Putting the Pieces Together

 

CONTENTS

Answers to difficult statements 

“the heavenly Trio”

“there never was a time” 

“life, original, unborrowed, underived”

“eternal heavenly dignitaries”

“as much a person”

“Holy Spirit is a person”

“third person of the Godhead”

“three highest powers”

Appendix I

(Dr. Kellogg & the Trinity)

Appendix II

(How many divine beings?)

Conclusion


Answers to some difficult statements

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it
shall be given him. James 1:5 The primary objective of this work is not necessarily to disprove the trinity doctrine as much as to interpret Ellen White's statements on the Godhead so that nothing contradicts. This is by no means an exhaustive treatise on the statements that are here in question, neither is this an exhaustive collection of such statements.

It is usually the case with this topic that sooner rather than later someone will turn to the book Evangelism (specifically pages 613-617) and triumphantly present those passages as a solid defense of the doctrine of the trinity. Sadly many people forget the basic principles of understanding the Testimonies. This is how Sister White puts it, “The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.” “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, pp. 42, 57}

We shall use these rules to examine some passages in question.


Seeming Objection: “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." Here is shown the personality of the Father.

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 in Christ.-- Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905)” { Evangelism, pp. 614, 615}

Short Answer: The heavenly “trio” are: God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and their Holy Spirit (not a trio of gods!). There is one God, and one Lord and one Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), not a trio of co-equal divine beings.

Detailed Answer: The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is invisible to us mortals. The only way we can know God (His Godhead) is if He is manifested. Christ inherited the Godhead (divinity) of His Father and is therefore “all the fullness of the Godhead manifested” All the fullness that dwells in the Son of God is His birthright and inheritance (Hebrews 1:4). This divine fullness dwells in Christ because it pleased the Father (Colossians 2:9; 1:19). Christ possessed, by divine birth, the glory of His Father (Hebrews 1:3; John 1:14; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God are expressed in His character.” {E. G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 907}

The love of God, manifested toward fallen man in the gift of his beloved Son, amazed the holy angels.",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 Son was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person. He possessed divine excellence and greatness. He was equal with God. It pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell.” {E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 2, p. 38}

But, what of the Spirit? From the Bible we learn a very important definition:

“Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?”

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?”

Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:34

“You have the Bible. Study it for yourself. The teachings of the divine directory are not to be ignored or perverted. The divine mind will guide those who desire to be led.” {E. G. White, This Day with God, p. 188}

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth …” John 16:13

The same divine mind that is working upon the things of nature is speaking to the hearts of men and creating an inexpressible craving for something they have not. The things of the world cannot satisfy their longing. The Spirit of God is pleading with them to seek for those things that alone can give peace and rest --the grace of Christ, the joy of holiness. Through influences seen and unseen, our Saviour is constantly at work to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of sin to the infinite blessings that may be theirs in Him.” {E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 28}

“Character is influence. Christ's work was to draw minds into sympathy with his own divine mind.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, September 29, 1891 par. 14}

“Fallen men, in one sense, could not be companions for Christ, for they could not enter into sympathy with his divine nature, and hold communion with the world's Redeemer.” {E. G. White, The Signs of the Times, December 11, 1879 par. 3}

Now we are plainly given an explanation of “his divine nature”:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his person, the divinity of his character.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

So when Christ was talking about the Spirit, He was actually referring “to his person, the divinity of his character”! We saw earlier that this is also called “his own divine mind” and “his divine nature”. How easy it is to harmonize the Testimonies when we allow them to be their own key!

Since Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, He has inherited that spirit, that mind, that divine character (nature) from His Father. They both share the one Spirit (Romans 8:9); this spirit is the mind of God and Christ.“

"Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." This is close language. Who can stand the test?

The word of God is to us a daguerreotype of the mind of God and of Christ, also of man fallen, and man renewed after the image of Christ, possessing the divine mind.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, June 22, 1886 par. 4} (Daguerreotype means: a picture image or exact copy)

Speaking of God’s mind, or God’s thoughts, we read this wonderful description:

“By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,-- God's thought made audible.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 19}

“Who is Christ?--He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a word that expresses the thought,-- as a thought made audible. Christ is the word of God.” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, June 28, 1894 par. 9}

Having established this fact now let us read on and see what Mrs. White continues to say (with more context):

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 powers,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ. … He who has continual faith in the Father and the Son has the Spirit also. The Holy Spirit is his comforter, and he never departs from the truth.” {E. G. White, Bible Training School, March 1, 1906}

The Comforter is sent to us “in all the fullness of the Godhead ”. This fullness we have seen to be the Godhead and divinity (the divine mind) of the Father which His Son inherited and manifests to us by sending us His spirit which He inherited from the Father. Since the Spirit is the very life and soul of Christ (John 10:15, 17; Luke 23:46), then when He sends it to us we partake of its fullness.

The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness.” {E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 477}

There is a flow of glory/life from the Father to the Son coming to us through the channel of the Spirit. Two divine beings send us their life and glory by the channel of the Spirit (not by a third divine being), thus she says we are to have faith in those two divine beings, not three. “He who has continual faith in the Father and the Son has the Spirit also.” As by faith we trust the Father and the Son they (not someone else) will abide with us by their very own personal presence, which is their holy spirit.

“By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you.” {E. G. White, Bible Echo, January 15, 1893 par. 8}.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

“The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son.”{E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 3, p. 191} This is the true meaning of the above statement when we allow the Testimonies to explain themselves.

