Calvary and the Mystery of the Trinity

 

The Argument of Calvary

            It is popularly assumed that Father, Son and Holy Ghost make a Trinity; further, that the Trinity concept is a mystery that is difficult to explain but should be accepted by faith. But, does the supposed difficulty in explaining it really expose us to embracing questionable ideas that could be detrimental to accept? First of all, what is the Trinity and why is the question important? Consider this. On the assumption of a Trinity, people worship the Holy Ghost alongside the Father and the Son. Is this a valid position? Could we, unwittingly, be offering worship where it does not belong – making us guilty of idolatry?  Further, the Trinity presents Jesus as being eternally self-existent as the Father.  Does this imply that Jesus did not die at Calvary or that there is a part of a person that is alive when their body is dead?  These and other issues bear on the validity and consistency of the faith that we profess.  When all is said and done, the answer to all mysteries is revealed in the light that streams from Calvary.  If the argument of Calvary is not sufficient to settle all mysteries for us Christians and set us on the straight path, perhaps nothing else can.

It is an established historical fact that neither the Jews, nor the Apostles nor the Seventh-day Adventist Pioneers believed or taught that God was a Trinity.  The concept was developed between 325 A.D. and 681 A.D. during the same period when the Roman Catholic Church embraced image worship and Sunday observance.  For many, the term Trinity is just a reference to the existence of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  But it is more than that.

The Trinity doctrine asserts that there is one God who is made up of three persons. Some people prefer to use the term Godhead, but in essence hold to the same concept as is held by those who use the term Trinity.

Standard definitions of Trinity are as follows:

Trinity n Christianity the union of three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in one God” – Collins Student’s Dictionary.

“(the Trinity) (in Christian belief) the three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) that make up God.” – Little Oxford Dictionary.

Trinity noun in Christianity, the union of Father, Son and Holy Ghost in one God.” – Chambers English Dictionary.

The idea is that when the Bible says that there is one God, the one God is really Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If the testimony of the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism is not sufficient to convince us that the Trinity is a false and pernicious doctrine, then perhaps, Rome herself can do the job by telling us that she was the one who formulated the doctrine.

If the testimony of the Jews, to whom was committed the oracles of God, is not sufficient to convince us that God is one and not one in three or three in one, then, maybe the pagans of their day, who invariably had a Trinity of gods, may help us to see that the Trinity concept is of pagan origin.

But, if all else fails, I hope the argument of Calvary will be sufficient to settle all questions once and for all.  Calvary declares that the Father and the Son were separated for our sakes when the Son cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) and the Father endured the pain of seeing His only begotten Son expire and die on the cross.  Such was the sacrifice that was made by the Father and the Son because of their great love for humanity.  To this we respond with gratitude by worshipping the Father and the Son in accordance with the precedents in scripture.

 

Trinity Concept Contrary to Calvary Truth

 

Contrary to the argument of Calvary, the Trinity concept declares that Father, Son and Holy Ghost constitute an inseparable unity.  This implies that no separation took place at Calvary.  Which will you believe?  The Bible teaches that there is One Supreme Being and that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son.  The doctrine of antichrist denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22).

Contrary to the argument of Calvary, the Trinity concept declares that the Son is as eternally self-existent as the Father.  To be eternally self-existent means that you cannot die.  This implies that the Son of God cannot die and, therefore, did not die at Calvary.  It is either the truth as declared at Calvary that the Son of God was made flesh so that He could die and did in fact die or the doctrine of antichrist that denies that Christ came in the flesh (1 John 4:3), thus implying that Christ was incapable of dying (going out of existence).

Contrary to the argument of Calvary, the Trinity concept declares that, apart from the Father and the Son, there is another who is deserving of worship and adoration.  There is no precedent or authority given in scripture for worship to be offered to anyone except the Father and the Son, for they only are worthy (Rev. 5:12, 13).  The example and precept of scripture is worshiping “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” (Rev. 21:22) only.  The man of sin, however, “sitteth (is positioned) in the temple (place of worship) of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4)?

In the name of this other object of worship, many are supposedly speaking in tongues, performing many miracles and communicating with all manner of spirits.  Believing in the Trinity, fulfils the one criterion necessary for acceptance with the World Council of Churches and being a part of the Babylonish ecumenical spiritualistic confederation that will be overthrown at the second coming of Christ.

Calvary discounts the three pivotal concepts of the Trinity, namely:

(1)        Inseparability of Father, Son and Holy Ghost,

(2)        Eternal self-existence of the Son and

(3)        Worship of the Holy Ghost.

Would one dare contend with the argument of Calvary?  I hope that, once and for all, those who were ready to declare the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism in error in their rejection of the Trinity will thoughtfully reconsider.

 

Trinity Concept Justifies Papal Teachings

 

Those who advance the idea of God being a Trinity seem to believe that Jesus Christ must, of necessity, have existed as a distinct Being for as long as His Father if He is to be regarded as a Divine Being.  If such is the case, then, by the same premise, would it not also be true that Jesus must always exist and therefore could not have died at any point if He is to be regarded as a Divine Being?  That has to be the case, unless one’s idea of death is similar to that of those who believe in the immortality of the soul, who would hold that there is an aspect of a person that is still alive when the person appears to be dead.  If that was true of Christ, then, what of human beings who were made in the image of God?

