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Trinity in Adventism
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Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Mukwiri 
 
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ould it be that, as Seventh-day Adventists, we have repeated the history of ancient Israel? We are told: “Satan’s snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people” (EG White, 5T 160.2). Ancient Israel served the LORD in the days of Joshua and of the Elders, after Joshua and the Elders died, there arose a new generation that knew not the LORD, nor the works the LORD had done for Israel, and they led Israel into worshipping Baalim (Judges 2:7-11). Could it be that the history of ancient Israel is long repeated?

In the days of the prophetess Ellen White and the pioneers, Seventh-day Adventists rejected the trinity doctrine. Has our new generation since forgotten “what it cost [pioneers] to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, [and how pioneers] labored to lay the foundation of our work” (CW 28.1), and have we since brought in a reformation consisting of “giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith [accounting as error] the fundamental principles that have sustained the work” (1SM pp. 204-205)?

Our pioneers were non-Trinitarian and regarded trinity as an error of Catholicism: “As fundamental errors, we might class with this counterfeit sabbath other errors which Protestants have brought away from the Catholic church, such as sprinkling for baptism, the trinity, the consciousness of the dead and eternal life

in misery. The mass who have held these fundamental errors, have doubtless done it ignorantly; but can it be supposed that the church of Christ will carry along with her these errors till the judgment scenes burst upon the world? We think not” (James White, RH, 12 September 1854, Par 8).

Lest we repeat history to worship modern Baalim, before probation closes, would God not have a people who will proclaim: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4); who will hearken to the counsel: “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28); who will confess: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6); who will contend for “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3); and who will “repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work” (CW 28.1) in rejecting the errors of Catholicism?

Very few Adventists are rediscovering truth held by our pioneers, and are being sealed: “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved” (FLB 287.7). Our pioneers were not Arians and not Trinitarians, and they rejected the trinity doctrine as one of the errors of Catholicism.

 

Old Non-Trinitarian Fundamental Principles

In the days of the prophetess and of the pioneers, our Seventh-day Adventist fundamental principles had no trinity doctrine – the core principles stated:

“1. That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the Creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal; infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Ps. 139:7.

“2. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom he created all things, and by whom they do consist; that he took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that he dwelt among men, full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where through the merits of his shed blood, he secures the pardon and forgiveness of the sins of all those who persistently come to him; and as the closing portion of his work as priest, before he takes his throne as king, he will make the great atonement for the sins of all such, and their sins will then be blotted out (Acts 3: 19) and borne away from the sanctuary, as shown in the service of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven. See Leviticus 16; Heb. 8: 4, 5; 9: 6, 7” (Review and Herald, 22 August 1912, Par 4).

 

New Trinitarian Fundamental Beliefs

After the death of the prophetess Ellen G White (1827-1915) and of the pioneers, a new generation of theologians arose who changed our Seventh-day Adventist fundamental principles and embraced the trinity doctrine – the new core belief states:

“2. Trinity. There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)”

The new Adventist theologians acknowledge that Adventist pioneers rejected the trinity, and would today not join the Adventist church: “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” (George Raymond Knight, Ministry, October 1993, p. 10 – Knight is emeritus professor of church history at Andrews University, and author of many books).

The new theologians ascribe the change to the so-called “present truth” that consists of denouncing the pillars established by our Adventist pioneers: “Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth’. Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord ... the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists” (William G Johnsson, Adventist Review, 6 January 1994, p. 10 – Johnsson was editor of Adventist Review 1982-2006). But the prophetess E White tells us that truth remains truth:

“That which was truth in the beginning is truth now. Although new and important truths appropriate for succeeding generations have been opened to the understanding, the present revealings do not contradict those of the past. Every new truth understood only makes more significant the old” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, 2 March 1886).

Worse still, the new Adventist theologians explain the embraced trinity doctrine as the foundation of our salvation and attribute this plan to Three beings:

“A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation” (Gordon Jenson, Adventist Review, 31 October 1996, p. 12 – Jenson was at the time president of Spicer Memorial College of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, India).

