaven pledged themselves to help you to overcome.” Signs of the Times. Feb 12 1902. Praise God they do.

  • “…let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working…” Review & Herald. May 5. 1903.

In 1904, Sister White stated the following in a letter to Brother W.W. Prescott,

• “… the solemn rite of baptism, the three highest powers in the universe – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – place their approval on his act, pledging themselves to exert their power in his behalf as he strives to honor God… The three great powers of heaven pledge themselves….” Letter to

W W Prescott. January 26. 1904. 4 Manuscript Release p368. Signs of the Times. Aug 16 1905.

It is interesting that Brother Prescott, although he later succumbed to the doctrine of the Trinity, did not consider that Sister White spoke of the Trinitarian doctrine in her letter to him, even though she had used the term ‘three great powers of heaven’.

In 1928, Brother Prescott gave a radio broadcast where he stated, “Plainly, the coming of the Comforter is the coming of Jesus in the Spirit… We have a Comforter or Advocate in Heaven, Jesus Christ the righteous, there present in a bodily form, just as he ascended from this earth, and we have in our hearts the same Jesus in the Spirit, the other Comforter who is just Jesus’ other self.W.W. Prescott 1928 Radio Broadcast.

Many times in 1904 and 1905, the prophet used the powerful phrase “the three highest powers of heaven”. She also stated the following,

• “The three great and glorious heavenly characters are present on the occasion of baptism. All the human capabilities are to be henceforth consecrated powers to do service for God… All heaven is represented by these three in covenant relation with the new life.” Manuscript 45. 1904.

(Baptism) 6 Manuscript Release p389.

All heaven would include the angels, who are ministering spirits sent to minister to fallen man. This was stated in the original article of the Union Conference Record of April 1 1901 where it stated, “The inhabitants of the heavenly universe are appointed to go forth to come into close touch with human instrumentalities who act as God’s helping hand. In the performance of this mission of love, angels mingle with the fallen race, ministering to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Divine agencies unite in the work of restoring the image of God in man. All who partake of the divine nature are appointed by God to unite with the angels in carrying forward with untiring zeal the plan of redemption.” Also in Letter B12

1901.

During 1905, the prophet wrote to Dr Kellogg of “the three highest powers of heaven” who work through us.

• “We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost – all these powers will work through us, making us workers together for God.” Letter to Dr Kellogg. Special Testimonies Series B.

No.7 p51. 7A BC p442. Special Testimonies Series B No.7 p51.

In 1906, a new term was introduced, but once again it does not change the meaning of that already presented. As has been said earlier, if we have the truth in our minds, these expressions will cause no problem.

• “You went down into the water in the name of the three great worthies in heaven – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost you were buried with Christ in baptism… Those who have been baptized can claim the help of the three great worthies of heaven to keep them from falling.”

Sermons and Talks. Vol 1. Oct 20. 1906 p363.367. (The prophet did not capitalise ‘worthies’)

  • In 1907, another term is used, but again, nothing is changed.

  • “We virtually took a solemn oath, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that henceforth our lives would be merged into the life of these three great agencies…” Manuscript 67. 1907. (Baptism) 1BC p1120. (The prophet did

not capitalize ‘agencies’)

Sister White also called the Holy Spirit “a regenerating agent....” The Desire of Ages p671.

In 1891, Uriah Smith delivered a sermon in which he stated that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Christ, and that it is “the divine mysterious emanation” through which they carry forward their great and infinite work of salvation.

He also said it “is the agency through which life is imparted, it is the medium through which all God’s blessings and graces come to His people…”, similar to the wording of the prophet. General

Conference Daily Bulletin. Vol 4 p146.147. Uriah Smith. Mar 14. 1891.

In 1908 and 1909, Sister White used the term “the three great (or highest) powers in heaven” a number of times, and in 1909, she stated it this way.

• “When men and women, truly converted, are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, these three representatives of heavenly authority behold the scene, and accept the vows made by human agents to walk henceforth in newness of life.” Letter 174. Dec 21. 1909. 6 Manuscript

Release p29. (There is no question they can all behold the scene, for although the Father and Jesus are in heaven, they are omniscient – all-seeing, all-knowing)

In 1910, the final statement of this nature was made.