In following the Trinitarian line, one is inescapably led to justify not only the doctrine of the immortality of the soul but every single Roman Catholic doctrine.  Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church has declared that all their other doctrines are based on the doctrine of the Trinity:

“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith.  Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p.16) 1.

Consider even the idea of Mary being co-mediatrix.  If Jesus Christ is also, Himself, the God from whom humanity has been estranged and to whom humanity needs to be reconciled, then, is it not evident that there would be a need for someone to go between us and Jesus Christ?

How have Seventh-day Adventists come to the place where they are now declaring that Jesus raised Himself from the dead?  Could the Bible have made itself any clearer when, in Gal. 1:1, it declares that it was “God the Father, who raised him from the dead”?  Or, could Ellen G. White have been more explicit when, referring to Christ’s resting in the tomb, she declared that “He was bearing the sins of the world and His Father only could release Him” (Youth’s Instructor, May 2, 1901 pr. 8)? 2

 

 

Trinity Concept Discredits Seventh-day Adventism

 

Seventh-day Adventism loses credibility (so far as the matter of truth is concerned) if Trinitarianism is correct.  What rational explanation could be given for such an anomaly as God’s specially led people being in error on a fundamental issue as the question of who God is, when most of the other churches which they denounced as Babylon had a clearer understanding, in that they believed in the Trinity whereas the pioneers did not?

Which set of people would more fit the bill of being classified as Babylon, if Trinitarianism should be regarded as truth?  Would not the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism be found as fitting the bill of being labeled false prophets and Babylon?  Is it not inexplicable that some of these very persons had previously belonged to Trinitarian churches before accepting Seventh-day Adventism and this great enlightenment that was brought to their spiritual experience should be tainted by the rejection of truth (the so-called truth of Trinitarianism), which they had previously embraced, only to have it replaced with damnable heresy (the supposed error of non-Trinitarianism)?  Yet the world was to accept and believe that these people were specially called by God?

 

Trinity Concept Denies Bible and Spirit of Prophecy Consistency

 

If the Trinitarian line that is being advanced is correct, then the inescapable conclusion is that the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy contradict themselves.  I will now highlight some statements that cannot be reconciled to a Trinitarian position (all emphases mine).

  • “The Father and Son alone are to be exalted” (Youth’s Instructor, 7th July 1898). 3
  • “There is but one God, the Father” (1 Cor. 8:6).
  • “The head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).
  • “Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father – one in nature, in character, in purpose – the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34). 4 Christ is the only being who could enter into all God’s counsels (and note, this was referring to the creation!).
  • The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate – a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34). 5 An associate – not two.  The associate was not Himself the Sovereign.  Plainly, the God that the Word was (John 1:1), could not have been the same God that the Word was with.
  • Prior to the incarnation, Christ was next in authority to the Father (Review and Herald, Dec. 17, 1872; also, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 9). 6
  • Prior to the incarnation, before Lucifer’s fall, Lucifer “was a high and exalted angel, next in honour to God’s dear Son.” (Story of Redemption, p. 13). 7 There was a clear line of authority: The Father first, The Son second and Lucifer third.  The first two were worshipped, being uncreated Beings and the “counsel of peace” was between them both (Zechariah   6:13).  The third was not worshipped, being a creature.  The third wanted to be worshipped.  After being removed from his position Lucifer (now Satan), has obviously found a way of getting humanity to accept the idea of offering worship to a third being.
  • Speaking of the creation, His Son would carry out His will and His purposes, but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him.”  (Signs of the Times, Jan. 9, 1879, pr. 2). 8
  • “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,” (Testimonies vol. 8, p. 268.) 9
  • “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.” (Signs of the Times, May 23, 1895). 10

I could go on and on.  But it is not necessary.  The point is that there are many statements that simply cannot be reconciled to a Trinitarian concept of God.

 

Seeming Contradictions

 

There are statements that have been attributed to Ellen G. White that, on the face of it, appear to give a Trinitarian viewpoint.  However, a number of them can be explained otherwise.  In fact, they must be explained otherwise if contradiction is not to be conceded, since the overwhelming weight of evidence does not support a Trinity.

As supporting a Trinity, persons cite, for example, Evangelism p. 615: “He is the eternal self-existent Son”. 11 This is not the same as saying He is eternally self-existent.  To say that Christ is self-existent does not preclude His being begotten.  Once begotten in the Father’s exact image, He would then be self-existent just as the Father is self-existent.  In fact, that is what the Bible says in St. John 5:26: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself”.  The expression eternal Son does not preclude His being begotten either.

One that is begotten of God’s own essence would be eternal since the essence of God from which such One is born had no beginning.  Even the Nicene Creed recognizes a difference between being created and being begotten in the following words: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made.”  Of course, this is not endorsing the concept of eternal generation.  The point here, is that being created and being begotten are two different things that even the Nicene Creed recognizes, and further, that being begotten does not imply inferiority.

Why should one seek to deny that a literal Father-Son relationship exists?  This does not detract from the Divinity of Christ.  This does not make Him an inferior kind of Being.  What would make one think that an offspring could be other than the same kind as the parent?

Another statement of Ellen G. White that is seized upon to advance the concept of a Trinity is the following: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived” (Desire of Ages, p. 530). 12 The full statement shows that it is not Jesus Himself that is being described, but rather, life – which Jesus has and is able to impart.  Here is the full statement as it was originally published in Signs of the Times: “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 a personal Saviour.”  (The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1897; also Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 296,297) 13   Those who are diligent enough to do a little research will realize that the statement was not saying anything about the life that Christ had that is not within the possibility for humans to experience.

