A stark warning to the church was given by Ellen White in 1903:
“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.” Selected Messages 1, p. 204, 1903
This warning should ring loud and clear. Because every bit of it has taken place. This document illustrates where the church started with it’s first statement of beliefs in 1872. The “Principles” were an outline of their belief, but not held over your head like a “creed”. They called them Principles. They didn’t want to get to where we are today. Where if you don’t entirely subscribe to the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of today (no longer Principles or an outline, but a stern doctrine now), you will find yourself disfellowshipped. Please note the quote from John Loughborough below this 1872 section. In each part below, pay attention to the subtleness of changes.
The God of the Pioneers – 1872 Fundamental Principles
(25 Fundamental Principles based on 1 Corinthians 8:6)
As elsewhere stated, Seventh-Day Adventists have no creed but the Bible; but they hold to certain well-defined points of faith, for which they feel prepared to give a reason “to every man that asketh” them. The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principal features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as we know, entire unanimity throughout the body.
They believe, —
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.
Psalms 139:7 – Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
2. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God 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, with his own blood he makes atonement for our sins; which atonement so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of his work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in Heaven.
See Lev. 16; Heb. 8:4, 5; 9:6, 7; etc.
3. That the Holy Scriptures, of the Old and New Testaments, were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of his will to man, and are the only infallible of rule of faith and practice.
Early Adventism – the Pioneers – 1850’s up to 1930
Doctrines were established early and held firm thru Sister White’s lifetime
God the Father
Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Spirit of God or Holy Spirit
We identified God as one being. Jesus is recognized as having his own being, separate from God and he is called the Son of the Eternal Father. We also referred to Jesus as the literal Begotten Son, just like in the Bible. That Christ had a beginning sometime in eternity past. The Father and the Son was a real relationship and were two beings.
“From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit. and heart, and character.” – Ellen G. White, The Youth Instructor Dec.16, 1897, p. 310
“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.” – Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, 30th May 1895, ‘Christ our complete salvation’
“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.” – Ellen G. White, Review & Herald 9th July 1895 ‘The Duty of the Minister and the People’
Here we have clear statements that show, that Ellen White believed that Christ in His pre-existence, is literally the begotten Son of God. Here she was speaking in opposition to two heretical views of His origins (creation or a created being and adoption). Begotten is not created. This statement is also in keeping with what was then the denominational faith of Seventh-day Adventists.
We believed that Jesus redeems us and sanctifies us by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. This is a second personality of Christ as the Spirit of Christ. It originates from the Father as the Spirit of God. He would have come to us in the flesh, in person, and now he comes to us in the Spirit.
“When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that He is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit.” — Ellen G. White, Daughters of God, p. 185.2 – 1897
“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” — Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases 14, p. 23.3
This was written about in “third person language”, hence Sister White’s writing, “third person of the Godhead.” A more complete study on the identity of the Holy Spirit gives us a bigger picture and understanding of just what she meant when she wrote “three personalities of the heavenly trio.” (Not “God in three persons” or “three persons in the Godhead”) Incidentally, you will not find written the “first person of the Godhead” nor a “second person of the Godhead” in the Spirit of Prophecy or the Bible.
The Theologian and Scholar’s version of God – 1931 Yearbook
Written by one man, Francis McClellan Wilcox who was the editor of the Review & Herald. There was no vote, no committee or official church authorized document was issued. This was the opinion of one man. The word “Godhead” and “Trinity” both pop into view as a test to see if there is any push back. Godhead means divinity, not trinity. At first, the word trinity is used to describe a three-some power for lack of a better description, or to simply identity 3. There is no doctrine tied to it. Both of these key words are inserted into the Yearbook without question or scrutiny. Then the addition of “third person of the Godhead” is added along with the nature description of Jesus being “very God”. These might seem harmless and subtle. But that is how you make changes. Now multiply this over the course of fifty years (1931-1980) and you will have the transformation of our doctrine into something else. Eventually with word changes being subtle to the point where in 1980, a full-on Trinity onslaught version would be brought in. There was very little upheaval and kickback, as the majority that had won in years past had died off years ago. There was hardly an inkling standing for the way God has shown his remnant. There wasn’t even a minority now. The people were put to sleep over time and new converts more than outnumbered any original bloodline from our Pioneers. This was not who we were as a peculiar people.