• “As at our baptism….(we) received the ordinance in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, these three great powers of heaven pledged themselves to work in our behalf….” The General Conference Bulletin. Apr 14. 1910.

(These statements [listed between 1901 and 1910] have been repeated a number of times in Spirit of Prophecy writings, whether by the prophet or by church leaders, but to the best of our understanding, there are no others that are substantially different. Even if one or two are found, their meaning would be the same as meant by the prophet in every case, for she did not contradict herself – she was inspired by the Spirit of God)

Although this book is theological, let us not miss the spiritual aspect of the foregoing Spirit of Prophecy quotations, for we too need to understand that the three agencies of heaven are worthy and powerful in their work of redeeming us from sin.

Let us gain the blessing from them as well.

In our conversation with brethren and sisters, we will not be condemned for using the same terminology as the prophet, but in doing so, three things are vitally important.

  1. We must not use the writings to prove something the prophet did not believe.

  2. We must not go beyond the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy descriptions, and use philosophical language.

  3. We must be reverent in our discussion of the subject.

When the prophet wrote of the Holy Spirit, she was using a true and acceptable description. “By His (God’s) Spirit He is everywhere present. Through the agency of His Spirit and His angels, He ministers to the children of men.” The Ministry of Healing p417.

The Psalmist used similar wording in the Bible. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Psalms 139:7.

It is a mistake to charge those who are explaining the doctrine of the Godhead --in an appropriate manner from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy --with words such as “The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them….Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding silence is golden.” Acts of the

Apostles p52.

This statement is quoted over and over again to those who are trying to reveal the truth about God the Father, His beloved Son, and the Spirit, but unfortunately, it is sometimes used as an excuse not to hear truth..

Yes, it is inappropriate to try and explain the inexplicable, mysterious things, for the “secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but

those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever…” Deuteronomy 29:29

The first time (apparently) Sister White used the term “silence is golden” relating to the Holy Spirit was in a letter to a Brother Chapman in 1891. It was a personal rebuke to a man who was teaching that the Holy Spirit was a separate being other than the Father and the Son. It was not the Trinity he was teaching, but that the Holy Spirit was the angel Gabriel.

The prophet wrote to Brother Chapman, “I have received yours dated June 3. In this letter you speak in these words, “Elder Robinson does not want me to leave, but urges that I enter the canvassing field until such time as the conference can afford to employ me in some other capacity, but states positively that I cannot be sent out to present the truth to others until some points held by me are changed or modified in order that the views regarded by us as a people should be properly set forth. He quotes as a sample, ‘My idea in reference to the Holy Ghost’s not being the Spirit of God, which is Christ, but the angel Gabriel, and my belief that the 144,000 will be Jews who will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.

On all the fundamental points I am in perfect harmony with our people, but when I try to show what seems to me to be new light on the truth, those in authority, none of whom have seemingly ever made a personal investigation of the matter, refuse to look into the Bible, but brand me as a fellow with queer ideas of the Bible’.” Letter Jun 11. 1891. E G White.

Clearly we can see that Brother Chapman did not have the truth regarding the Holy Spirit, but having his own letter quoted reveals clearly the teaching of the church – ‘the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, which is Christ’ – confirming that this was the belief of the Seventh-day Church in 1891.

Sister White replied, “Your ideas of the two subjects you mention do not harmonize with the light which God has given me. The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery not clearly revealed, and you will never be able to explain it to others because the Lord has not revealed it to you. You may gather together Scriptures and put your construction upon them, but the application is not correct. The expositions by which you sustain your position are not sound. You may lead some to accept your explanations, but you do them no good, nor are they, through accepting your views, enabled to do others good.

It is not essential for you to know and be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, ‘the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name’ (John 14:16.17 quoted)

This refers to the omnipresence of the spirit of Christ, called the Comforter. There are many mysteries which I do not seek to understand or to explain they are too high for me, and too high for you. On some of these points, silence is golden….

I hope that you will seek to be in harmony with the body… You make the mistake that many others have made, of thinking that you have new light, when it is only a new phase of error. You need to come into harmony with your brethren… Now my brother, it is truth that we want and must have, but do not introduce error as new truth.Letter to Br Chapman. Jun 11.1891. Manuscript Release No.14 p179. The Importance of Unity.