The prophetess attributes this to only Two: “The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success” (E White, ST, 17 June 1903). “Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation” (E White, RH 13 Sep 1906). “The plan of redemption was arranged in the councils between the Father and the Son” (Ellen White, RH, 28 May 1908).

New theologians imply that the words Father and Son are only symbolic based on an arrangement and not literal. Christ said, “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28); “The Father was greater than the Son in that he was first. The Son was equal with the Father in that he had received all things from the Father” (James White, RH, 4 January 1881, Par 2).

Regarding “the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being” (Joseph Bates, The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates, 1868, p. 204). So fundamental is this truth that Christ is the Son of God that, upon Peter’s confession “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus declared, “flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven … upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:16-18). The co-eternal age of Father and Son in the trinity destroys the foundation of the church that Christ built upon Himself as the literal Son of God.

After Joshua and the elders died, new generation arose, Israel “did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim” (Judges 2: 7-11). After our pioneers died, we have abandoned the pillar established: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). We have since joined Catholicism and joined to “drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 13:8) by accepting her trinity.

 

Catholicism into Adventism

Could it be that a key reason why at Sunday Law a large class of Seventh-day Adventists will “join the ranks of the opposition” (GC 608.2) is because they have long worshipped the trinity of Catholicism? The prophetess warned that the enemy would bring into our church a false reformation, and in a dream saw a Catholic procession in our church confiscating our goods. As we read the warning and the dream, “let him that readeth understand” (Mark 13:14):

“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 organisation would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.

“The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure” (Ellen White, 1SM 204.2, 1904).

“Our religion would be changed” – the classic example: with trinity error of Catholicism now our core belief, “most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today” (George Knight, Ministry, October 1993).

“Books of a new order would be written” – classic example: Uriah Smith (1832-1903) book “Daniel and the Revelation” 1882 edition rewritten into the 1944 edition to remove non-Trinitarian views: 1882 p 430 comment on Rev 1:4 says: “The Source of Blessing. ‘From Him which is, and which was, and which is to come,’ or is to be, an expression which signifies complete eternity, past and future, and can be applicable to God the Father only. This language, we believe, is never applied to Christ. He is spoken of as another person, in distinction from the being thus described” – 1944 p 345 on Rev 1:4 says: “The Source of Blessing. ‘From Him which is, and which was, and which is to come,’ or is to be – an expression which [in this connection refers] to God the Father, [since the Holy Spirit and Christ are mentioned separately in the immediate context].” Be sure to read the 1882 edition that was published in Smith’s lifetime, for neither Uriah Smith (1832-1903) nor Ellen White (1827-1915) approved or endorsed, respectively, the changes made in the 1944 edition!

Our pioneers firmly laid the foundation of our faith: understanding of Scriptures in regard to Christ.

“Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband [James White], Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively.

“Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me. During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God” (Ellen White, 1SM pp. 206-207, 1904).

It was an understanding of “the scriptures in regard to Christ” – upon which foundational truth the church is built (Matt 16:13-19) – that was first made clear. Then, “His mission and His priesthood” and “all the principal points of our faith” was made plain to the pioneers. The trinity has almost destroyed our understanding of Christ, the “begotten Son of God”, that the pioneers, if they resurrected today, would neither join nor recognise the Adventist church that has since embraced the trinity error of Catholicism!

Although “all the principal points of our faith were made clear” by “the Spirit of the Lord” shortly after 1844, it is today suggested that God allowed the important truth of the Trinity to slowly evolve many years later. If the trinity was a principal point of our faith, it would have been made clear to our pioneers, for “all principal points of our faith were made clear” to them. New theologians imply that by a ‘present truth’ process we progressed from non-Trinitarian Adventism (in the time of our pioneers) to embracing the trinity error of Catholicism as ‘present truth’ (in post-modern era). But our prophetess said truth is truth; ‘present truth’ cannot contradict old truth:

“That which was truth in the beginning is truth now. Although new and important truths appropriate for succeeding generations have been opened to the understanding, the present revealings do not contradict those of the past. Every new truth understood only makes more significant the old” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, 2 March 1886).