But, what of the expression “There are three living persons of the heavenly trio”? We should also ask ourselves: What is the time and the place (and the situation) that called forth the above Testimony?From the context (Dated November 1905 and found in Special Testimonies Series B #7, pp. 60-64) we learn that it is regarding the issue of Dr. Kellogg and the teaching he was promoting. For example:

“Letters have come to me with statements made by men who claimed to have asked Dr. Kellogg if he believes the testimonies that Sister White bears. He declares that he does, but he does not.” {Ibid, p. 60}

“The ministers of God are being drawn in and deceived by his science.” {Ibid, p. 61}

“I am so sorry that sensible men do not discern the trail of the serpent. I call it thus; for thus the Lord pronounces it.” {Ibid, p. 61}

In plain words which cannot be mistaken, Sister White declared that Kellogg had joined forces with Satan!

“God does not accept Dr. Kellogg as His laborer, unless he will now break with Satan.” {Ibid, p. 64}

She refers to a doctrine he was teaching as “advanced scientific ideas.” She says that right after quoting the Bible passage speaking of the “depths of Satan” (see Revelation 2:24). What was Kellogg teaching that caused Ellen White to use this strong language? What doctrine was Kellogg trying to teach that originates with Satan?

While most are aware of Kellogg’s pantheistic teachings, many are not aware of Dr. Kellogg’s Trinitarian
theology (see appendix I p. 25 for evidence). Sister White was refuting the Trinitarian theology that Kellogg had come to believe and promote, namely, God the Father - God the Son - God the Holy Spirit (Yes, he was teaching a trinity of 3 co-eternal, co-equal god-beings!). From this we immediately know her statement cannot counter and teach the trinity both at the same time! It is in this context that we are to read that statement talking about the heavenly trio. Mrs. White would be contradicting herself if she condemned Kellogg’s doctrine and then went on to teach the very same thing! Therefore, the statement she makes cannot be taken to teach a trinity. She must mean something, the meaning of which does not lie on the immediate surface. We know she and Kellogg did not teach the same thing, so what can she possibly mean?

This statement needs to be set in its correct order. In Ellen White’s original handwritten manuscript, a copy of which appears here, it was corrected to read:

Here are the living three person alities of the heavenly trio…”.

So she doesn’t say “three living persons of the heavenly trio” but she actually says“the living three personalities of the heavenly trio”. Some may be inclined to think there is no difference between the two, but the prophet herself saw a difference in that she corrected it. She obviously thought there was enough difference to warrant a correction, lest she be misunderstood (as is the case today) to be teaching a trinity. If these two words both conveyed the same meaning in her mind, the change would not have been necessary.

Allowing the Testimonies to interpret themselves, here are the “heavenly trio” as defined by her:

“They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit--the Spirit of Christ --is to bring unity into their ranks.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 9, p. 189}

“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." … This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.14, p. 179}

“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.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.14, p. 23}

As can be plainly seen from above, the spirit is “the spirit of Christ”; it is Christ’s very own omnipresence by which He (not someone else) represents Himself “as the Omnipresent”. As in all her other writings, she maintained that God the Father and His Son were the only divine beings (See appendix II ‘How many divine beings?’ p. 27). “The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead”, “The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead” { Evangelism, p. 615}. This is her consistent belief in ALL her writings. This was the belief of the entire denomination at that time. Having established this faith of two beings who are the fullness of the Godhead, she then said the “Comforter is the spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead” meaning the comforter brings us the fullness of the Godhead which is the Father and the Son. This Comforter is defined by her: “This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter” which she described as Christ Himself “divested of the personality of humanity”. This is the third “personality” according to her own definitions; not another separate divine being. There was no “third being” - no third separate divine individual. She sums it all up by affirming:

“The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, July 7, 1898 par. 2}

“The divine Spirit that the world's Redeemer promised to send is the presence and power of God.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, November 23, 1891}


Seeming Objection: “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God... In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.--Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900.” { Evangelism, p. 615}

Short Answer: Christ was the Son of God in His pre-existence (i.e. He did not become the Son of God in Bethlehem). Ever since the birth of Christ in heaven (back in the dateless ages) He has been in close fellowship with His divine Father.

Christ is the pre-existent Son of God, meaning that He was a Son in His pre-existence. We know that this Son-ship is a real and literal one based on birth (brought forth). It is after clarifying this fact, that Christ is the Son of God in His pre-existence, she then says there never was a time when He was not in fellowship with the eternal God. The meaning should be clear to all. Ever since Christ was begotten of the Father He has ever been in close fellowship with Him. This is what the statement says.

Detailed Answer: This statement is used by some to teach that Christ was never begotten of His Father in heaven. Is this the meaning that Sister White had in mind when writing it? Does this statement teach us that Christ was never begotten of the Father? Does this statement tell us that Christ is not the real and literal Son of God?

On the contrary, we are assured Christ is indeed the pre-existent, “self-existent Son of God.” He was a Son in His pre-existence. Far from denying the fact that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, this passage actually proves the very truth of the divine son-ship of our Master. That Christ is the pre-existent Son of God. He was the Son of God before Bethlehem.

Let us again use the unfailing key “The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.”

Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father…” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 38}

Christ, ever since His birth before all things (Proverbs 8:22-30), has always been in close fellowship with His Father, the eternal God. “He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father”. He is equal to His Father in divine attributes for He has them by inheritance (Hebrews1:4). Notice how she said that Christ “carries the mind back through the dateless ages”. We cannot put a date on Christ’s birth in heaven. It is beyond our comprehension. We cannot compute His pre-existence by our human figures:

“Angels of God looked with amazement upon Christ, who took upon Himself the form of man and humbly united His divinity with humanity in order that He might minister to fallen man. It is a marvel among the heavenly angels. God has told us that He did do it, and we are to accept the Word of God just as it reads. And although we may try to reason in regard to our Creator, how long He has had existence, where evil first entered into our world, and all these things, we may reason about them until we fall down faint and exhausted with the research when there is yet an infinity beyond.” {E. G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 919}

“Here Christ shows them that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899 par. 4}

What about that expression where she says “there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.”? Does this mean that there never was a time when He was begotten? Certainly not! This statement is clear in that ever since Christ was begotten of the Father, there never was a time when He was not with the Father for He was daily His delight (see Proverbs 8:30 which she quotes).

Let us see what the statement really means by doing some replacement of names and see how the meaning holds. Let us apply the statement to the angel Gabriel (a created angel that we have no idea how long ago he was created). It will read something like this:

'Gabriel is an angel of God...in speaking of His existence, Gabriel carries the mind back through the dateless ages. Gabriel assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the Son of God.’

Would anyone take this statement to mean that Gabriel was not created? Of course not. We all understand that it will mean this: ever since Gabriel was created he has always been in close fellowship with Christ. This is true, as far as we can tell.

Here is another example: ‘Eve assures us that there never was a time when she was not in close fellowship with Adam.’

Would this statement mean that Eve and Adam are the same age? No, for we know that Adam was first. Yet it is still correct to say the above statement, for the meaning is clear. We know that since she was created she has been in close fellowship with Adam (till she walked to that tree). On the other hand, Adam would not be able to assure us that ‘there never was a time when he was not in close fellowship with Eve’ for he was created before her, and indeed there was a time when he was not with her.

The point is this: the statement is saying the same thing about Christ. Christ (not the Father) assures us of this fact. Since His birth He has ever been in close fellowship with His Father. Had the Father been the one who said “there never was a time when Christ was not with me” it would have been a different story. But this is not the case. Christ is the speaker and He gives us the assurance. Furthermore, He is self existent like His Father for this is what He inherited. He was given that self-existent life, as He has told us:

“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” John 5:26

“God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 268}

“Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father; His supremacy, so full of blessing to all who came under its benignant control, had not heretofore been questioned. The harmony of heaven had never been interrupted; wherefore should there now be discord?” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 38, 39}

Yes, wherefore should now be discord still?


Seeming Objection: “Jesus declared,",I am the resurrection, and the life." In Christ is life, original,
unborrowed, underived.""He that hath the Son hath life." The divinity of Christ is the believer's assurance of eternal life.-- The Desire of Ages, p. 530 (1898)” { Evangelism, p. 616}

Short Answer: Christ was GIVEN the original, unborrowed, underived life of His Father. This is plainly what He said in John 5:26.

Detailed Answer: This statement is much misunderstood today. Once again, let us allow the Testimonies to be the interpreting key. Reading the statement in its full context will clarify the confusion.

"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. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as His personal Saviour.",This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). This is the open fountain of life for the world.”{E. G. White, The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1897}(Quoted in Selected Messages Book 1, pp. 296, 297}

From the context we plainly learn that original, unborrowed, underived life can be GIVEN. It will be given as a free gift to all those who believe. This is in harmony with the words of Christ when He said that God the Father gave Him that life (original, unborrowed, underived life):

“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” John 5:26

We know that Christ is here talking about eternal life (original, unborrowed, underived life). To ascertain this fact all we need to do is ask ourselves the question: What kind of life does the Father have in Himself? It certainly cannot be mortal life. It can only be immortal life (1 Timothy 1:17) which is described as original, unborrowed, underived.

This is the Son’s life by right of inheritance. He inherited that life of his Father by birth (for He is the only-begotten Son).Therefore, Christ is the only one who has this life as the Father. It is His Father’s life and Christ inherited it by virtue of being brought forth from Him.

Christ received ALL things from the Father. Does that include life as well? Is it true that it is the Father’s life which flows through His only begotten Son?

All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 21}

The Messenger of God says plainly: The Father’s life flows through the Son. The Father is “the great Source of all”. He is the source of life. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His life that we can receive through Christ. Christ has this very same life by right of inheritance. This life was GIVEN to Him by His Father!

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," Christ declares;",no one cometh unto the Father, but by me." Christ is invested with power to give life to all creatures.”
{E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:2


Seeming Objection: “The eternal heavenly dignitaries--God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit--arming them [the disciples] with more than mortal energy,... would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.-- Manuscript 145, 1901.” { Evangelism, p. 616}

Short Answer: This statement (taken alone) only lists the heavenly dignitaries but says nothing as to the relation that they hold to each other. To insist that these dignitaries must be a trinity of 3 co-equal, co-eternal god-beings goes beyond the scope of the statement. All we learn from this statement is that there is God and Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Detailed Answer: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the eternal dignitaries of Heaven. There is not doubt that there are three. No one denies that there is a Holy Spirit! But, does that mean that they are three divine beings? Does a mere listing of the three indicate that they must be all divine beings? Or, are we told elsewhere what relation these three sustain to each other?