Being described is the nature and quality of this life and not the origin of it.   Original – not a pattern or copy, but something genuine, authentic.  Unborrowed – does not have to be returned.  Underived – not drawn from a source; He has it in Himself.   How He came in possession of it?  It was given to Him by His Father.   St. John 5:26 says: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself”.   In like manner as He has received this life from His Father, Jesus will impart it to His people.

This matter seems to be quite straightforward and should not lend itself to much of the confusion that this statement is used to create, since Ellen G. White was not even discussing the matter of a Trinity.


Give Prophet the Benefit of the Doubt

 

It is only reasonable that the prophet be given the benefit of the doubt by understanding her statements in a manner that is consistent with other clear statements that she made and with the unanimous position that the church held during her lifetime.  Indeed, the non-Trinitarian statements of faith of 1874, (Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874) 14, 1889, and 1894 represented the generally accepted position of the church of which Ellen G. White was a part, and she did not object to it.

It is not reasonable to construe the words of the prophet in a manner that brings the prophet into disrepute and calls into question the credibility of the entire foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.  Nowhere in Ellen G. White’s writings, is God referred to as a Trinity or Triune.  She never corrected any of the pioneers, including her own husband, James White, who were staunchly non-Trinitarian.  Quite to the contrary, she strongly endorsed the doctrinal foundation that was laid by the pioneers, describing it as “a solid, immovable platform” (Early Writings, p. 259). 15

 

DESIRE OF AGES Did Not Change Doctrine

 

When persons present a lame and ridiculous argument that the publication of the book, Desire of Ages, marked an epochal change in Seventh-day Adventist thinking concerning the Trinity, they do their cause a great disservice, perhaps, without even realizing it.

Is that the way a church and a prophet go about the business of correcting a foundational heresy?   Can one, for even a passing moment, entertain the thought that a prophet and a church, realizing that they were in fundamental error, preaching a false concept of a non-Trinitarian God, misleading people, and they just silently publish a book that does not even mention the term Trinity?   No acknowledgement that they were wrong?  No statement that they used to believe this, but further enlightenment has now led them to believe that?  It had to be left to a later generation to break the news that a change had taken place?

People who present this kind of utterly flawed argument are begging the world to hold the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism in contempt.  If one had set out to discredit Ellen G. White as a prophet and to present the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism as deceiving and dishonest, they could hardly have done a better job.

Those who are honestly seeking for truth and a correct understanding will not, however, be deceived into rejecting Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers.  In light of the historical record concerning Ellen G. White’s writings and editorial changes, since 1883 (Ronald Graybill, Ministry, April 1994, pp. 10-12) 16, it is not difficult for one to discern the reason for a number of contradictory statements attributed to Ellen G. White since then.

When scholars extend their editorial liberty beyond legitimate bounds and try to clarify, amplify and re-interpret the writings of the prophets, invariably confusion results, just as early Roman Catholic scholars have done in producing their Latin Vulgate which continues to muddy the waters of truth and give the impression that the Bible is sending mixed signals with respect to some important concepts (See Colin Standish and Russell Standish, Modern Bible Translations Unmasked, 1993, Hartland Publications, Rapidan Virginia 22733, USA). 17

For those who are diligent and care about truth, they can verify for themselves that there were no mixed signals, concerning the subject of the nature and personality of God, in Ellen G. White’s writings prior to 1883 when the General Conference passed resolutions setting up a review committee to make editorial changes to Ellen G. White writings (Review and Herald, Nov. 27, 1883). 18 Since then, a number of seemingly conflicting statements have appeared and, notwithstanding the claim by some persons (including the acclaimed Professor Walter Martin) that Ellen G. White changed her position on the Trinity, no statement has been produced from the pen of Ellen G. White wherein the term Trinity has been used to describe God or wherein there were any withdrawal or retraction of the numerous non-Trinitarian statements that were made by her before.

 

If this is Not the Omega, Then What Is?

 

It is rather remarkable and unprecedented that one should have to be attempting to defend the honour, integrity and calling of Ellen G. White and the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism against disparaging suggestions and insinuations being made concerning them, not by avowed enemies of Seventh-day Adventism, but by professed Seventh-day Adventists, and not mere pew-members, but leaders, for the most part.  On second thought, it is not altogether unprecedented; Ellen G. White herself prophesied it.  In light of the acceptance of Trinitarianism by professed Seventh-day Adventists and the effect that such acceptance has had on doctrine, credibility and overall direction, vis-à-vis the papacy, the predictions of Ellen G. White concerning the ‘omega’ stand among the surest evidences that she was indeed a prophet.

Many people speak loosely of the ‘omega of apostasy’ without realizing that the term ‘omega’ was used by Ellen G. White in relation to a particular change of doctrine that would be embraced within the church on account of which the earlier foundation would be rejected.  The following statements speak for themselves (all emphases mine):

“In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.  (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp. 49, 50)  {1SM 200.2}19

“”Living Temple” contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p53)  {1SM 203}20

“The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p53)  {1SM 203} 21

“In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers,– the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Masterworker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action. 