The above is a plain statement showing that “present truth” cannot contradict old truth. New truth can never reverse the position of original truth; the present only enhances the past. Thus, if Ellen White eventually became Trinitarian she would fail her own counsel of holding to old truth. We next turn to the dream Ellen White had seeing Catholics taking our goods; keep in mind, EG White is a true prophetess of our church, and the dream is about church goods:

“That night I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again.

“The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: “This house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.” Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently: “If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said or what I have done!” (EG White, 1T 577.2, 1866). We hardly know this dream has long come true: “let him that readeth understand” (Mark 13:14)!

You will have noticed that the Catholic procession came with “a cross.” Read what the prophetess said about crosses and papists: “Papists place crosses upon their churches, upon their altars, and upon their garments. Everywhere is seen the insignia of the cross. Everywhere it is outwardly honored and exalted” (Great Controversy, p. 568). “The cross was associated with the power of Rome” (Desire of Ages, p. 416). “The badge of Christianity is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is that which reveals the union of man with God” (Ministry of Healing, p. 470). Is it possible that through our new Seventh-day Adventist Church logo that projects ‘a cross,’ a Catholic procession (and/or infiltration) has placed its “insignia of the cross” upon Seventh-day Adventist ‘goods,’ and ‘made a circle around the house’ using trinity error of Catholicism?

 

Father and Son Alone

“Let the brightest example the world has yet seen be your example, rather than the greatest and most learned men of the age, who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom he has sent. The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted” (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, 7 July 1898). Note that only Two Beings, not Three, are to be exalted. Ellen White uses a key word “Alone” in quoting here from John 17:3-5. The Holy Spirit is not a third separate being.

“After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, … And now God said to His Son, ‘Let us make man in our image’” (Ellen White, 1SP pp. 24-25). Note the words spoken by Elohim, were spoken by the Father to His Son. The Father and Son carried out their purpose. Trinitarians use Gen 1:26 to teach God in Three Beings, but the prophetess E White attributes Gen 1:26 to only Two Beings: Father and His Son.

The plan of salvation was made between two, not three. “The plan of redemption was arranged in the councils between the Father and the Son” (Ellen White, RH, 28 May 1908, Par 12). “Even the angels were not permitted to share the counsels between the Father and the Son when the plan of salvation was laid” (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p. 429).

“The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success” (Ellen White, ST 17 June 1903, Par 2). “Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation” (Ellen White, RH, 13 September 1906, Par 4). There is no third separate being here.

“The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both; the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son” (Ellen White, ST, 23 December 1897 Par 2). Note that, here, Ellen White uses the word “both” which means Two not Three Beings.

“By Christ the work upon which the fulfillment of God’s purpose rests, was accomplished. This was the agreement in the councils of the God-head. The Father purposed in counsel with his Son that the human family should be tested and proved” (Ellen White, The Gospel Herald, 11 June 1902, Par 6).

“In order that the human family might have no excuse because of temptation, Christ became one with them. The only being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter’s bench with his earthly parent.” (Ellen White, ST, 14 October 1897, Par 3).

“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, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ John 1:1, 2. 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. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.… When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34).

Ellen White refers to Christ’s Father as “the Sovereign of the universe”. She does not state that Christ is the Sovereign with him. She also quotes Proverbs 8:22-30 attributing this to Christ. Christ says of himself. “When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: … When he prepared the heavens, I was there: …Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him” (Pro 8:22-30). And He is daily His delight. This is His beloved son in whom He is well pleased (Matt 3:17).

“By the power of His love, through obedience, fallen man, a worm of the dust, is to be transformed, fitted to be a member of the heavenly family, a companion through eternal ages of God and Christ and the holy angels. …” (Manuscript 21, 16 Feb 1900; Ellen White, UL 61). No third God-being here.

 

Father and Son next was Lucifer

“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man” (Ellen White, 2SP 9; LHU 24). “Satan’s position in heaven had been next to the Son of God. He was first among the angels” (Ellen White, 1SM 341). “Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, once had an exalted position in Heaven. He was next in honor to Christ” (Ellen White, RH, 24 February 1874).