The Theologian and Scholar’s version of God – 1941
A Summary of Fundamental Beliefs was approved by the General Conference Annual Council October, 1941 for inclusion in the 1942 Church Manual along with a revised Baptismal Vow. This was the long time effort of W.W. Prescott and Leroy Froom. Now Jesus is labeled as “Eternal” which is subtle, but it goes against the Pioneers description that Jesus had a beginning and was therefore “Begotten” of God. The use of personhood language is just the beginning. Because now we have a first person of the Godhead, a second person of the Godhead, and third person of the Godhead for the first time. The Bible does not lay out a membership or number of persons in the “Godhead”.
This new summary was quite different from F.M. Wilcox’s Fundamentals in 1931. It used “Godhead” and did not mention the word “Trinity.” While the Wilcox listing offered but few supporting texts, the summary provided an abundance of scripture including important ones like 1 Corinthians 8:6, Hebrews 1:1-3, Micah 5:2 which were frequently quoted by Adventist pioneers.
Keep this in mind with this evolving change brought forth in 1941:
“The church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries of clarification, decided to state the doctrine in this way:in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…” – Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11
1941 Baptismal Vow
The following questions should be answered in the affirmative before the church by candidates for baptism:
Do you believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit?
In the 1942 Church Manual, there was mass confusion. You see there were three different versions of a belief in God printed in that book. There was the above Summary of Fundamental Beliefs from October 1941, there was the 1941 Baptismal Vows, and then way back in the book, they included F.M. Wilcox’s statement of beliefs from 1931. Here is the short version of the three published:
God the Father
true and living God, the first person of the Godhead
The Eternal Father
Baptismal Vows – 1974 (still the same as 1941)
I believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.
Fundamental Beliefs – 1980
prior to the Dallas General Conference in 1980
(there was not an actual real Trinity doctrine yet even thou the word was used. It does not lay out three Gods in name as in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit)
#2 That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption.
What is interesting to note is the elimination of first and second person of the Godhead. Jesus is also listed as the Son of the Eternal Father instead of the Eternal Son of God. Son of the Eternal Father is the way the Pioneers worded the belief as Christ having a beginning. If he is labeled as Eternal Son, then it leaves less for conversation about his pre-existence and allows for the next belief that he is co-eternal, co-equal along with a third being which is coming in the next change of beliefs for 1981 and beyond.
What does the Spirit of Prophecy say?
“Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary, or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift, without an anchor.” – Ellen G. White, Manuscript Release 62 – 1905.14
“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 (1853-1903) would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. “ – Ellen G. White, 1SP, p. 204; Letter 242, October 1903
“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” – Ellen G. White, Life Sketches, p. 196
New Theology – the Trinity God arrives
The God of the General Conference
Fundamental Beliefs – 1981 – (after the Dallas Conference of August 1980 to bring in the Trinity doctrine into the church; now a list of summary items are needed)
#2 The Trinity – There is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.…
#3 The Father – God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger….
#4 The Son – God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ…..
#5 The Holy Spirit – God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father, and the Son in creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power…….
Neal C. Wilson, General Conference President, declared before the Seventh Day Adventist conference church that: “…there is another universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Adventist Review, March 5, 1981, p 3.
“The concept of the Trinity, namely the idea that the three are one, is not explicitly stated but only assumed.” – Fernando L. Canale, the Handbook of Seventh-Day Adventist Theology, Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia volume 12, page 138, ‘Doctrine of God’
What’s the point you might ask? Well, if you came into the church in the last 15 years, even in the 1990’s, or how about the 1980’s, you would have no clue what our church believed and what has happened since. The men that made the changes, came from a trinitarian church or belief background. They rubbed shoulders with Sunday keepers and that influence has had significant results in their actions and beliefs. They acted like they needed to fix something. Yet as the Pioneers died, there would be little resistance to fight. This was done by scholars and theologians, not the founders of the denomination. Therefore, the religion has been changed as prophesied by Sister White.
George Knight, a professor, and prominent SDA theologian makes this startling confession in Ministry Magazine, October 1993 – “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.” In all actuality, this would have included ALL of the founders and Pioneers of the early SDA church.
Modern Adventism today now has a God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
They give co-credit to the Holy Spirit for creation as a third divine being. Under this doctrine, the father of Christ is actually this God the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible do not teach this as you will see it is all about the Father and the Son. Two divine beings at creation, not three.