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.”  (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp 54, 55)  {1SM 204}22

 

These statements were made in the year 1904.  Therefore, the points of truth to which reference has been made (“the last fifty years”) would largely have been those that were held within the period 1854 to 1904 and articulated in the statements of faith of 1874, 1889 and 1894.  Consider the following:

  • When people were being warned not to engage in any controversy concerning the presence and personality of God, in light of the error that was seeking to intrude, what was then the accepted belief in the church concerning the nature and personality of God? Was it a Trinitarian view?  The answer is, no.  Therefore she was not urging that the then accepted position be changed.  Quite the opposite, she was cautioning against an attempt to change it.
  • The “alpha of deadly heresies” was being resisted and it had to do with the presence and personality of God. She said, “the omega would follow in a little while” and “will be received”.  What doctrine, that had to do with the presence and personality of God, was “receivedby the church   “in a little while” after the statement was made in 1904?  There is only one doctrine that fits the description – the Trinity doctrine.  In 1931, after the prophet had died, the first Trinitarian statement of faith was published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (1931Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination (Washington, D.C.: R&H 1931, p. 377), 23 which marked a distinct shift from all others that were previously published.
  • She further indicated what would be the result of the acceptance of that particular heresy: “The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error” ; “A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced” ; people would “deny the past experience of the people of God” and this would result in “giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith”. Which other doctrine but the Trinity doctrine fits the description?  The acceptance of the Trinity is the only major change of doctrine that has occurred within the Seventh-day Adventist church since the pioneers fell asleep.  Other changes have taken place, but not on a scale such that a doctrine which the pioneers actively campaigned against, as a pagan and papal heresy, becomes accepted as truth, and on account of which the pioneers are being discredited. So significant is the change that George Knight, Andrews University Seminary Professor said:

“Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs.  More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity.” (Ministry, October 1993, p. 10) 24

  • “The Fundamental Principles of Seventh Day Adventists”, as upheld by the SDA Pioneers, was presented in the 1889 Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1889.pdf).25 This reflects the defining Statement of Beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventist Church from 1888 to 1930. These beliefs reflect what Ellen White, James White and the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an organization advocated and believed up until 1930, 15 years after the death of Ellen White. The “Fundamental Principles” were first published by James White in the Signs of the Times in 1874, originally as 25 Principles, but three additions (listed as Principles 14, 15 and 16) were included in the 1889 Yearbook and thereafter, until a new version was published in 1931. In the 1889 Yearbook, E. G. White is even listed as one of the Ministers along with a number of other notable pioneers. Some of them, such as James White, Joseph Bates and J. N. Andrews had already passed off the scene.
  • There was no formal declaration that whereas the church previously held a non-trinitarian position it was now adopting the Trinity as official belief. This was not formally done until 1980 when the 27 Fundamental Beliefs were adopted en bloc. A complete extract of the 28 Fundamental Principles and a comparison with the presently held 28 Fundamental Beliefs can be found at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/2017/02/15/adventist-pioneers-28-beliefs-in-the-seventh-day-adventist-yearbook-1889/.26
  • The pioneers were clear that the doctrine of the Trinity was an unscriptural, pagan concept that was brought into Christianity by the Papacy. The following statements by two of the leading pioneers easily demonstrate the general view that was taken:

 

“The greatest fault we can find in the Reformation is, the Reformers stopped reforming.  Had they gone on, and onward, till they had left the last vestige of Papacy behind, such as natural immortality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sunday-keeping, the church would now be free from her unscriptural errors (James White, The Review and Herald, February 7, 1856). 27

 

“Its origin is pagan and fabulous.  Instead of pointing us to scripture for proof of the trinity, we are pointed to the trident of the Persians, with the assertion that “by this they designed to teach the idea of a trinity, and if they had the doctrine of the trinity, they must have received it by tradition from the people of God.  But this is all assumed, for it is certain that the Jewish church held to no such doctrine.  Says Mr. Summerbell, “A friend of mine who was present in a New York synagogue, asked the Rabbi for an explanation of the word ‘elohim’.  A Trinitarian clergyman who stood by, replied, ‘why, that has reference to the three persons of the Trinity,’ when a Jew stepped forward and said he must not mention that word again, or they would have to compel him to leave the house; for it was not permitted to mention the name of any strange god in the synagogue”* Milman says the idea of the Trident is fabulous.†  This doctrine of the trinity was brought into the church about the same time with image worship, and keeping the day of the sun, and is but Persian doctrine remodeled.  It occupied about three hundred years from its introduction to bring the doctrine to what it is now.  It was commenced about 325 A.D., and was not completed till 681.  See Milman’s Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iv, p.422.” *Discussion between Summerbell and Flood on Trinity, p. 38. †Hist. Christianity, p. 34.” (J. N. Loughborough, The Review and Herald, Nov. 5, 1861) 28

It is interesting, that some of the same arguments that are advanced today, to support the Trinity doctrine, such as the interpretation of the word ‘elohim’ and the idea that pagans would have gotten the idea of a Trinity from God’s people, were the very arguments considered and refuted by the pioneers, as is evident in the article quoted above by J. N. Loughborough.

With all that I have highlighted concerning the Trinity and the prophetic forecast concerning the omega of deadly heresies, I have only one further question to ask concerning this matter:  If the Trinity doctrine is not the omega of deadly heresies of which we have been warned, then what is?

 

Trinity Concept Disparages God and Does Violence to the Gospel

 

The doctrine of the Trinity, further, disparages God by making Him out to be no more than a pretender, who appears in the form of humanity, pretending to die (when He really cannot die) and pretending to sacrifice His only begotten Son out of love for us when, in reality, He made no sacrifice, since Jesus Christ was not really His Son and did not even die.