This statement does not tell us about the relation between the Father, Son and Spirit. It does not tell us that they are three beings. It does not tell us that the Spirit is a co-equal being with God and Christ. It does not tell us the Jesus is not begotten of His Father. That list merely tells us there are three, which everyone believes. But, come now; let us allow Mrs. White to define for us the relation between those three, which is the point of question. We shall again make use of that trusty key.

What relation is there between God and Christ?

“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 268}

Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 38}

“A complete offering has been made; for",God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,"-- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895 par. 3}

This makes Christ the First-born of heaven. Notice:

“The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 51}

Therefore, we rightly conclude that Christ is the Firstborn of heaven. He was born first in heaven, and then later He came to earth to be ‘born again’! When He was born on earth He became the Son of God in“ a new sense”. Notice:

“In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature. In His incarnation He gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary,",The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). While the Son of a human being, He became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world-- the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race.” {E. G. White, Selected Message Book 1, pp. 226, 227}

“While upon this earth, the Son of God was the Son of man; yet there were times when His divinity flashed forth.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 202}

Based on the above passages we plainly learn that Christ was begotten of His Father in heaven (long before the incarnation took place). It is easy to understand things when we allow Mrs. White to explain herself. Things are getting plainer as we proceed. Let us continue.

What relation does the Spirit hold to the Father and Son? Let us use the key yet again.

“Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,-- the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 1}

“Christ gives them the life of his life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in mind and heart.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, January 5, 1911 par. 6}

“The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 805}

Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 827}

We have just read plainly that the Spirit is the life of Christ, the divinity of His character.

"As the living Father hath sent me," he says,"and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me....It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his person, the divinity of his character.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

We learned earlier that “through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all”. Therefore this spirit (life) that Christ has is also the same spirit (life) that the Father has: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” John 5:26

Which plainly tells us that the Father and Son share the same life (spirit). It is both the spirit (life) of the Father and the spirit (life) of the Son.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:9-11(See also Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 3:14-17)

Therefore, when we have that life of the Father and Son we are really having communion and fellowship with them both, not with someone else:

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

“By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you.” {E. G. White, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1893 par. 8}

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

“The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son.” {E. G. White, Selected Message Book 3, p. 191}

We can indeed praise the Father and Son for their magnificent gift. They share their life with us! (2 Peter 1:4) These are the “The eternal heavenly dignitaries”.


Seeming Objection: “We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.--Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.)”{Evangelism, p. 616}

Short Answer: This statement is talking about the Lord Jesus (when it is read in its original context). The statement appearing in Evangelism is edited to suit the bias of the compilers. “There are many who interpret that which I write in the light of their own preconceived opinions. You know what this means. A division in understanding and diverse opinions is the sure result.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 3, p. 79}

Detailed Answer: This is a classic example of misquotation. We were warned very plainly not to do this with the Spirit of Prophecy. “There are some, who upon accepting erroneous theories, strive to establish them by collecting from my writings statements of truth, which they use, separated from their proper connection and perverted by association with error. Thus seeds of heresy, springing up and growing rapidly into strong plants, are surrounded by many precious plants of truth, and in this way a mighty effort is made to vindicate the genuineness of the spurious plants.” {E. G. White, This Day With God, p. 126}

Now let us look at that statement in its full context (which is hidden from the reader of Evangelism).

The Lord says this because He knows it is for our good. He would build a wall around us, to keep us from transgression, so that His blessing and love may be bestowed on us in rich measure. This is the reason we have established a school here. The Lord instructed us that this was the place in which we should locate, and we have had every reason to think that we are in the right place. We have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; that the Lord God is our Keeper and Helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.”{E. G. White, Sermons and Talks Volume Two, pp. 136, 137} {Also in Manuscript Releases Vol. 7, p. 299}

As can be plainly seen, the statement appearing in Evangelism was doctored (altered) by the editors to suit their own thinking. In 1946 the editors and compilers of Evangelism (compiled by LeRoy E. Froom and friends) selected a number of E. G. White statements on the Godhead (about 6-8) which seemed to imply that she was teaching the trinity doctrine. Remember, the book Evangelism by Ellen White is a compilation with subheadings she did not supply. They are supplied by Froom and friends, such as the use of the word ‘Trinity. She never used the word in all her writings. It was LeRoy Froom who supplied the word trinity in the subheadings of the book Evangelism, as well as the carefully" selected" (and edited) quotes by Ellen White on the Godhead.

Yet the prophet has not failed to warn us of such attempts either. “There will be those once united with us in the faith who will search for new, strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 41}

Who has a right to meddle with the words of the inspired Messenger? Why should the editors of Evangelism feel a need to place a full stop where the prophet places a comma and continues her explanation? Why should they thus cut up this sentence? Anyone reading the whole paragraph should know the answer.

Let us now examine the statement carefully in its full context. Mrs. White is not talking of more than one individual, for she is using the singular pronoun “he” all through. If she were talking of more than one she would have used “they” rather than “he”. Therefore, she is talking only of one person; “The Lord”. It is “The Lord” who is our keeper, not someone else. The Lord is the one who hears every word. It is the Lord who is “unseen by human eyes”. And even though He is there by His Holy Spirit yet He is as much a real person as if He were here physically! This is the meaning of that statement. His personal presence is His person, which is as much a person as He is a person.