“After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, “Let us make man in our image.” – Ellen G. White, 1SP, pp. 24, 25
“In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after their work of creation.” – Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 769, 1898
“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.” – Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.1
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. It already is His own Spirit. It is sent thru Christ as the Spirit of Christ. But the church today teaches it is now a whole different being called God the Holy Spirit. It is now someone else. As a result, the church teaches adamantly that Jesus is not our Comforter and that Jesus does not come to us in the Spirit. It teaches He is not the Spirit of Truth. But here is what the Spirit of Prophecy says:
“Christ was the Spirit of Truth.” – Ellen G. White, The Southern Review, October 25, 1898, par. 2
“Jesus comes to you as the Spirit of truth.” – Ellen G. White, Ms 8c, July 26, 1891, 2MR p.337.1
“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.” – Ellen G. White Review & Herald, Aug. 26, 1890, par. 10
“Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter….whom the Father will send in My name.” – Ellen G. White, Manuscript Release 7, par. 10, January 26, 1902
Sister White pointed out who the third rank in heaven was, and it was Lucifer before his fall. Now he enters the picture under a false trinity doctrine to get worship. He wanted to by like the most-High, God (Isaiah 14:12-14). “Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son.” – Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 17.1
Change in heavenly rank came after the fall of Lucifer in Heaven: “It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel.” – Desire of Ages, p. 234
Sister White says he wanted to be apart of the counsels of God, but that was just the Father and Son. “And I saw that when God said to his Son, Let us make man in our own 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.” – Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 17; Early Writings, p. 145
People do not know the identity of the Holy Spirit today. They are taught it is “another”, or “someone else”. Sister White said it was the Spirit of Christ coming to us.
“He (Jesus) is coming to us by His Holy Spirit today. Let us recognize Him now; then we shall recognize Him when He comes in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”
– Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, April 30, 1901, par. 8
“They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—is to bring unity into their ranks.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies vol. 9, p. 189.3, 1909
Keep in mind that these terms “God in Three persons”, “Co-equal, Co-eternal” or “Three Persons in the Godhead” are Sunday keeper language. Whether it is 3 in 1 or 1 in 3, this mirrors Rome’s belief system now. Please note these quotes from the SDA Church Manual and then from a Catholic Catechism:
“There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal persons.”
– 1986 SDA Church Manual, chapter 2, p 23 (Refer also to the book – Seventh-day Adventists Believe 27 Fundamental Beliefs, “The Trinity”)
“In God there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, equal in all perfections.” – The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 31 by Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., Imprimatur – September 16, 1957
FACT: The words, “God the Son”, “God the Holy Spirit”, “God in three persons” “three persons” “trinity”, “triune”, CANNOT be found in the Bible or Sister White’s writings. Yet this is ignored. Is adding to the word of God acceptable to you? How about worshiping the same god as Rome?
Baptismal Vows – Today (compare this with 1941-1974)
I believe there is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of co-eternal Persons.
Trinity – born out of Romanism and prior to that, Pagan influence
The Holy Spirit in the Trinity doctrine is someone else, some other third being. There are three centers of intelligence that are co-equal, co-eternal and are role-playing. Just read what the Adventist scholars and authors write today.
“The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. This declaration made by the Roman Catholic Church is embraced universally by every Christian community which is not designated a cult. (If you don’t agree with this, then you are labeled a cult.) Acceptance of the Trinity is therefore regarded as the foremost test of Christian orthodoxy. The Roman Catholic Church declares that it is the foundation doctrine for all the other teachings of the church. “
– Handbook for Today’s Catholic
Do you see that? All teachings are based on the Trinity as the foundation. This would include Sunday observance and worship! Wake up people! When you think of the mystery of the Trinity, connect the dots to the “Mystery Babylon” of Revelation 17. It’s the religion of the Beast power.
Point to ponder: The Bible teaches us that the knowledge of God is important, and that we must know who God is in order to have eternal life.
John 17:3 – “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
The bible tells us that truly our fellowship is only with the Father and the Son.
1 John 1:3 – “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
The Seventh-Day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs – Today
(concerning the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
“There is no place for gods in the heaven above. God is the only true God. He fills all heaven. Those who now submit to His will shall see His face; His name will be in the foreheads of all who are pure and holy.” – Ellen G. White, Letter 5-1896.14 – December 18, 1896