Unfortunately, there are many who are making a similar mistake as Brother Chapman, not in believing that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel, but in presenting a false understanding of God as new light. Not only that, but they are gathering a mass of Scripture (and Spirit of Prophecy) to support their view on a triune God, rather than seeking to be in harmony with truth.

There are also brethren who are following Dr Kellogg’s example and presenting philosophical sentiments to describe the doctrine of the Trinity, and it is for both these errors that the prophet gave the counsel ‘silence is golden’.

A Roman Catholic writer stated, “The doctrine of the triune God gathers up in a remarkable way the findings of our philosophical theology, and forms a close bond between the expositions of philosophical and symbolic theology.” Principles of Christian

Theology. Revised edition. John Macquarie p 198 199. 188.

Some philosophical writings are beautiful in their expressions, but they as simply words, such as the following that speaks of God as one who, “Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees. Lives through all life, extends through all extent, spreads undivided and operates unspent.” Pope. (Well-known

past author, not a pope)

Compare the writings of Dr Kellogg in ‘The Living Temple’ to explain the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in nature (as shown on p21) with the following by modern Seventh-day Adventists.

“God gave us a lesson about Himself when He made clover. It’s in those three tiny leaves. Pull off one of the heart-shaped bits and look at it. It’s a perfect leaf all it’s own. But then look at the two that are left on the stem, and you’ll see that something is missing. It takes all three to make them whole. Each is complete in itself, yet it’s not.

Understanding God. God is like that piece of clover. There’s the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christians call them the Trinity. Each is an individual being, self-existent in His own right, but it takes all three to make up the whole of what we call God. In

both the Old and New Testaments we learn that God is one; yet He is more than one.” These Times May 1978. I Believe in the Trinity of the Godhead by Marvin Moore.

Another spiritualistic analogy follows, “A simple illustration helped strengthen my faith in the doctrine of the triune God. As a high school physics lab assistant, I was always fascinated by the bottle of mercury on our stockroom shelf. A chemist can take three drops of mercury and describe them scientifically. The same scientific description would fit perfectly if the three drops were merged into one. The only difference would be quantity.

So with the Godhead. If it were possible scientifically to describe the Father, the same formula could be applied to the Son and the Holy Spirit. Any adjective applied to one may be applied to the other. They are of the same essence. All possess the same qualities of unrestricted wisdom, unparalleled goodness, unmeasurable mercy, unlimited love, unsurpassed intelligence, unending power, and unbounded glory.” Review & Herald. Oct 21. 1971. I Believe in the Triune God by J.R. Spangler.

The explanation of clover and mercury are not written in what we would call a philosophical style, however, the prophet clearly states that using nature to describe God lowers the dignity of His majesty, weakening and diminishing the power. The following illustration is even worse.

Under the title, ‘The Trinity – Is it Biblical?’ it is stated. ‘An Amazing Fact: A mousetrap is made up of several parts which work together to seize its unsuspecting prey as he happily nibbles on one of his favorite foods. Removing even a single component of the trap, such as the spring, renders its remaining parts completely ineffective. Similarly, there are complex systems in the natural world that could not possibly have come into existence through an evolutionary process, because they can’t function without all their parts in place at the same time.…

God also is a combination of three entities and is manifested as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Were any one person of the Godhead removed, God would cease to be God….” The Trinity

– Is it Biblical? Kim Kjaer

There is a place for using nature as an illustration, but it must be used correctly. Jesus gave an example when He said to Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where is listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8.

Sister White also used nature as an illustration, but like that of Jesus, it described the Spirit’s work, not His person. “The Lord employs these operations of nature (latter rain, sowing time, harvest) to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth.

The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers p506.

There is a vast difference between this type of language and that given in the previous illustrations. The prophet writes in the correct manner about God and nature.

“The mighty power that works through all nature and sustains all things is not, as some men of science represent, merely an all-pervading principle, an actuating energy. God is a Spirit; yet He is a personal Being; for so He has revealed Himself…. God’s handiwork in nature is not God Himself in nature. The things of nature are an expression of God’s character and power; but we are not to regard nature as God…. So while nature is an expression of God’s thought, it is not nature, but the God of nature, that is to be exalted….

