DO SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS (S.D.A.s) WORSHIP THREE GODS?

Part 1
By Derrick Gillespie *AN ‘END TME’ *(Revised) LEAFLET FOR ‘ADVENTISTS’ INTRODUCTION:

“You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life--to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you stand under the sanction and the power of THE THREE HOLIEST *BEINGS IN HEAVEN, who are able to keep you from falling… When I feel oppressed, and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just *CALL UPON THE THREE GREAT WORTHIES, and say; You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character. And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer.” -E.G. White, Manuscript Release, Vol.7, pgs. 267, 268 (Ms 95, 1906, pp. 8-12, 14-17; "Lesson from Romans 15," October 20, 1906.)
There is a strong conviction among a group of concerned individuals within the Seventh-day Adventist Church that ‘Adventists’ (S.D.A.s) believe in, teach and worship three Gods or three “beings” (or TRI-THEISM). These concerned groups of individuals (who have the democratic and God- given right to their opinion) go as far as stating that the S.D.A. Church has committed the greatest ‘heresy’ against the Bible in teaching, what they call, ‘three Gods’, in contradiction (to their minds) to 1 Corinthians 8:6 which declares: “there is one God ,the Father”. They argue that Jehovah God is an absolute unit and there is only one (1) of Him, therefore no one else is ‘TRULY GOD’ as the Father, the first Person of the Godhead as outlined in Matthew 28:19.They appeal to the perspectives of the Jews and Muslims to be their standard of MONOTHEISM (or a belief in one God). It should be noted however that both Judaism and Islam reject Jesus as Deity (or God) or that, as Mrs. White puts it, Jesus is “God essentially [not just ‘God-like’] and in the highest [nothing higher] sense” as well as Jesus is “truly God in the infinity [no limits]”. Emphasis in brackets [ ] supplied. See S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 10, pg, 287 and Manuscript 116- Dec. 1905 for the above quotes from Mrs. White. Note the words of the Koran (of the Muslims) denying the divinity of Christ (as taken from several chapters and verses): [3.59] Truly, the likeness of (Prophet) Jesus with Allah [God], is as the likeness of Adam, He created him from dust then He said to him "Be" and he was. There is no god except Allah… [3.64] … 'People of the Book [Christians], let us come to a common word between us and you that we will worship none except Allah, that we will associate none with Him, and that none of us take others for lords besides Allah...' [4.171] People [Christians] of the Book, do not exaggerate your religion. Do not say about Allah except

1

the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, is only a Messenger (and Prophet) of Allah, and His Word, which He gave to Mary, and a (created) spirit by Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers and do not say: 'Three [Trio or Trinity].' Refrain, it is better for you. Allah is only One God... [5.72] The unbelievers are those who say: 'Allah is the Messiah [or Jesus is God], the son of Mary.' But the Messiah said: 'Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' He who associates anything with Allah, Allah has indeed forbidden Paradise to him, and his abode shall be in the Fire. The harmdoers shall have no helpers. [5.73] Indeed those who say: 'Allah is the third of Three [a Trio or Trinity]’ became unbelievers. There is but One God. If they do not desist in what they say, a painful punishment will afflict those of them that disbelieve. [5.74] Will they not turn to Allah in repentance and ask His forgiveness? He is Forgiving, Merciful. [5.75] The Messiah, the son of Mary, was not except a Messenger, other Messengers had gone before him.”- The Koran Notice that the idea of a divine Son, and three personalities in the Godhead is seen as blasphemous to the Muslim, just like the Jews who see only the Father as Sovereign, and that “He reigns alone”(according to the ancient Jewish hymn)!! They would never see Jesus as “Everlasting Father”, and worse, as “my Lord and my God”. It should also be noted that the Jews and Muslims both do not see the Godhead operating as an “US” (Gen. 1:26/ Gen.3: 22/ Gen. 11:7/ Is. 6:8). The Jews rejected Jesus while the Muslims believe, according to their sacred Koran (scriptures), that God [Allah] cannot have a divine Son since He is an indivisible substance, or no one else can be of like substance. No one can be associated with Him, or be equal with Him. It can safely be said that any one who rejects or belittles the nature and authority of Jesus, should not be trusted to be the standard for, or to expound on the deep things related to, the subject of the Godhead, or “Divine Nature” or “Essence” of Jehovah. THE ONLY SAFE PATH FOR ADVENTISTS: The doctrine of God and the Godhead continues to be the most controversial issue in the Church today. The individual faith and conviction of every Christian must always be based on the Bible. However, since the Bible is the subject of various conflicting human interpretations, the safety of the Remnant Church lies in the confirmation of it’s teachings by the Spirit; or truth as confirmed by the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ in the writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White. Some trust their own intellect to understand the complex issues related to the Godhead or deny the reality that there are ‘mysteries’ involved which need special discernment or spiritual insight (see 1Tim.3: 16/1Cor. 2: 1-16) Some narrowly claim that since the Bible and the Bible only should be appealed to then there is no real place for the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ in the establishment or 2