Which other doctrine is as convoluted and hinged on philosophical speculation as the doctrine of the Trinity?  What else could Ellen G. White have been referring to when she speaks of a “A system of intellectual philosophy”?  Well on target was Ellen G. White when she said: “The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.”  {1SM 204}.21 Which other doctrine undermines the very foundation of the Gospel as the doctrine of the Trinity that seeks to confuse the very core of the gospel truth that God gave His only begotten Son for us?

 

Trinity Doctrine a Gateway to Spiritualism

 

As to the matter of the Trinity doctrine being spiritualistic, I have already shown that the Trinity doctrine followed to its logical conclusion leads to a belief in the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, which forms the basis of spiritualism.  As was indicated, the Trinity concept presents the Son of God as being alive on another plane while appearing to be dead in body.

Rev. 16 speaks of unclean spirits like frogs that will be gathering the whole world to the final battle (Rev. 16:13, 14). This final battle will see the world on one side and Christ and His people on the other side (Rev. 19:19, 20). The main agency of deception will be evil spirits.  This domain of religious deception is called spiritualism, which capitalizes on two things: 1. The false notion that people can communicate with the dead – who are, in reality, evil spirits and; 2. Confusion in people’s minds as to who or what is the Holy Spirit and the nature of God’s presence. The Bible gives the final warning against this deception as follows:

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” – Rev. 18:1, 2.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev. 18:4, 5.

 

Our only safeguard is to know the truth from the scriptures about this very important matter.


Trinity Concept Not Scriptural Only Assumed

 

Could it be reasonable that we hold an idea of which there is no clear statement in Scripture and on the basis of that idea, deny the clear statements of Scripture which say otherwise, and dare to say that we are a      people of The Book?  Seventh-day Adventists would do well to seek the Lord earnestly, retrace their path quickly and cover themselves with the truth lest the shame of their nakedness gets exposed abroad and Seventh-day Adventism be made a mockery and the object of ridicule in the religious world.

Even Rome recognizes fully that the Trinity is not explicitly taught in the Bible.  It is only assumed.  Neither the term Trinity nor any equivalent expression appears in the Bible.  Yet Protestants embrace the doctrine while claiming ‘sola scripura’ – the Bible and the Bible alone.  Rome says:

“Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in the Scripture . . . . . But the Protestant Churches have themselves accepted such dogmas as the Trinity for which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels.”  (Life Magazine, Oct. 30, 1950).29

I find that the issues that are raised in objection to the doctrine of the Trinity are often misunderstood or misrepresented.  People say that rejecting the Trinity is denying the divinity of Christ.  I hope that it is clearly seen that such is not the case.  In accordance with what has been shown, the Son is the ‘monogenes’ (only begotten) of the Father (John 3:16) – the only One of God’s genes, so to speak; not one of inferior ‘genetic’ make-up.  This is simple, plain Scripture.  There is no need for any philosophical maneuvering.   Everybody knows what a son is – an offspring.  If the Bible writers wanted to describe a Three-in-one or a one-in-three they could have done so.  But they did not.  They consistently said Father and Son.  So, there is no need to confuse what is already plain.

It is also claimed by some people that rejection of the Trinity is a rejection of the Holy Spirit and they go at length to quote 1 Cor. 13:14 and Matt. 28:19 saying, “See, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Three! Not Two!”  But that is missing the point altogether.  Whoever was saying that there is no Father or Son or Holy Spirit?  Of course, there is a Father, a Son and Holy Spirit.  The issue is defining the relationship between the three.   Are they three individual Beings, One Being with three aspects to his nature, or what?

The simple point is that the speculations of the Trinity are unnecessary since the Bible has clearly defined the relationships:  One is Father (we know what father is), He is the One most consistently referred to as God, the Supreme Being.  Another is Son (we know what son is), a different individual being who is the offspring of the former, having the same nature, but being submissive to the authority of the former (see 1 Cor.15:24-28).

The Holy Spirit is less clearly defined.  Ellen G. White points to the fact that human language has a particular limitation in having different meanings being attached to the same word.  The term “Holy Spirit” is one such expression where this limitation is evident.

 

Holy Spirit Has Different Meanings

 

Ellen G. White said:

“The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language.  Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took on humanity.  The Bible must be given in the language of men.  Everything that is human is imperfect.  Different meanings are expressed by the same word.”  (Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 20).30

A part of the confusion that exists regarding the Holy Spirit is the fact that based on the different contexts of the usage of the term, different meanings are intended.  Some references to “Holy Spirit” or “Spirit” are references to God the Father; for example, the Bible says: “God is a spirit” – John 4:24; and “The Lord is that Spirit” – 2 Cor. 3:17.  The terms “Holy Ghost” and “Spirit of truth” are used in John chapters 14-16 in reference to the “Comforter”.

 

Holy Spirit the Comforter Sent

 

The Comforter is someone who is sent from the Father at Jesus’ request –

 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26.

 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” – John 15:26.

The Comforter speaks only what he is told to speak –

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” – John 16:13.

 

Spirit Also Refers to Angels

 

The term “spirit” is also used in reference to angels.  The case of Philip illustrates –

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.” – Acts 8:26.

Philip went and saw the Ethiopian eunuch.  He was given further instructions as described in the following words:

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” – Acts 8:29.

At the end of the encounter, we are told:

And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more” – Acts 8:39.