In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God…. Through Christ the Word, a personal God created man, and endowed him with intelligence and power…. Above all lower orders of being, God designed that man, the crowning work of His creation, should express His thought and reveal His glory. But man is not to exalt himself as God….

The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings, all doing His will. Through these messengers He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. By His Spirit He is everywhere present. Through the agency of His Spirit and His angels, He ministers to the children of men.

Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned; all things are open to His divine survey; and from His great and calm eternity He orders that which His providence sees best.” The Ministry of Healing p412.413.416.417.

Let us refuse to lower the dignity of God by using illustrations unbefitting of His holy nature and majesty.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name ;

worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalms

29:2.

DAWNING OF A NEW DAY

This final chapter contains a long quotation from ‘The Movement of Destiny’ by Dr LeRoy Froom. Brother Froom was an ‘eminent’ historian, however, when it came to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he was clearly biased in his approach. He may well have believed his view, and God alone can be the judge of his motives and conscience.

We are now in the position where we must make a decision as to whether we accept the historian’s account of the history of the Adventist Movement, or whether we accept that given by Ellen G White, the prophet of the Lord. We cannot accept both, for they portray two different histories.

  • Brother Froom believed God gradually brought the church into a full acceptance of the ‘Eternal Verities’, and through much trial and error, we came to maturity. When that day dawned, we could rejoice with the main-stream churches of Protestantism in these ‘verities’, for they are the eternal basic principles and provisions for the salvation of man. The ‘verities’, about which we arrived at maturity are: the three Persons of the Godhead, or Trinity; the plan of Redemption, or Everlasting Gospel; the Incarnation and nature of Christ; the Act of the Atonement on the Cross, and the benefits proffered by our High Priest; Righteousness by faith, which is the Third Angel’s message in verity.

  • The prophet in contrast, stood on a foundation built by the Master Builder between 1844 and 1848, and although there was a continual revelation on points of truth, the pillars – eternal verities indeed – had been established in the beginning, and nothing could move a pin of a single one.

It is from these two accounts that our decision must be made regarding our history, a history the prophet admonished us never to forget.

Quoting from the book “Movement of Destiny”, Brother Froom wrote of the pioneers. “A majority of our founding fathers had a true concept of the eternal Christ and the Godhead – having come out of Trinitarian churches…. (Note, the true concept to Brother Froom was a Trinitarian position) Ellen White was of this group. But, a minority of strong minds held and came to teach publicly certain variant views on these great gospel primaries through their published writings. They were men of prominence. But these were their personal views. And decades were required before we came into unity thereon.

Though long since repudiated, these early defective views, because they were found upon the pages of certain of our published books, came to be regarded by non-Adventist critics as constituting the real, generally accepted, original Adventism – irrespective of their actual dimensions at the time, and of later authoritative repudiation….” Movement of Destiny p35.36. (See ‘And His

Teaching’ Book 1, for the quotations of some of these men who Brother Froom regarded as putting forth their personal views – James White, J.N. Loughborough, Joseph Bates and others)

1931 – a Year of Unity and Advance!

“Agreement on Eternal Verities Achieved. We now come to another (point) in the series of vital turning points in Adventist history. Or perhaps it might more accurately be called a point of concurrence – that marked the beginning of a new epoch, a drawing together in a united front. After 87 years of conflicting viewpoints over the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the Personality of the Holy Spirit, a unified position that honored Bible truth – and was in accord with the Spirit of Prophecy – came to be accepted by both sides.

Because of this it was a truly momentous hour, but one that has not been too often thought of in this light. At the time not many grasped the full significance of what was actually taking place, and its important bearing on the future. And similarly, many today are unaware of what really took place historically, and how it came to pass, and its noteworthy significance. That we must present.

Its importance becomes increasingly apparent under the retrospective light of history. Indeed, the year 1931 stands out as a really momentous yet little-heralded transition point, essential to the destined final advance, when Christ in all His “fullness” and His imperative, transforming Righteousness – as the Third Angel’s Message “in verity” – is to forge to the front in the great consummation phase of the Movement. This united position had first to come. And come it did….