Now let us compare the Spirit of Prophecy (the key) here a little and there a little:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his person, the divinity of his character.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

How plain! When Christ speaks of the Spirit He is referring “to his person” (not to a different person other than Himself). This is why it is as much a person as God is a person, for it is His very own person!

Christ walks unseen through our streets. With messages of mercy He comes to our homes. With all who are seeking to minister in His name, He waits to co-operate. He is in the midst of us, to heal and to bless, if we will receive Him.” {E. G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 107}

Remember that Jesus is beside you wherever you go, noting your actions and listening to your words. Would you be ashamed to hear his voice speaking to you, and to know that He hears your conversation?” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, February 4, 1897 par. 3}

Who walks unseen in our streets? Who is it that listens to our words and hears our conversation? Why, it is Jesus who is beside us. But, how is He beside us?

“That Christ should manifest Himself to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. They were thinking of the outward, visible manifestation. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and yet He be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation.” {E. G. White, The Southern Work, September 13, 1898 par. 2}

By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you.” {E. G. White, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1893 par. 8}

Therefore, we rightly conclude that the Holy Spirit is the unseen personal presence of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the unseen person of Christ.

The Lord Jesus standing by the side of the canvasser, walking with them, is the chief worker. If we recognize Christ as the One who is with us to prepare the way, the Holy Spirit by our side will make impressions in just the lines needed.” {E. G. White, Colporteur Ministry, p. 107}


Seeming Objection: “The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God.... 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."” { Evangelism, pp. 616, 617}

Short Answer: The quoted verse (1 Corinthians 2:11) is the key to understanding the statement. According to Paul man and his spirit is comparable to God and His Spirit. Just as man’s spirit is not a different person to man, even so God’s Holy Spirit is not a different person to God. Just as man’s spirit is his very own person, even so God’s Spirit is His very own person.

Detailed Answer: When we use the Testimonies as the key, we will discover some very important basic principles.

“The greatness of God is to us incomprehensible."The Lord's throne is in heaven" (Psalm 11:4); yet by His Spirit He is everywhere present. He has an intimate knowledge of, and a personal interest in, all the works of His hand.” {E. G. White, Education, p. 132}

“In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 7, p. 273}

If we keep the above principles in mind things will be much easier to understand. The Spirit has a personality because God has a personality. In giving us His Spirit, God is giving us Himself, not someone else. When God gives us Himself (in Spirit) it is not devoid of personality. It is not just some impersonal force or essence. No, it is very personal and intimate. It is God’s own person, having God’s very own personality. The same goes for the fact that the Spirit is a divine person. This is because God is a divine person. You see, God is a spirit, and yet a person.

“God is a Spirit; yet He is a personal Being; for so He has revealed Himself:” {E. G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 413}

The Holy Spirit is a person because God is a person, and the Holy Spirit is the person of God. It is also the person of Christ.

“'It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his person, the divinity of his character.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

This is why the Spirit has a personality and is a person.

“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 presen in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.14, p. 23}


Seeming Objection: “The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.--Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897)” {Evangelism, p. 617}

Short Answer: The “third person of the Godhead” does not mean a third person in the Godhead. The “third person of the Godhead” was understood by Ellen White to be none other than the glorified life of Christ (His very own life), not another individual being different to Christ and the Father. Only this life of Christ can give us victory over sin (no one else in the universe can do it). This she calls the “third person of the Godhead”.

Detailed Answer: When we follow the divine instruction and make use of the key for the Testimonies many misunderstandings will be resolved. The expression “third person of the Godhead” is today explained by many to mean a third individual god-being equal to the Father and Son. Let us allow the prophet (rather than anyone else) to explain to us what she meant by that expression. This is the safest thing to do if we truly desire to know the truth.

Who is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead?

“'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.' …This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.14, p. 179}

Now let us read a similar statement with more context around it:

“The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of man 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 fulness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. 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 the church.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 3}

Christ’s spirit is a divine power. It is “His own character” (His own life) not a different person to Him. What is the onlypower that can break the hold of evil from our hearts?

“Our condition through sin has become preternatural, and the power that restores us must be supernatural, else it has no value. There is but one power that can break the hold of evil from the hearts of men, and that is the power of God in Jesus Christ.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 291}

The divine Spirit that the world's Redeemer promised to send is the presence and power of God.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, November 23, 1891}

Therefore, the power of God, which is in Christ, is present in the third person. It is Christ and His power in the third person of the Godhead. It is not another person in the Godhead, no, it is the third person of (not in ) the Godhead.

“There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.”{E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 18}

“Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,-- the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 1}

Notice now how clearly she says that the life of Christ is what helps us resist temptation. The life of Christ is His spirit (not someone else!). This is the Comforter, this is the Holy Spirit, and this is what is called the “third person of the Godhead.”

“Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without.” {E. G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 130}

This life of Christ is a holy, spotless, blameless life. Since life is the spirit (John 6:63), therefore this holy life of Christ is His Holy Spirit!“

Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one who can arouse in the natural heart enmity against sin. He is the source of our power if we would be saved. No soul can repent without the grace of Christ. The sinner may pray that he may know how to repent. God reveals Christ to the sinner, and when he sees the purity of the Son of God, he is not ignorant of the character of sin. By faith in the work and power of Christ, enmity against sin and Satan is created in his heart.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 1, 1890 par. 5}

The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 16}

From the Bible we should have known this fact already (Acts 3:26).