This role of the “spirit” or “angel”, in this instance, bringing truth to God’s children is consistent with Jesus’ promise regarding the “Spirit of truth”.  The role of angels who, we know, are “spirits” (Heb. 1:7, 14) is also illustrated in the experience of John the Revelator.  God gave the revelation to Christ who gave it to His angel who in turn gave it to John –

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” – Rev. 1:1.

 

Spirit of Truth

 

To some people it is blasphemous to think of the “Spirit of truth” as an angel.  Yet they would accept that the term “angel of the Lord” was used in some places, particularly in the Old Testament, to refer to Christ or God Himself (as in the case with Moses by the burning bush: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” – Ex. 3:2).  In the case of Elijah, “the angel of the Lord” who appeared to him was also referred to as “an angel”

And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.” – 1 Kings 19:5.

 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” – 1 Kings 19:7.

The point is that the terms “Spirit”, “Holy Spirit”, “angel”, “angel of the Lord” and other terms have multiple meanings and references.  It is the context that helps us to understand and we cannot be dogmatic.

 

Holy Spirit the “Golden Oil” of Zechariah 4

 

A fertile line of research from the Spirit of Prophecy writings that sheds light on the matter of whom or what is the Holy Spirit is the subject of the “golden oil”Ellen G. White says that the “golden oil” of Zechariah 4 is the Holy Spirit.  If one should do a brief search of the E. G. White database under the subject, “golden oil”, it will clarify significantly, if not entirely, much of the ambiguity and speculation surrounding who or what is the Holy Spirit.

“Read and study the fourth chapter of Zechariah… The golden oil represents the Holy Spirit.” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 188) 31

“From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. – (Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 408).32

The same thought is expressed at another place, the only difference being that the golden oil that was said to be God’s Spirit, is now said to be divine light, love and power. It says:

“In this vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the bowl of the candlestick. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed, that they may give a bright, continuous light. So from the anointed ones that stand in God’s presence the fullness of divine light and love and power is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others light and joy and refreshing. Those who are thus enriched are to enrich others with the treasure of God’s love.” – (Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings p. 594) 33

“And when these angels empty from themselves the golden oil of truth into the heart of him who is teaching the word, then the application of the truth will be a solemn, serious matter.” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 337) 34

“The anointed ones standing by the Lord of the whole earth have the position once given to Satan as covering cherub.” – (Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, July 20, 1897; also, Ellen G. White, The Truth about Angels, p. 150).35

It has been shown that in some instances, God Himself (the Father) is referred to as “Spirit”.  Of course, a danger is that of worshipping a “Spirit” that is neither God (the Father) nor Christ (the Son of God) – for which there is no scriptural support and could be an act of false worship or idolatry.

It has also been shown that in some instances, “spirit” refers to holy angels sent from heaven who minister to and comfort the saints on Christ’s behalf.  In other instances, “spirit” refers to Divine attributes such as life itself, light (truth), love and power that we receive from God – attributes that will be inside of us as a part of our being.    Confusion often occurs when the latter case is confused with the idea of “spirit” referring to a living being that, it is assumed, takes up residence inside of us and takes over our mental faculties.  This confusion is dangerous and could leave us open to demon possession.

 

Holy Spirit Not Worshiped in Scripture

 

In the final analysis, the original point stands: we cannot be dogmatic about matters that are at best debatable and have not been fully revealed to us.  We should not allow our own speculative ideas to influence us to place worship where there is no example in the Bible of it being given.  Nowhere in the Bible is it taught that we should worship the Holy Spirit.  If we should follow the example of holy beings in heaven, in our worship we would be saying:

“Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, AND unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” – Rev. 5:13.

And if we would be worshiping as we will be worshiping in the New Earth, we would be in line with John the Revelator who said:

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” – Rev. 21:22.

 

What the Bible Teaches About God

 

The truth is that the Bible does not teach that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal. A few clear references will show this. Jesus said: “my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).

He said again, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49). One might say: Oh, that was in reference to the Son only in His human state. But that is not true. Before the Son came to earth, it is said of Him, that His Father “anointed” Him (Heb. 1:9) and the Father “appointed” Him (Heb. 1:2). Further, the Bible tells us: “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” (Heb. 7:7).

It is obvious that the Father is greater than the Son.  Further, after sin and death are done away with, the Son himself will be subject to the Father – “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:28). Therefore, the Father is greater than the Son at all phases: before the Son came to earth, while He was on earth, and after He left the earth continuing into eternity. Prophets of the Bible have referred to the Father as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3; 2 Cor. 11:31). And God the Father is reported as saying to the Son that “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee” (Heb. 1:9). So, this concept of co-equality is totally unscriptural.

This is not to say that the Son is not to be worshipped. The Father says that we are to worship His Son.

But as for the Holy Spirit, it is a different matter. While we need the Holy Spirit, nowhere is it ever said that we should worship the Holy Spirit.

Further, Christ the Son is greater than the Comforter who is the Holy Spirit. Christ said that He would send the Comforter and when the Comforter comes, he would not speak of himself. He will only speak what he hears “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7). And

“he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:” (John 16:13).

So, Christ is obviously greater than the Comforter.

Even in the sending of the Comforter, the order of authority is clearly seen. Christ prays to the Father and asks Him to give the Comforter. Then Christ sends the Comforter – “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter” (John 14:16).

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).

The concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit being co-equal is totally false.