Delicacy of the Atonement. It was a delicate assignment – after 87 years of differing views on the intrinsic nature of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity. As frequently noted, from the first there had been divergent views as to whether Christ was eternal, or had a beginning. And whether His life was “original, unborrowed, underived” – or derived, conferred, and dependent.

This presents no problem for us today. But it was a very real one in our early decades, because of conflicting religious backgrounds. And it even spread over into the twentieth century. But time had now mellowed certain strongly partisan feelings, and old resistances were melting. A new generation was coming to the fore. The hour was opportune…. “ (Note the phasing out of that supposed “minority of strong minds” who presented their personal views!)

Brother Froom continued under the heading, ‘Capitalized on Propitious Timing’. “The most conspicuous champions of the “derived’ view of Christ had gone to their rest. And the increasing succession of E.G.White statements – during the last two decades of her life – bearing specifically thereon had had a telling effect.

All affirmed their belief in the Writings. He who would challenge the unequivocal “original, unborrowed, underived” statements of 1898 (DA530), would be looked upon as repudiating the recognized confirmations of the Spirit of Prophecy. And that particular 1898 clause was not an isolated statement. There were others. So the post-1888 tensions had definitely moderated. The time was propitious….” (The other statements Brother Froom was referring to are those referred to under the years 1900 and 1910 in this

book)

“That first publication, in 1931, appeared some four decades ago. That means that it was 87 years after the crisis of 1844, 68 years after our general organization in 1863, and 43 years after the epochal Minneapolis Conference of 1888 – the tensions of which had lingered for decades, making a unified declaration difficult to attain. Now a unified statement had become an actuality….”

(And 16 years after the death of the prophet!)

“While 1931 was the crucial year, it was more accurately the decade – embracing the years 1931 to 1941 – that marked the pivotal turn of events for unity of belief in our post-1888 history. As seen, this ten-year period was introduced by the appearance of an acceptable Statement of Faith, now received by all.

The decade logically closed with the adoption, in 1941, of the uniform “Baptismal Covenant” and “Vow”, in Certificate form. This was definitely based upon, but elaborated and accentuated, the now generally accepted “Fundamental Beliefs” declaration of 1931…. It was this Covenant-and-Vow document that completed and implemented the “Fundamental Beliefs” profession of faith, making their declarations obligatory upon all candidates for admission to the church through baptism. Before long this would, of course, automatically embrace all members aside from the old-timers.

Now, for the first time in our history by closing the previous gap we were prepared to present to the world a united front on the Eternal Verities of the Everlasting Gospel. And this for the simple but adequate reason that we ourselves had come into unity of view thereon. The significance of this achievement must not be overlooked, and is scarcely to be overestimated when all the involvements are considered….” Movement of Destiny

Dear Reader, although this quotation is quite long, it is important you see the direction in which the church historian had led the Seventh-day Adventist Church in its understanding of denominational history, for you will see it over and over again in church papers and arguments for the Trinity doctrine.

Continuing, “So it was that we passed the last major theological roadblock in the series of obstacles that we have been compelled to survey in trading our history. The culminating events of the decade 1931 to 1941 consequently marked the end of an old epoch, and the beginning of a new day in unification and auspicious witness for us as a Movement. It was definitely another major turning point in denominational history.

Correction of Certain Books Necessary. The next logical and inevitable step in the implementing of our unified “Fundamental Beliefs” involved revision of certain standard works so as to eliminate statements that taught, and thus perpetuated, erroneous views on the Godhead. Such statements were now sharply at variance with the accepted “Fundamental Beliefs” set forth in the Church Manual, and with the uniform “Baptismal Covenant” and “Vow”….

The first and most conspicuous of these involved certain erroneous theological concepts that had long appeared in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, who had died in 1903…. Thus another error was removed through these revisions of the 1940s, as concerned some of our standard and otherwise helpful books…

Time and circumstance had done their work. A new day had dawned. As a Church we had achieved unity of view as concerns the complete and eternal Deity of Christ – expressed initially through our “Fundamental Beliefs” statement of 1931, followed by others. The Act of Atoning Sacrifice complete on the Cross – in right relation to Christ’s Priestly Mediation – was similarly set forth in the Baptismal Certificate of 1941, with both permanently ensconced in the Church Manual.