understanding of doctrine. This is a fallacy and the reason for much disunity evidenced by the detractors in the Church on this critical issue. ‘Sola scriptura’ (or “the sriptures alone) obligates us to “Quench not the Spirit… despise not prophecyings…believe the prophets and you will prosper” (see 1 Thess. 5:19,20; 2 Chron. 20:20). This instruction given by the Bible itself is essential so that we be not “tossed to and fro” but “all come in the UNITY of the faith (Eph. 4:11-15). So therefore the Remnant Church (Rev. 12:17/Rev. 19:10/Rev.22: 8,9), identified by the “Spirit of prophecy” is blessed with the insights of Mrs. White on critical yet controversial doctrines such as the Godhead or the “essence” or nature of God. The writer of this leaflet is not contending that the “Spirit of Prophecy” writings should be the source of doctrine but rather should be the means of confirmation of doctrines, which were drawn from the Bible only (Is. 8:20). THE BLUNDER OF THE DETRACTORS: On the Godhead issue, many of the detractors (‘concerned groups’ referred to earlier) in the S.D.A. Church appeal to the early writings of early pioneers (J.M. Stephenson, James White, J.H. Waggoner etc.), much of which is no longer in print. While these give valuable insights into the personal thoughts and individual perspectives of our well respected pioneers, the following is glaringly evident to this writer: shockingly the detractors ignore or ‘downplay’ the specific declarations and teachings of Mrs. White (the leading pioneer) on the Divine Nature of God or the Godhead. Some even blatantly declare that the “God”-“head” is the Father only because “the head of Christ is God” (a clear deceptive misuse, and or misunderstanding of the one word “Godhead”). They also ignore the warning that the writings of some pioneers, of “the first fifty years” of our Church development, was a mixture of correct personal perspectives, perspectives acquired from S.D.A. Church doctrines being developed but not fully hammered out in all points, as well as these writings contained “errors” (Mrs. White –Manuscript 11, 1910 and Selected Messages, Vol. 1, pg. 165). Therefore the only safe path is to test every personal Biblical perspective, whether past or present, with the “Spirit of Prophecy” writings, which would be free from error in perspectives or misinterpretation of scripture. Mrs. White state authoritatively in years leading up to her death:

“ All… truths are immortalized in my writings. The Lord never denies his Word. Men may set up scheme after scheme, and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has Spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days”
(Manuscript Release, pg, 22,23). Mr s. White further declared that we should hold fast to the pillars of truth, “not one jot or tittle has changed”. What is it that we are to hold to, and what is it that has not changed? Certainly not just the perspectives of other pioneers and the colleagues of Mrs. White in the early Adventist Church, perspectives which in some respects have been expanded on and or corrected by Mrs. White, but truth as it has been confirmed and “tested” by the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ as the Church gradually hammered out truth. Note carefully the following from Mrs. White:

1. “…we are to hold fast the principles of our DENOMINATED faith...that has been SUBSTANTIATED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD …that which Holy Spirit TESTIFIED TO AS TRUTH …is the solid foundation of truth”.
(Special Testimonies, Series B7, page 57-58)

2. “…we must be refused to be drawn away from the platform of eternal truth which has… STOOD THE TEST”.
(Selected Messages, Bk.1, pg 199-200)