Further, the Bible tells us who the one God is. We are told:

“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:6). The idea that the one God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit is totally unscriptural.

What the facts show is that Father, Son and Holy Spirit do not make a Trinity.

The Bible is clear that there is only one Supreme Being, and that is the Father – “One God and Father of all, who is above all” (Eph. 4:6). When the Bible says that there is one God, it is a reference to the Father and the Father only.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is of the same nature as God and is worshipped just as God the Father is worshipped. But He is, has been and will always be subject to and submissive to His Father. As we are told, “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor. 11:3). But the Holy Spirit is not to be worshipped as God.

This will remain true even into the new earth of which we are told:

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev. 21:22).

A simple text summarizes quite eloquently the consistent perspective that is given throughout the scriptures, regarding the three powers of heaven:

“And of the angels he saith, who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” – Heb. 1:7-9.

The perspective is simply that the Supreme God (the Father) anoints His Son (Jesus Christ) who is God by nature and above the angels (spirits). Thus, is presented the three powers of heaven – God, Christ and angels.

A simple question can help in showing the difference: With what was Jesus anointed? We are told:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” – Acts 10:38.

“Holy Ghost” here is that with which Jesus was anointed.

This is clearly different from the following reference where the Apostle John is conveying grace and peace from God, Christ and the Spirits. He says:

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead.”– Rev. 1: 4, 5.

The Three Powers of Heaven are identified – God, Christ and the Spirits. “Spirits” here are ministering spirits.  Some people represent the “seven Spirits” here as the “seven-fold Spirit”, giving the impression that it is not seven but really one.  This is easily clarified by comparing this verse with another verse that is very similar, in which there are four Spirits mentioned and each goes to a different place.  Here it is.

“And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.” – Zech. 6:5

These spirits are of course ministering spirits or angels.  Some go into the north country and others go into the south country (Zech. 6:6).

The next few verses again speak of the three powers of heaven:

  1. “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things.”- 1. Tim. 5:21. There we see the three powers – God, Christ and angels.
  2. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”- Matt. 28:19.

[The word Pneuma translated Ghost, is also properly translated Spirit or Spirits. It is the same word translated “spirits” in reference to the ministering spirits – Heb. 1:7, 14].  So, the reference is to the three powers again – God, Christ and angels. Note also that the whole family in heaven and earth is named after the Father (Eph. 3:14, 15).

  1. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – St. Luke 9: 26. There we have the three powers again – God, Christ and angels.
  2. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13: 32. It is evident here that the three powers are not co-equal.

The Bible is clear that we should not worship angels.  It says:

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels.”  Col. 2: 18.

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  Rev. 19:10.

  1. “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son? And again, when He bringeth the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship Him”- Heb. 1: 5,6. Here again the three powers are identified showing the order of precedence: God first, Christ next and then the angels.
  2. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” Rev. 1:1. Once again the three powers are indicated showing the order of precedence – God gave to Christ and Christ gave to the angel to dispense to John.

Some persons say that the Holy Spirit is a third divine being to be worshipped.  If that were the case, these verses that have been highlighted would have presented the equivalent of a big elephant in a room being missed.

It is clear that the Son has been given all authority and power by the Father, so that the Son’s authority should be regarded as the authority of the Father Himself, notwithstanding the Father being the ultimate and supreme authority.  It is very similar to what happened in Egypt when Pharaoh exalted Joseph.  Describing it, the Bible says that Pharaoh said to Joseph:

 

“Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Gen. 41:40-44).

 

This position was held by the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement and confirmed by the Great Controversy vision that Ellen White received more than once and was specifically instructed to write out.  This she did in 1858 under the most forbidding circumstances of partial paralysis after Satan tried to kill her specifically to prevent her writing it.  She said:

 

“The Lord has shown me that Satan was an honored angel in heaven, next to JESUS CHRIST.  His countenance was mild, expressive of happiness like the other angels. His forehead was high and broad, and showed great intelligence.  His form was perfect.  He had a noble, majestic bearing.  And I saw that when God said to his SON, Let us make man in our image, Satan was jealous of JESUS.  He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man.  He was filled with envy, jealousy and hatred.  He wished to be the highest in heaven, next to GOD, and receive the highest honors.  Until this time all heaven was in order, harmony and perfect subjection to the government of God.

 

It was the highest sin to rebel against the order and will of God. All heaven seemed in commotion.  The angels were marshaled in companies with a commanding angel at their head.  All the angels were astir.  Satan was insinuating against the government of God, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of JESUS.  Some of the angels sympathized with Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to his Son.  And there was contention with the angels.  Satan and his affected ones, who were striving to reform the government of God, wished to look into his unsearchable wisdom to ascertain his purpose in exalting JESUS, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command.  They rebelled against the authority of the SON of GOD, and all the angels were summoned to appear before the FATHER, to have their cases decided.  And it was decided that Satan should be expelled from heaven, and that the angels, all who joined with Satan in the rebellion, should be turned out with him.  Then there was war in heaven.  Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the SON of GOD, and those who were submissive to his will.  But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers, was driven from heaven.”  (E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, pp. 17, 18).36

 

She also said:

 

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate – a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes”.
“Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God , was one with the eternal Father – one in nature , in character, in purpose – the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” 
(E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34).37

 

Speaking of the creation, she said:

 

“His Son would carry out His will and His purposes, but would do nothing of Himself alone.  The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him.”  (E. G. White, Signs of the Times, Jan. 9, 1879, pr. 2).38

 

Hierarchy in heaven – a direct revelation

 

It is clear, from the report of the vision, as given by Ellen G. White that there was a hierarchy in heaven in which God, the Father was supreme and regarded as the Sovereign, His Son, Jesus Christ was next and then Lucifer was third.  Lucifer was a created being while Jesus Christ was Divine, being of the same nature as God, the Father.  One might query whether the omission of any mention of a third divine being necessarily precludes the existence of such a person.  In this case, it is more than mere omission that is evident in the report, it is a definite exclusion.  When Christ, for example is referred to as the “only being” that could enter into the counsels and purposes of God, there is a definite exclusion of any other being.