Note that Christ was next in authority behind His Father, and the third highest being was none other than Satan himself. Is it any wonder that Satan has since created the trinity to maintain his third position and even elevated himself to a third trinity god?

“Speaking of Satan, our Lord says that ‘he abode not in the truth.’ He was once the covering cherub, glorious in beauty and holiness. He was next to Christ in exaltation and character. It was with Satan that self-exaltation had its origin. He became jealous of Christ, and falsely accused him, and then laid blame upon the Father. He was envious of the position that was held by Christ and the Father, and he turned from his allegiance to the Commander of heaven and lost his high and holy estate” (Ellen White, RH, 22 October 1895).

Note in the above quote Christ and the Father are the highest Beings in heaven. Satan wanted to be like God. Satan was not envious of a Holy Spirit Being, for there is never such a separate individual as the trinity teaches. Satan wanted to form a trinity of gods. He became jealous of the Son of God. Now on this planet he has declared that there is a trinity of gods to be worshipped. But the Father and Son alone are to be exalted. Satan has created a false god, a Baalim. “Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). “Thou shall have no other gods before you” (Exodus 20:3).

In his attempt to create a trinity that includes him, Satan deceives souls into thinking the third being is the comforter, shutting Jesus from the view of souls as their comforter. “The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Ellen White, RH 26 August 1890). Read booklet “Christ begotten Son of God” on Christ being the Comforter.

 

Pioneers rejected trinity doctrine

James White (1821-1881): “As fundamental errors, we might class with this counterfeit sabbath other errors which Protestants have brought away from the Catholic church, such as sprinkling for baptism, the trinity, the consciousness of the dead and eternal life in misery. The mass who have held these fundamental errors, have doubtless done it ignorantly; but can it be supposed that the church of Christ will carry along with her these errors till the judgment scenes burst upon the world? We think not. “Here are they [in the period of a message given just before the Son of man takes his place upon the white cloud, Rev. 14:14] that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” This class, who live just prior to the second advent, will not be keeping the traditions of men, neither will they be holding fundamental errors relative to the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

“And as the true light shines out upon these subjects, and is rejected by the mass, then condemnation will come upon them. When the true Sabbath is set before men, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon them, and they reject this holy institution of the God of heaven, and choose in its place an institution of the beast, it can then be said, in the fullest sense, that such worship the beast. The warning message of the third angel is given in reference to that period, when the mark of the beast will be received, instead of the seal of the living God. Solemn dreadful, swiftly approaching hour!” (J White, RH, 12 September 1854, Par 8).

James White (1821-1881): “Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or pouring instead of being “buried with Christ in baptism,” “planted in the likeness of his death:” but we pass from these fables to notice one that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. It is, The change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment from the seventh to the first day of the week” (James White, Review and Herald, 11 December 1855, Par 16).

James White (1821-1881): “The “mystery of iniquity” began to work in the church in Paul’s day. It finally crowded out the simplicity of the gospel, and corrupted the doctrine of Christ, and the church went into the wilderness. Martin Luther, and other reformers, arose in the strength of God, and with the Word and Spirit, made mighty strides in the Reformation. 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, Review and Herald, 7 February 1856, Par 26).

James White (1821-1881): “The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, “Let us make man in our image?” (James White, RH, 29 November 1877).

James White (1821-1881): “God is everywhere by virtue of his Spirit, which is his representative, and is manifested wherever he pleases, Ps 139:7-10” (James White, Personality of God, 1861?, p. 4).

JH Waggoner (1820-1889): “The great mistake of Trinitarians, in arguing this subject, is this: they make no distinction between a denial of a trinity and a denial of the divinity of Christ. They see only the two extremes, between which the truth lies; and take every expression referring to the pre-existence of Christ as evidence of a trinity. The Scriptures abundantly teach the preexistence of Christ and his divinity; but they are entirely silent in regard to a trinity” (JH Waggoner, RH, 10 November 1863).