3

This presentation therefore will seek to show what Adventists really gradually hammered out and declared as truth “tested” and “substantiated” by the special gift of the “Spirit of Prophecy”. This leaflet will show what Adventists really believe today, as taught by the Bible, by using the authoritative test of doctrines: the inseparable dual test of the Bible and the confirmation in the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ writings, the “lesser light” leading to the “greater light”. ONE GOD OR THREE GODS? The Bible declares over and over that there is one God. Jesus, functioning in the role of a man, a “servant” and our pattern, called Him Father and declared to Satan “ Him only shalt thou serve”. The Bible also declares over and over that only God should be worshipped. The Bible also declares that there is only “one Father” and that only “one God created us” (Mal. 2:10). It immediately calls into question: How do we reconcile with the fact that Jesus is over and over called God (John 20:28), over and over Jesus is worshipped and served as the Creator and, to top it all off, He is called, just like His Father, the “Everlasting Father”(past, present and future), and yet the Bible declares “one God” and “one Father”? Also Jesus is called the “one Lord”, yet the Father is also “Lord”, not just “LORD” (Jehovah). The Nature of God or the Godhead is therefore clearly a MYSTERIOUS one despite some try to deny this fact and almost claim they fully understand The Divine Nature of Jehovah. Let us now explore what is really truth for the Seventh-day Adventist. Firstly, it should be stated that Adventists do not teach three Gods, that is the charge or accusation of the detractors as they interpret for themselves the Adventist teachings in light of our use of the word “Trinity” and our acknowledgement that all three Persons in the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19) are fully God, fully separate or distinct (not just one Person called truly “God”), and all have no beginning, including Jesus the Son, begotten from the Father (see Hebrews 7:13/John 1:1/Is.43:10). It is certainly true that the early SDA pioneers all denounced, what some called the “dark Catholic doctrine” (the Trinity) of God being one substance indivisible, with three “heads” or “forms”. The Bible clearly teaches a unity in the Godhead, but distinct Persons. So does the Trinity. It is true they saw the Catholic “Trinity” as a “three headed heathen monstrosity”, yet Adventism today teaches “One God, the Father” who cannot be known, accepted, served or worshipped without the Son and Spirit being equally accepted, served or worshipped (the “Three Living Persons of the Heavenly Trio”, said E.G. White). Why? Because the pioneers themselves, and before the year 1915, changed their thinking gradually to accept basic Trinitarianism. True, it may ‘boggle’ the mind but no detractor can explain away that reality. The true acceptance of Jehovah as God, whether by the Jew or Muslim (both monotheists who reject the Deity of Jesus) , or whether by Christian or pagan, is a threefold acceptance . There is no escaping this fact! Adventists gradually established, after years of study, searching and ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ confirmation, a revolutionary concept of a “TRIO” in the Godhead. It should be noted that the word “Trio” for the Godhead is not found in Scripture but is a ‘coined’ word by Mrs. White who had ‘visions’ on the Godhead in specific terms to throw greater light on hinted or ‘implied’ truths in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible is it specifically stated that the word “Godhead” should relate to or cover the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However it was so used by Mrs. White in keeping with hints in the Bible and her declared ‘visions’. Nowhere in the Bible are the Persons in the Godhead called, together, “three Holiest Beings in Heaven” or “Living Persons” or together called “Dignitaries” or together called “Powers Omnicient and Infinite” or together called the “Highest Authorities”, but they were so called by Mrs. White in light of the ‘implied’ truths in the Word of God and her visions of the Godhead. The concept of a “TRIO” was also revolutionary because none of the pioneers (in their own expressions) before her death in 1915 ever used such a word, and, also, Mrs. White declared that “THE THREE LIVING PERSONS OF THE HEAVENLY TRIO”, though being a distinct Father, Son and “ The Third Person of the Godhead”, the Holy Spirit, in keeping with the truths of the Bible and self – evident logic, that they must all be served UNITEDLY as ONE “GREAT 4

THREEFOLD POWER”(Manuscript 11,1901 and S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol.6, pg.1075). This UNITED SERVICE (WORSHIP) was clearly stated in the following way:

“When we have accepted Christ and in the NAME [SINGULAR] of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to SERVE [WORSHIP] [1] God, the Father, [2] Christ and [3] the Holy Spiritthe Three Dignitaries [PLURAL] and Powers of Heavenpledge Themselves[PLURAL] that every facility shall be given us if we carry out our …vows”
(Manuscript 85,1901) Was Mrs. White contradicting the Bible that only God should be “SERVED”(Matt. 4:10) or that “no man can serve two masters”(Matt. 6:24)? And how about serving three Persons unitedly? Is this a Biblical contradiction? Clearly NO! This declaration was the result of ‘IMPLIED’ truths in the Bible and Mrs. Whites special ‘gift’ of insight, inspiration and ‘visions’ of the true unity of the Persons in the Godhead who, though distinct, are served UNITEDLY as ONE, since they are all called “GOD” or, as Mrs. White puts it, they are each “the fullness of the Godhead”. This “fullness of the Godhead” or Divine Nature is not the kind that Christians will be filled with on accepting Christ through the Holy Spirit but rather it means the nature or condition of being “Powers Infinite and Omnicient”(E.G. White), being Omnipotent and having the quality of being GOD. Detractors who make this comparison should be careful of 2 Peter3: 1518. Christians will never become God in substance, as Jesus is. Logic struggles to understand how these Three are not three Gods, but for the illustration in the Bible which shows clearly that a woman and a man (two separate or distinct beings) are seen through spiritual eyes as “one flesh” and “one body” or simply “one”, though they retain their individuality (see Gen.2: 24/1Cor.6: 16). They are so spiritually united that a wife is the husband “himself”, in a representative way (Eph.5: 28). Originally humanity was called one name “Adam” and is led and represented by the “man” or “him”, though both were included in the “him”, both truly equal and both truly human (Gen.5: 1,2; 3:22-24). So likewise, there is one God, the Father, who is revealed in the Godhead unity of the distinct Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who must all be served (worshipped) no matter your capacity, willingness or unwillingness to reconcile this requirement with the idea of one God! No triad or pagan trinity of gods, though counterfeiting this unity, can properly reflect the love, cooperation and harmony within the Godhead or Divine Nature of Jehovah, the one true God in the universe. The concept of Godhead “Trio” was established in the late 1800s (after 1888) and the early 1900s, not the “first fifty years” (1844-1894) of Adventism. Detractors within the Church mislead the public to believe that the S.D.A. Church is today teaching a brand of Trinitarianism called Tri-theism. A Recognition of this blundering of the detractors (by the writer of this leaflet) was the prime reason for the publishing of this article. This has been Part 1 of a series of two articles on this issue: “DO ADVENTISTS WORSHIP THREE GODS”? The continuation of this article will give more incisive points from Mrs. White to show how they clearly stumble and fall over the awesome “mystery” of the Divine Nature of Jehovah or the Godhead of Father (Mal.2: 10), the Son (John 1:1/ Is.9: 6/Is.43: 10) and the separate and “Third Person”(“Living Person”) of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit (Is.48: 16/2 Sam.23: 2,3/Ez.8: 1-5/Acts 5:3,4/Acts 13:2). FOR MORE CALL: (876) 539-4734 or 963-1847 or write: DERRICK GILLESPIE MUNRO COLLEGE P.O. ST ELIZABETH JAMAICA W.I.

5

SEE PART 2 ON NEXT PAGE Do Seventh-day Adventists WORSHIP THREE GODS? Part 2
By Derrick Gillespie AN ‘END TIME’ LEAFLET FOR ‘ADVENTISTS’

INTRODUCTION: In the first leaflet, Part 1, it was clearly established that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has both the Biblical authority, and ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ confirmation, to believe and teach that the worship of Jehovah is a ‘threefold’ service. No Jew, Muslim, pagan or Christian, accepting the ‘gospel’, can properly serve Jehovah without an acceptance and worship of the Son, who is “God in the infinity”, or without an acceptance of and service given to the Holy Spirit, who is called “God” and a “Living Person”, a Being even, “the Third Person of the Godhead”. It was clearly established that though the Bible declares over and over that “there is one God, the Father”, no detractor can deny that Mrs. White agrees that the Bible clearly teaches that more than one Person in the Godhead is called “truly God” or “ God in the highest sense” or “God in the infinity”. No detractor can deny that more than one Person in the Godhead is called “Father” or “the Everlasting Father”, even though Jesus, in His humility as a Man, never claimed any of these things for Himself (see Phill. 2:6-8). No detractor can deny that both man and angels properly give more than one Person in the Godhead worship, as “Creator” (not ‘Creators’) of the entire universe. No detractor can deny that the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ clearly instructs the ‘Remnant’ Church that all Three in the Godhead should be “SERVED” or worshipped, despite the fact that only “God”, or any one having the right to the capital noun title “GOD” should receive such service (Matt.4: 10/ Rev.22: 8,9/Acts 10:25,26). No detractor can deny that the Father is distinct from the Son, and that the Holy Spirit is called “the THIRD Person” [“Living Person”] of the Eternal Godhead”. THE FAILURE OF LOGIC: It must be recognized that many of the detractors accept that all Three are “God”, and all Three are called “Persons” but, they contend, only the Father is “truly God”. Jesus is not “Everlasting”(past, present and future) in the absolute, but in a limited sense, since He is, they contend, the “Begotten” of God (see Heb. 7: 3). Jesus is “God” in nature, but is not equal in authority to the Father, they also contend (He is therefore not “God in the highest sense”). The Holy Spirit is not a “Third” and separate “Person” or “Being”. Therefore, to them, “Person” and “Being” mean different things, while the word “Third” is not exclusive or separate from “First”, but is an extension of it. The dictionary meanings of “Person” and “Third”, and “Trio” are therefore made spurious and of noneffect by them. It should be noted, however, that every dictionary gives the word 6