Therefore, if the power of evil can be held in check only by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, and it is Jesus who turns away every one of us from his iniquities (evil), then it is an obvious conclusion that Jesus aids us in this battle by giving us his very own holy life, his very own Holy Spirit (not another being different to Him). This Holy life of Christ is termed “the third person of the Godhead”.


Seeming Objection: “ We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, --and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.--Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51. (1905)” {Evangelism, p. 617}

Short Answer: The three highest powers in heaven are not here defined but merely listed. There is no question that there are three powers in heaven (Father, Son and the Holy Ghost), but this statement tells us nothing more than that. Does this statement tell us what the relationship between these three powers is? To use this statement to prove a trinity of 3 co-equal, co-eternal beings would be poor scholarly work.

Detailed Answer: The three great powers can be correctly understood in light of what Ellen White means. She clearly understood and taught that there is a Father, and a Son and a Holy Spirit. That makes three. But it is the relation of those three that is further clarified in other places (see answer on p.13). For example, it is clearly stated that God is the Father of Christ:

God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 268}

Elsewhere she explains the relation with the Spirit, it being the spirit of Christ:

“Let them be thankful to God for His manifold mercies and be kind to one another. They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit--the Spirit of Christ --is to bring unity into their ranks.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 9, p. 189}

She tells us clearly the spirit of Christ is the soul of His life. It is the very life of His own life.

“Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,-- the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904 par. 1}

Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind.” {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 827}

The breath of Christ is His spirit and life (John 20:22). It is in no way talking about another individual being. This is the correct and consistent understanding of “the three highest powers in heaven”. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Do you ask, What shall I do to be saved? You must lay your
preconceived opinions, your hereditary and cultivated ideas, at
the door of investigation. If you search the Scriptures to
vindicate your own opinions, you will never reach the truth.
Search in order to learn what the Lord says. If conviction
comes as you search, if you see that your cherished opinions
are not in harmony with the truth, do not misinterpret the
truth in order to suit your own belief, but accept the light
given. Open mind and heart that you may behold wondrous
things out of God's word
.” {E. G. White, Christ’s Object
Lessons, p. 112}


Appendix I

Dr. Kellogg & the Trinity

Many people are not aware of Dr. Kellogg’s Trinitarian theology. In this section is presented some factual evidence in support of this claim.

Kellogg was indeed teaching a trinity of 3 co-eternal, co-equal beings! At that time he expressed to leading brethren of the church that he believed that there were three separate divine beings in the Godhead. Here is what an alarmed A. G. Daniells wrote to W. C. White regarding this matter in 1903.

“Ever since the council closed I have felt that I should write you confidentially regarding Dr Kellogg’s plans for revising and republishing ‘The Living Temple’…. He (Kellogg) said that some days before coming to the council, he had been thinking the matter over, and began to see that he had made a slight mistake in expressing his views. He said that all the way along he had been troubled to know how to state the character of God and his relation to his creation works…

He then stated that his former views regarding the trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement; but that within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily.

He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing. He said if he had believed this before writing the book, he could have expressed his views without giving the wrong impression the book now gives.

I placed before him the objections I found in the teaching, and tried to show him that the teaching was so utterly contrary to the gospel that I did not see how it could be revised by changing a few expressions.
We argued the matter at some length in a friendly way; but I felt sure that when we parted, the doctor did not understand himself, nor the character of his teaching. And I could not see how it would be possible for him to flop over, and in the course of a few days fix the books up so that it would be all right.”
{Letter: A. G. Daniells to W. C. White. October 29, 1903. pp. 1, 2}

Dr. Kellogg had come to believe in the doctrine of the trinity. He believed in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! Are there people today who believe the same thing?

Was Ellen White aware that Kellogg wanted to revise his book and include a trinity of 3 god-beings? Did she have any words to say about this? She most certainly did, in light of the fact that the above letter was sent to her son; she most surely had something to say about the republishing of the book to include a doctrine of a trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit).

“It will be said that Living Temple has been revised. But the Lord has shown me that the writer has not changed, and that there can be no unity between him and the ministers of the gospel while he continues to cherish his present sentiments. I am bidden to lift my voice in warning to our people, saying," Be not deceived; God is not mocked" (Gal. 6:7).” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 199} 1904

(So how could she believe the same thing, as many claim, and yet reprove Kellogg for wanting to publish it?)

What were the “present sentiments” of Dr. Kellogg? According to his own confession a year earlier, he had come to believe in a trinity of 3 divine beings.

In self defense Kellogg claimed that his teachings were the same as Mrs. White. He even would quote statements from her writings to support his “new” teaching. Mrs. White denied this charge in plain testimonies:

“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.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 203} 1904

She admitted that there may be in her writings “many statements” that can be “taken from their connection” (context) and explained in such a way as to “be in harmony” with Kellogg’s teaching, and as such seem to lend his doctrine some weight. But, she said “God forbid that this sentiment should prevail.” Was Sister White aware that her writings can be twisted to teach a trinity of 3 divine beings? This is the very thing that Kellogg was trying to do. This is the very thing that many today are also trying to do! But, tragically, the deception today is far deeper and worse. In as much as the“ Omega” is greater and deadlier than the “Alpha.”