The removal of the last standing vestige of Arianism in our standard literature was accomplished… It is significant that once these were cared for – and even beginning back in the late 1930’s – searching questions began to be asked with remarkable frequency, and vital contacts through inquiry made by scholars as to the fundamental faith of Seventh-day Adventists in relation to the Eternal Verities. It seemed to be spontaneous and simultaneous, and became a pronounced phenomenon. It was clearly the beginning of a new outreach for understanding by non-Adventist scholars…” (Brother Froom calls our pioneers Arian throughout his

book)

“Succession of Invitations Rolls In. A succession of inquiries, with invitations to speak, began to come from various quarters in the religious world. Along with others, I had personal opportunity to respond to requests from many study groups to tell “why I am a Seventh-day Adventist” – with essentially the same topic always assigned. These invitations came from non-Adventist churches, colleges, universities, seminaries – and even secular organizations…. Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Reformed, Congregationalist, United Brethren, and even, Pentecostal and Unitarian faiths – as well as an organization of converted Roman Catholic priests. So I write from personal knowledge, for I spoke to each of these groups….

These contacts came, in part, because of their reading of the Adventist work ‘The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers (by Froom), that aroused widespread interest. So they approached the Adventist author in further inquiry and discussion. Literally hundreds of contacts have been made in exchanges of letters in the past twenty years.

Various leaders have had similarly profitable appointments before religious and secular groups – in churches, institutions, fellowships, luncheons with religious leaders, and conferences. A new day of opportunities and appointments had indeed come – and, we believe, for a very definite reason. A new epoch in communication had opened. The propitious hour had come….” Movement of Destiny by Leroy E Froom. p 35, .36. 409, 411, 414, 415 416, 421, 422,

423, 465, 466, 467. The same message flows throughout the 686 pages of his book. (Emphasis and brackets added)

This concludes the history as believed and written by Dr Leroy Froom. Our final word comes from the servant of the Lord, Ellen G White, written during the crisis of the Alpha. May it be a strong warning against the Omega of deadly heresies.

“Thus saith the Lord , ‘ Stand ye in the ways , and see ,

and ask for the old paths , where is the good way , and

walk therein” Jeremiah 6:16.

“Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith – the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building for the last fifty years.

Men may suppose that they have found a new way and that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid. But this is a great deception. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid.

In the past many have undertaken the building of a new faith, the establishment of new principles. But how long did their building stand? It soon fell, for it was not founded upon the Rock.

Did not the first disciples have to meet the sayings of men? Did they not have to listen to false theories, and then, having done all, to stand firm, saying, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid” 1 Corinthians 3:11.

So we are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Words of power have been sent by God and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world, point by point, into the clear light of present truth. With lips touched with holy fire, God’s servants have proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the truth proclaimed.

The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a renewal of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of His people have long been torpid, but there is to be a resurrection from apparent death.

By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King’s highway. As we do this, the power of the Spirit will come to us. We need the Pentecostal energy. This will come, for the Lord has promised to send His Spirit as the all-conquering power.

Perilous times are before us. Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth should awake and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has

spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy.

The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer?

I beseech those who are laboring for God not to accept the spurious for the genuine. Let not human reason be placed where divine, sanctifying truth should be. Christ is waiting to kindle faith and love in the hearts of His people.

Let not erroneous theories receive countenance from the people who ought to be standing firm on the platform of eternal truth.

God calls us to hold firmly to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.8 Testimonies p297.298.

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We have “nothing to fear”, except as we forget how the Lord has led us, and His teaching, in our past history....

NOTES:

FURTHER LITERATURE

(Donation basis) ‘And His Teaching’ Book 1 ‘Except As We Forget’ Book 2 ‘Nothing To Fear’ Book 3 ‘Who Says God Has No Son’ ‘The Father and the Son’ ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’ ‘The Trinity Confusion’ ‘Who do you worship?’ ‘Is Jesus God?’ ‘The Covenant of Redemption’ ‘His own Representative’ ‘Oh My Father’ ‘Truly this Man is the Son of God’

‘Counterfeits’

“In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history. We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin.” {Life Sketches, 196}