“Person” the same meaning as “Being”. Mrs. White, who this writer trusts over any Biblical commentary, always spoke of “the Third PERSON of the Godhead”, but NEVER ‘the Third Personality of the Godhead’, since the word ‘personality’ (‘expression’) does have a different meaning from the word “Person”. Notice how Heb. 1:3 (in various translations) gives the words “Person” and “Being” the same meaning; a passage Mrs. White herself used in talking about the “Person”, or “Being”, of the Father. Clearly she was not using the “third person” style of language, because this would not explain her reference to the “Trio”. All these points will be closely explored further in this article. Just read on! In the last article it was admitted that logic would fail to understand how there were not, so called, “three Gods” to be worshipped in the Godhead, but for the common illustration of “one body…one flesh” (but separate individuals) in the spiritual union of a male and a female, the complete nature of Man. Notice, “ONE BODY”, not just one in mind, purpose, and action. Logically, they are separate individuals entirely, not “one body” literally, but are so spiritually united that the wife is the husband “himself”(Eph.5: 28). Separate individuals they are, but so united that only one pronoun “HIM” is needed to cover BOTH in Gen. 3:22-24. Compare the same illustration used in 1 Cor. 12:4-6, with the rest of the chapter. So what about the unity in the Godhead? Logic, it must be recognized is not always the proper tool to use to understand the things of God, since “who by searching can find out God” (Job 11:7-9)? For instance, logically, John should not call Jesus “my Lord and “MY God”(John 20:28), if he understood that there is no other Person who should be his “God” but Jehovah above, as Ex. 20:3 demands clearly. Logically, Mrs. White should see Jesus dying as both Man and “Deity” (God), since He was one Man, with “two natures blended”. However, she defied logic, and the views of the other pioneers of her time, and declared, quote, “ …it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die, that would have been impossible. Who by searching can find out God?” See Letter 240, Sept.3, 1904. It is clear these two writers had more spiritual insight than logic will ever be able to grapple with. Placing science and logic above the things of God is the blunder of many. Detractors today in the S.D.A. Church are dismissing even the “mysteries” of God (1Tim 3:16), acknowledged by the S.D.A. Church, as, what they call, the Church’s “ excuse” to support it’s, so called, “indefensible” and “apostate” teachings about the Godhead. They continue to ask: “How can you insult our logic and reason in trying to lead us to accept that only the HUMAN part of Jesus died, or that “one God” relates to a unity of Three distinct Persons? How can Three Persons be one Father and one Creator?” That, I humbly submit is the root of the problem for many who are sincere in declaring “the Bible and the Bible only”, but fail to see it’s ‘mysteries’, as they study it’s pages. So the only safety of the Remnant Church lies in the confirming it’s teachings, by the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ insights, NOT by the views of ‘learned men’. Let the pen of insight and inspiration continue to speak in this article, despite the protestations and appeal to logic on the part of others. HOW CAN THREE BE CALLED “HIM”? Logic and common experience teaches that only one person is called “HIM”. So how can Adventists logically refer to the Three in the Godhead as a united “Him” or “He” and at the same time contend that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct? Are they regarded as one Creator? The answer is not found in science or logic but can be discerned only through spiritual eyes. Allow ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ to speak, emphasis in brackets [ ] supplied where necessary: “The existence of a personal God, the UNITY of Christ with His Father, lies at the foundation of all TRUE SCIENCE”. (Ms. 30,Oct. 29,1904 –E.G. White) “As God’s servants proclaim these things Satan steps up to some who have itching minds and presents His scientific problems. Men will be tempted to place science above God. But who by searching can find out God? Christ is one with the Father…but the unity does not destroy the Personality of either”.(Ms. 58,May 19, 1905 –E.G. White) “…The physical creation testifies of God [the Father] and Jesus Christ [the God-Man] as the great CREATOR [singular] of all things. All 7

things were made by HIM [not ‘Them’]; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life …(John 1:1-3)” (Ms. 117,Sept. 21,1898- “A Personal God”) "God says, [notice after this whom the writer means says this] "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." [Now notice carefully] This is the pledge of [not one person, but] the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit [i.e. the *pledge to receive and be "a Father" to you]; made to you if you will keep your baptismal vow, and touch not the unclean thing…After we have formed a union with the great THREEFOLD POWER [singular; collective], we shall regard our duty toward the members of God's family with a sacred awe.” -E.G. White, Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901