(For more details write for the book The Alpha and the Omega )


Appendix II

How many divine Beings?

The Bible and the Spirit of prophecy both emphatically instruct us that there are only two beings worthy of our worship and praise, never three. Only two beings can be worshipped, therefore they must be divine beings. Here is some plain testimony:

 

Bible

 

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”John 4:23, 24

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? … And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” John 9:35, 38

That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:23

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:13

Here we have a scene encompassing every creature and being in heaven and earth. All these creatures give supreme homage and worship to only two beings: the Father (him that sitteth upon the throne) and the Son (the Lamb). The next verse tells us that this act of worship is finished (Amen) without acknowledging any other being besides those two. It is clear that all the creatures in heaven (angels) know who to worship and who not to worship. This knowledge we need and must reflect here on earth.

“And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” V.14

Notice how this act of honoring the Father and the Son (v.13) is rendering supreme honor and worship to the Father Himself (him that liveth forever and ever). Worshipping and honoring the Son is supreme homage and glory to the Father.

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10, 11

This is because the Father is the source of all being in the entire universe. The whole family in heaven and earth is named after the Father:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” Ephesians 3:14, 15

We are never commanded anywhere in the Bible to worship the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to worship three beings. We only worship one God, the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6), through His Son Jesus who is the only way to that one God (John 14:6). In so doing we fulfill the command of our Master in John 5:23. We should not expect the Messenger of the Lord, Sister White, to be out of harmony with the above plain testimonies of Scripture. Indeed, she is not.

 

Spirit of Prophecy

In heaven, before the war,
before the creation of man:

“The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. … Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due.” { Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36}

“Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,--one in nature, in character, and in purpose,-- the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” { The Great Controversy, p. 493}

(There is no other being in all the universe who can enter into that counsel!)


“Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race.” { The Desire of Ages, p. 834}

“Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God's dear Son.” {The Story of Redemption, p. 15}

In heaven during the war (no change):

“When Satan became disaffected in heaven, he did not lay his complaint before God and Christ; but he went among the angels who thought him perfect and represented that God had done him injustice in preferring Christ to himself.” { Testimonies Volume 5, p. 291}

“Satan had sympathizers in heaven, and took large numbers of the angels with him. God and Christ and heavenly angels were on one side, and Satan on the other. Notwithstanding the infinite power and majesty of God and Christ, angels became disaffected. The insinuations of Satan took effect, and they really came to believe that the Father and the Son were their enemies and that Satan was their benefactor.” {Testimonies Volume 3, p. 328}

“Satan worked in every possible way to come out victorious in standing in the highest place in the heavenly courts. How artful were his contrivances to win the game! He employed every artful intrigue and device to carry his science against God and His Son Jesus Christ.” { Battle Creek Letters, p. 128}

“Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels. They turned from the Father and from His Son, and united with the instigator of rebellion.” { Testimonies Volume 3, p. 115}

On earth after the war, before man’s fall (no change):

“The holy pair [Adam & Eve] united with them [angels] and raised their voices in harmonious songs of love, praise, and adoration to the Father and His dear Son for the tokens of love which surrounded them.” { The Story of Redemption, p. 22}

“Adam and Eve assured the angels that they would never transgress the express command of God; for it was their highest pleasure to do his will. The angels united with them in holy strains of harmonious music; and as their songs pealed forth from blissful Eden, Satan heard their joyful adoration of the Father and the Son.” { Signs of the Times, January 16, 1879 par. 22}

“With what intense interest the whole universe watched the conflict that was to decide the position of Adam and Eve. How attentively the angels listened to the words of Satan[…] They asked themselves, Will the holy pair transfer their faith and love from the Father and Son to Satan? Will they accept his falsehoods as truth?” { Signs of the Times, May 12, 1890 par. 2}

On earth after the fall (no change):

“But in the transgression of man both the Father and the Son were dishonored.” { Signs of the Times, December 12, 1895 par. 7}

The Father could not abolish nor change one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition. But the Son of God, who had in unison with the Father created man, could make an atonement for man acceptable to God, by giving his life a sacrifice, and bearing the wrath of his Father. Angels informed Adam that, as his transgression had brought death and wretchedness, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” { The Spirit of Prophecy Volume One, p. 50}

“The human family cost God and his Son Jesus Christ an infinite price.” { Special Testimonies On Education, p. 21}

“No man, nor even the highest angel, can estimate the great cost; it is known only to the Father and the Son.” {E. G. White, The Bible Echo, October 28, 1895 par. 4}

Father and Son are pledged to fulfill the terms of the everlasting covenant.” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, June 14, 1900 par. 5}

(The everlasting covenant is only between Two beings: the Father and Son).


On earth, last day remnant (no change):

“In the Bible every duty is made plain. Every lesson given is comprehensible. Every lesson reveals to us the Father and the Son. The word is able to make all wise unto salvation.” { Testimonies Volume 8, p. 157}

The Father, the Son, and Lucifer have been revealed in their true relation to one another. God has given unmistakable evidence of His justice and His love.” { Signs of the Times, August 27, 1902 par. 15}

The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” { The Youth’s Instructor, July 7, 1898 par. 2}

Based on these facts, we shall have open communion in heaven with those same Two Beings, not three. It is the Two Beings that we have come to know and fellowship with here on earth that we shall also fellowship with in heaven.