 

In other places where the same vision was reported, the idea is the same, for example, in the Story of Redemption it is reported as follows:

 

“Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son…. Christ, God’s dear Son, had the pre­eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created.  Lucifer was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.

The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon His Son…. The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host.” (E.G. White, the Story of Redemption, p.13) 39

 

The SDA church has since embraced the Trinity, citing statements by Ellen White concerning a three-person Godhead as a primary basis for doing so. The question is now being asked, where is the vision to back up the change?  Further, by what authority has a view of God, that was backed up by vision given more than once, been changed to a concept that was once labelled as pagan and unscriptural by the founders of a movement that God raised up, as attested to by prophecy (Dan. 8:14)?

 

Begotten Son Central to the Gospel

 

We are told that Enoch had his first son at age sixty-five years, and Enoch walked with God.  Sis. White, in commenting on this, said that the birth and development of his first son gave Enoch a deeper appreciation of what God purposed to do in giving His only begotten Son.   This led to Enoch’s walk with God.

At another place, Sister White said: “The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom Him who was made in the express image of his person, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind.”  (Review and Herald, July 9, 1895, pr.14).40 Does this sound Trinitarian?

Sister White also wrote that an angel said to her that it was not without a struggle that God gave up His only begotten Son.  “Said the angel, “Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no.” It was even a struggle with the God of heaven” (Early Writings p. 127.) 41 Does this sound like Father and Son are only designated titles?  Or is this a genuine Father – Son relationship?

Abraham understood also, when he was told to go and offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham’s hand was stayed however. But for God there was none to stay His hand. He had to bear the suffering of seeing His only begotten son separated from Him and suffer and die.

I pray that the true gospel of salvation will no longer be obfuscated by spurious philosophical speculation that liken God to inanimate things of nature such as air, fire and water that have their foundation in paganism. I pray that the argument of Calvary will be sufficient to settle all questions.  Do you dare contend with the argument of Calvary and prefer the pagan triune that are inseparable and cannot die??  Or do you accept the testimony of scripture that shows the Son of God being separated from the Father, and the Son of God dying in our place?  The choice is yours.  But as for me and my house we will serve Jehovah and rest our cause in the truth of Calvary.

 

References

 

  1. Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p.16.
  2. White, E. G., Youth’s Instructor, May 2, 1901 pr. 8.
  3. White, E. G., Youth’s Instructor, 7th July, 1898.
  4. White, E. G., Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.
  5. White, E. G., Review and Herald, Dec. 17, 1872; also Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 9.
  6. White, E. G., Story of Redemption, p. 13.
  7. White, E. G., Signs of the Times, Jan. 9, 1879, pr. 2.
  8. White, E. G., Testimonies vol. 8, p. 268.
  9. White, E. G., Signs of the Times, May 23, 1895.
  10. White, E. G., Evangelism p. 615.
  11. White, E. G., Desire of Ages, p. 530.
  12. White, E. G., Signs of the Times, April 8, 1897; also Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 296,297.
  13. Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874.
  14. White, E. G., Early Writings, p. 259.
  15. Graybill, R., Ministry, April 1994, pp. 10-12.
  16. Standish, C. and Standish R., Modern Bible Translations Unmasked, 1993, Hartland Publications, Rapidan Virginia 22733, USA.
  17. Review and Herald, Nov. 27, 1883.
  18. White, E. G., Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp. 49, 50; 1SM 200.
  19. White, E. G., Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p53; 1SM 203.
  20. White, E. G., Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp 54, 55; 1SM 204.
  21. 1931Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination, Washington, D.C.: R&H 1931, p. 377.
  22. Knight, G., Ministry, October 1993, p. 10.
  23. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1889.pdf.
  24. http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/2017/02/15/adventist-pioneers-28-beliefs-in-the-seventh-day-adventist-yearbook-1889/.
  25. White, J., The Review and Herald, February 7, 1856,
  26. Loughborough, J. N., The Review and Herald, Nov. 5, 1861.
  27. Life Magazine, Oct. 30, 1950
  28. White, E. G., Selected Messages Book 1, p. 20
  29. White, E. G., Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p.
  30. White, E. G., Christ’s Object Lessons, 408
  31. White, E. G., Prophets and Kings 594
  32. White, E. G., Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 337
  33. White, E. G., The Review and Herald, July 20, 1897; also, White, E. G., The Truth about Angels, p. 150.
  34. White, E. G., Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, pp. 17, 18
  35. White, E. G., Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34
  36. White, E. G., Signs of the Times, Jan. 9, 1879, pr. 2
  37. White, E.G., the Story of Redemption, p.13.
  38. White, E. G., Review and Herald, July 9, 1895, pr.14.
  39. White, E. G., Early Writings p. 127.

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