Merritt E Cornell (1827-1893): “Protestants and Catholics are so nearly united in sentiment, that it is not difficult to conceive how Protestants may make an image to the Beast. The mass of Protestants believe with Catholics in the Trinity, immortality of the soul, consciousness of the dead, rewards and punishments at death, the endless torture of the wicked, inheritance of the saints beyond the skies, sprinkling for baptism, and the PAGAN SUNDAY for the Sabbath; all of which is contrary to the spirit and letter of the new testament. Surely there is between the mother and daughters, a striking family resemblance” (Merritt E Cornell, Facts For The Times, 1858, p. 76).

Uriah Smith (1832-1903): “God alone is without beginning. At the earliest epoch when a beginning could be, - a period so remote that to finite minds it is essentially eternity, - appeared the Word. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ John 1:1. This uncreated Word was the Being, who, in the fulness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. His beginning was not like that of any other being in the universe. It is set forth in the mysterious expressions, ‘his [God’s] only begotten Son’ (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9), ‘the only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14), and, ‘I proceeded forth and came from God.’ John 8:42. Thus it appears that by some divine impulse or process, not creation, known only to Omniscience, and possible only to Omnipotence, the Son of God appeared. And then the Holy Spirit (by an infirmity of translation called ‘the Holy Ghost’), the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the divine afflatus and medium of their power, representative of them both (Ps. 139:7), was in existence also” (Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, 1898, p. 10).

EJ Waggoner (1855-1916): “It is true that there are many sons of God, but Christ is the “only begotten Son of God,” and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was or ever can be. The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7; Luke 3:38), by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 15), but Christ is the Son of God by birth. The writer to the Hebrews further shows that the position of the Son of God is not one to which Christ has been elevated but that it is one which He has by right. He says that Moses was faithful in all the house of God, as a servant, “but Christ as a Son over His own house.” Heb. 3:6” (Christ And His Righteousness, 1890, pp. 11-13).

SN Haskell (1833-1922): “Back in the ages, which finite mind cannot fathom, the Father and Son were alone in the universe” (Stephen N Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pp. 93-94, 1905).

SN Haskell (1833-1922): “Christ was the firstborn in heaven; He was likewise the firstborn of God upon earth, and heir to the Father’s throne” (SN Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, 1905, pp. 98-99).

SN Haskell (1833-1922): “Before the creation of our world, ‘there was war in heaven.’ Christ and the Father covenanted together; and Lucifer, the covering cherub, grew jealous because he was not admitted into the eternal councils of the Two who sat upon the throne” (Stephen N Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, 1905, p. 217).

JN Loughborough (1832-1924): “It is not very consonant with common sense to talk of three being one, and one being three. Or as some express it, calling God “the Triune God,” or “the three-one-God.” If Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are each God, it would be three Gods; for three times one is not one, but three. There is a sense in which they are one, but not one person, as claimed by Trinitarians” (Loughborough, RH, 5 November 1861, Par 1-11).

 

Concluding remarks

Seventh-day Adventist pioneers were non-Arians and non-Trinitarians: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Cor 8:6), to know Father and Son is life eternal (John 17:3), and for the Holy Spirit, “the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Cor 3:17) – Ellen White said:

“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” (Ellen White, RC 129.2).

“‘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 [Christ’s] character” (Ellen White, RH, 5 April 1906 Par 12). “The Saviour is our Comforter. This I have proved Him to be” (Ellen White, 8MR 49.3). “As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving Jesus the Comforter” (Ellen, White, 19MR 297.3).

“[John 14:16-17] This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter” (Ellen White, 14MR 179.3). “Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of Christ. He is the Comforter” (Ellen White, RH, 27 January 1903). “Jesus was about to be removed from his disciples; but he assured them that although he should ascend to his Father, his Spirit and influence would be with them always, and with their successors even unto the end of the world” (Ellen White, 3SP 238.1). “When on the day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended, and the power from on high was given, and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 350).

The Holy Spirit is not a Third Individual Being, but the Spirit of Christ. “Christ was the Spirit of truth” (SW, 25 October 1898, Par 2) so His Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. Christ is the Comforter so His Spirit is called the Comforter. Christ is a real person and not a ghost so His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, can be called a person. The trinity is Baalim in Adventism.

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