New earth, creation restored (no change):

“The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son.” { The Great Controversy, p. 676}

“In your hands will be placed a golden harp, and touching its strings, you will join with the redeemed host in filling all heaven with songs of praise to God and His Son.” { (Australasian) Union Conference Record, January 15, 1903 par. 14}

“And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ.” { The Great Controversy, p. 678}

Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness.” { The Desire of Ages, p. 331}

“Nothing is said of what they have done or suffered; but the burden of every song, the keynote of every anthem, is, Salvation to our God and unto the Lamb.” { The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Four, p. 480}

“All the redeemed saints will see and appreciate as never before the love of the Father and the Son, and songs of praise will burst forth from immortal tongues. He loved us, He gave His life for us. With glorified bodies, with enlarged capacities, with hearts made pure, with lips undefiled, we shall sing the riches of redeeming love.” { That I May Know Him, p. 371}

“Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as"from one Sabbath to another" (Isa. 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” {The Desire of Ages, p. 770}

“The years will move on in gladness. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming,'There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.' ” {Child Guidance, p. 568}

Oh, may no one who reads these words be missing on that day! No more sin, no more deception, no more darkness. We shall stand before our Father and His Son to hear that proclamation. Praise His holy name!

In Closing:

The material presented here, while not exhaustive, serves as a demonstration of the fact that Ellen White’s “difficult” statements can indeed be harmonized so that nothing contradicts. This is possible when we follow her own recommendation in using the key to the Testimonies. “ The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 42}

There is no reason to believe that any other “difficult” statement written by her cannot be harmonized using the same rule. More statements may be added to this work in forthcoming editions, but, for the time being, there is enough weight of evidence to convince all those who honestly could not harmonize these statements heretofore. It is the personal duty of each person to make a decision based on the weight of evidence, despite the ever present‘ seeming’ objections which foster unbelief.

“God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 3, p. 255}

“Satan has ability to suggest doubts and to devise objections to the pointed testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue, a mark of intelligence in them, to be unbelieving and to question and quibble. … God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he
cannot make plain to his finite understanding will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.” {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 5, pp. 675, 676}

A word of caution:

“You who have been educating yourselves and others in a spirit of criticism and accusing, remember that you are imitating the example of Satan. When it suits your purpose, you treat the Testimonies as if you believed them, quoting from them to strengthen any statement you wish to have prevail. But how is it when light is given to correct your errors?

Do you then accept the light? When the Testimonies speak contrary to your ideas, you treat them very lightly.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, pp. 42, 43}

Light from the Testimonies has indeed been here given to correct much of the popular error. Dear reader, do you accept the light?

The truth remains, after all opposition, truth.

 

The purpose of our literature work is not monetary gain, but the spread of truth. Hence these books are offered at no charge. The support of literature is based on the free-will offering of those who are able, as the Lord has prospered them. ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.’ Exodus 25:2 So your support will keep us printing. Proceeds will go to further the spreading of the Gospel to others. Because these books are free, we strongly encourage bulk orders for you to share with others that only you can reach. If you are unable to financially give, please do not let this hinder you from making an order, but we plead the support of your
prayers before the Lord.

 

For Further Study,

• ‘The Alpha and the Omega’ What is the mysterious danger that awaited our church at the end of time? Ellen White saw it and she ‘trembled for our people.’

• ‘Building on Solid Rock’ The only true rock is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A Study through the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the SDA pioneers.

• ‘The Living Voice of the Lord’s Witnesses’ Direct quotes from the founders of the SDA church. Read for yourself what all the SDA Pioneers believed and taught, and what Mrs. White said about them.

• ‘Truly, This Man Is The Son of God’ Evidence of Jesus being the Son of God prior to Bethlehem.

• ‘How shall we Consider Christ?’ The true position of Christ in the 1888 message by E. J. Waggoner.
Refutes the heresy that Christ is a created being.

• ‘The Altar of the Lord’ The restoration of God’s Altar on Mt Carmel paralleled with the final restoration of the knowledge of the true God.

• ‘The Godhead in Black and White’ Direct quotes from Ellen G. White on the topic of the Godhead showing her consistent faith throughout her entire writing career.

The Wondrous Love of God’ The Love that God has for man can only be rightly understood in light of the sacrifice of the Father and the Son. A Biblical exposition suitable for all Christians. (non-SDA’s)

Available from:

P. O. Box 7137
Kariong, NSW 2250 Australia

H ave you ever come across a statement in the
Spirit of Prophecy that caused you to be puzzled?
You are probably not the only one.

The Apostle Paul was famous for writing “some
things hard to be understood”. Sister White wrote
some statements on the topic of the Godhead that,
for some, are “hard to be understood.”

This little book is an attempt at fitting some of the
puzzling statements of Sister White together to
maintain a harmonious picture. Every faithful
Seventh-day Adventist knows that the Spirit of
Prophecy does not contradict itself. While some
difficult statements may at times seem
contradictory, the faithful Seventh-day Adventist
knows the seeming difficulty is invariably resolved
when using the divine key.

“The testimonies themselves will be the key that
will explain the messages given, as scripture is
explained by scripture.” {E. G. White,
Selected Messages Book 1, p. 42}

Ignoring difficult statements does not make them
go away. Twisting them to make them teach
something which they do not, also does not work.
The only safe and consistent course to follow is to
allow the Testimonies to interpret themselves. The
reader will readily find that this rule does indeed
bring harmony to those “difficult” statements.