Turn these three quotations any which way, the following are very clear about Mrs. White’s understanding about God: Just like the Bible (Gen. 1:26/Gen.3: 22/Gen. 11:7 and Is.6:8), Mrs. White always presents “one God”, a “Personal God”, as a UNITY, not just the Father talking to His Son, as in “let us make man”. There is often this “US” in the Bible, or on occasions, a “Christ” [“Messiah”-Man] and “Father”, UNITED, or always mentioned together (1 Cor. 8:6). She even made it clear that “true science” would respect this UNITY of Persons when the “Personal God” of the Bible is being considered. This is far from what a Muslim, a monotheist who declares one single solitary God Person, called ‘Allah’, would even be willing to consider. Notice how she calls them collectively “CREATOR”(singular), not ‘Creators’. Notice also that in quoting John 1:1-3 she uses the one passage to call both Father and Son “HIM” [not ‘Them’], despite she knew that they are distinct Persons, and despite the passage was originally about CHRIST ALONE. This use of “him” is similar to the “him” in Gen.3: 22-24, showing the spiritual unity of Humans (male and female). Notice also that she was aware of the challenge that “God’s people” would face to overcome those encumbered by logic and “science”. The writer of this article challenges any detractor to supply any other issue that Mrs. White was addressing, if it was not the question of ‘how can one God be in UNITY’, when she referred to the “scientific problems” presented by those with “itching minds”. What really would be the “scientific problem” for “some” in teaching a unity in the Godhead?

The question is also, did Mrs. White teach a “Duo” of “Beings” in the Godhead or a “TRIO” of “PERSONS” [same meaning as “Beings”, see dictionary]?
Did Mrs. White ever consider the Holy Spirit when she wanted to outline the “essence” of the Christian’s God? Is He ever considered a part of this UNITY? Read on. THE “ESSENCE” OF GOD IS THE GODHEAD The word “Godhead” means the nature or “essence” of God or that which qualifies a Being as God or Deity. ‘Nature’ here means that which make anything what it is. See your dictionary for “ essence” and “nature”(in context of course). Firstly it should be recognized that the question of the “essence” of God was at the heart of the “Trinity” controversy in the various Church Councils, such as the Council of Nicea, the Council of Constantinople, and the Council of Chalcedon. It was the recognition that all Three in the Godhead are recognized by the Bible as “God”, and are properly called “Persons”, that ‘forced’ them to recognize the “essence” of one divinity

8

as three Personalities in one Godhead, to preserve the idea of “one God” in Deut 6:4. It was this reality that was denounced by most of the early Adventist pioneers, not most of the later ones (after 1888). Today, Adventists have come almost full circle to recognize the Divinity or Deity of all Three Persons in the Godhead, seeing them as a distinct “TRIO” or “Three Distinct Persons in a Unity” (the literal meaning of ‘trinus’ or ‘trinity’). They are distinct Persons, but united as the “GREAT THREEFOLD POWER” or ‘AUTHORITY’, said E.G. White. This properly reflects the “ECHOD” (Hebrew) or compound “UNITY” [“oneness”] of Jehovah’s family name in Deut. 6:4, not just the “YACHEED”(Hebrew) or idea of the ASBSOLUTE UNIT, as in the NUMBER ‘ONE’. Clearly more than one Person in the Godhead has the name “LORD”. Did Mrs. White support the idea that the “essence” of God is simply the Father, the 1st Person of the Godhead, “the absolute Godhead”, full stop? Or did she see the “essence of God” in the way modern Adventism teaches it –a unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Let the pen of inspiration answer: “The great teacher [Jesus] held in his hand the entire map of truth… The question of THE ESSENCE OF GOD was a subject on which He maintained a wise reserve , for their entanglements and specifications would bring in science [logic] which could not be dwelt upon without confusion. In regard to God and in regard to His personality, the Lord Jesus said… he that has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9)” (Ms. 45,May 14, 1904, “That They All May Be One”-E.G. White) The writer of this article purposefully paused the quotation to have you the reader recognize the following critical considerations before reading the full quote: 1. Notice the heading under which Mrs. White dealt with the “essence” of God. The presentation was entitled “THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE”. This is very illuminating. Jesus maintained a wise reserve on the complex issue of the UNITY of the Godhead to keep His disciples united as ONE ‘flock’. 2.Notice that she refers AGAIN to the “science” and “specification” problems that many, married to logic, would seek to resolve, so Jesus, she said, maintained a wise reserve. If the matter was not complex, but simple, if the matter had no ‘mystery’ this “reserve” would not be necessary on the part of Jesus. 3. Jesus was able to say “he that has seen me has seen the Father” not just because He is “God essentially and in the highest sense”, like the Father, but also because of the spiritual UNITY that exist between the Father and Son, where Jesus would be rightly called “the Everlasting Father” (Is, 9:6/ Heb. 7:3), along with His Father, even while a Man on earth. Now that those critical points have been made let us now go back to the SAME manuscript to see if Mrs. White equated the “essence” of God with a UNITY of only Two (2), a ‘Duo’, or with Three, a “Trio”, as modern Adventism claims.
MRS. WHITE DECLARED:

“…In the place of devoting your powers to theorizing, Christ has given you a work to do. His commission is, Go throughout the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME [a singular noun of unity] of the Father, and of the Son , and of the Holy Ghost [Matt. 28:19]. Before the disciples shall compass the threshold, there is to be the Imprint of the sacred name, baptizing the believers in the name of the Threefold Powers in the Heavenly world [A Real Place]. The work of salvation is not a small matter, but so vast that the Highest Authorities are taken hold of …The Eternal Godhead- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost- IS [not ‘ARE’] involved…” (Ms. 45,May 14,1904-“That They All May Be One”-E. White) “The Godhead [not just God, the Father] was stirred with pity for the race and the Father ,the Son and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves

9

[in the “courts” of Heaven] to the working out of the plan of redemption” (Counsels on Health, pg. 222, 1899 –E.G. White) Now, if the “Godhead”, or the “Divine Nature of God” (literal meaning of “Godhead”), were simply the First Person of the Godhead, the Father, then the writings of the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’, which this writer trusts over any Biblical commentary, would show this, over and over. That, however, is not the case. Over and over Mrs. White equated the “essence” of the “Personality” of God to the UNITY among, not just the Father and Son, but also the Holy Spirit. Careful note should be made of the fact that immediately after referring to the “question of the “essence of God” and “His personality” she dealt with the “Eternal Godhead”, then she outlines the symbolism in the baptismal formula, “the sacred NAME” [not ‘names’]’ and shows the united action of the Father, Son and Spirit, not just in the life of the Christian, but also (in other writings) in the “Heavenly courts”, where the “plan of redemption” was worked out in the Divine Council of the Godhead. It is also remarkable how Mrs. White was careful to show the UNITY of the Godhead by saying “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost IS involved…” instead of using ‘ARE involved…’ in Ms. 45, 1904. It is logical, where logic may be utilized, that if the Father is the “absolute Godhead” (E.G. White- 7 Bible Comm., pg. 914) then Jesus, being everything that the Father is, must be equal to this as well, since as E.J. Waggoner (a pioneer) puts it, “if He [Jesus] lacked one iota of being Equal to God [the Father]” He could not be our Saviour, while bringing us to the Father. It is also logical to recognize that since God is Spirit, then every time God is referred to, then His Spirit, “the Third Person of the Godhead”, who represents both Father and Son, not as two Spirits, but “one Spirit”(Eph. 4:4), must of necessity be considered (see Is. 48:16). God is eternal, so therefore the Spirit must be eternal also (Heb.9: 14), and He is always described as a part of the “Eternal Godhead”(E.G.W). Also, no one can logically worship the Father and Son, a necessary requirement for salvation (‘salvific’), without worshipping His Spirit, whether you believe He is a Person, a Being or a “Third Person”. Semantics is hardly the issue at stake, but SERVING God is. It was Mrs. White who stated that we should “SERVE” Father, Son and Holy Spirit, UNITEDLY. If this is not the TRUE requirement in serving Jehovah, then the ‘prophet’ (E.G. White) is a ‘fraud’, and the Adventist Church is simply a band of deluded ‘post-Milleritists’ who really believe in, and worship, ‘Three Gods’. However, those who believe Bible truth recognize that this is NOT the case. Let us now consider why Tri-theism is out of the question, when considering the Godhead or “ESSENCE” of Jehovah. THE ‘STUMBLING STONE’ FOR DETRACTORS

10

Detractors believe that Adventists serve three Gods because they feel Jesus is “God” in a limited sense, not “in the highest sense”. They feel Jesus is ‘Eternal’ and ‘Everlasting’ in the limited sense, as He is the Son of God and could not the same age (eternal) as the Father. They see ‘three Gods’ in Adventism today because they contend that the Holy Spirit is simply a ‘manifestation’ of the Father, separate from His ‘physical’ spirit ‘body’ on the throne in Heaven, and, while the Holy Spirit, who is often called “IT”, is God, a Person, He is not a “Third” or separate Being. They are willing to accept that a Godhead Trio exists, but INSIST that they simply represent the ‘mode of operation’ of God, but they are not three, co-eternal, co-equal, distinct “Persons” (“Beings”), who are the “essence” of Jehovah. All these objections are based simply upon their unwillingness to not limit the things of God by resorting to logic. Let us now look at a few probing questions, then draw on a few quotes from Mrs. White, and compare her insights with Scripture, in response to these honest objections of the detractors. First of all, if Jesus, the Divine ‘offspring’ of God the Father in Heaven, was just ‘Everlasting’ in the limited sense, what would Hebrews 7:1-3 really be saying that Jesus had practically, like Melchizedek, “no beginning of days nor end of life”, but is “FOREVER”? Melchizedek, a mere mortal man, was just a symbol of Jesus, so there is no written record of his “beginning of days or end of life”, so that he could properly reflect the Eternal Divine nature of Jesus who is “the I AM”, the “Everlasting” and, in death, “only His human nature … died”. And remember He died briefly, not forever, thus His life had no end. Proverbs 8:22-31 is a passage, which shows the eternal nature of Jesus as a Son “brought forth” “from everlasting”, and yet He is properly called, over and over, the “I AM” by Mrs. White. She declared: “He existed from ALL ETERNITY A DISTINCT PERSON [or Being] with [not ‘in’ but “with”] the Father” “He was with God [the Father] from ALL ETERNITY” “There NEVER was a TIME when He was NOT in close FELLOWSHIP WITH the Father” Now if the words “ALL ETERNITY” mean anything to honest and sincere seekers of truth then it should clearly show that Jesus is just simply eternal, though logic seeks to reconcile with His title of “Sonship”. He was a distinct Person (or Being) “FOR ALL ETERNITY”. THIS EXCLUDES THE IDEA OF “LIMITED ETERNITY” IN JESUS’ PRE-EXISTENCE. And for those who just cannot see Mrs. White’s plain use of English, now here consider : “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them (Matt.18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One WHO INHABITETH ETERNITY [Is. 57:15] can alone constitute a church” Proverbs 8:22-31 should not be forced therefore to contradict both the rest of the Bible and the ‘testimony’, as Is. 8:20 warns, since it is a metaphorical passage, in many respects, which represents Jesus as a “Her” or female (Prov. 8:1). It makes Him a child (in some translations) observing the Father creating, not being the Creator (creative Agent) Himself, as John 1:1-3 shows, but a child playing as creation was done before His eyes. This passage is clearly giving a picture of Jesus being declared “created”, “brought forth” or “set up”, as the Son of God, though He always existed despite being the Father’s begotten Son. He definitely was *not created, like those of Creation. How is this to be understood? THE “BOSOM” A PLACE OF FELLOWSHIP, NOT BIRTH For Jesus to “FELLOWSHIP” for “all eternity” with the Father (according to Mrs. White) it means He must be separate to fellowship, since the meaning of ‘fellowship’ suggests two or more persons, distinct. Jesus was, after His ‘begetting’ in Heaven, also “begotten” on earth as a Man (2 Sam.7: 12-14/Acts 2:30) as he “stepped down” “FROM THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER”, said Mrs. White. Since the “bosom” is a symbol of fellowship, and not birth, this further STRENGTHENS the point that He always “WAS”(Jn.1: 1), fellowshipping with the Eternal Godhead. Also, since there can’t LOGICALLY be two Persons called the 11

“First and the Last”, except in the case where, as an athlete would recognize, there would be a “TIE” between the Son and the Father, therefore BOTH are called the “FIRST and the Last” in time, simply because they are co-eternal (see Rev.22: 12, 13 / Rev. 2:8). On the point of the Eternity of the Spirit, not much need to be said for obvious reasons (John 4:24/Heb.9: 14). In the above quotes it should be recognized that Mrs. White spoke of Jesus in the same way as the Father, He is “THE HIGH AND HOLY ONE, WHO INHABITETH ETERNITY”. It may however be reasonable to ask if this was just a ‘chance’ statement. The evidence is to the contrary. Consider the true import of the following quotes: “As the veil which conceals Christ’s glory from our view is drawn aside the Saviour is shown to be in His high and holy place, not in solitude careless and indifferent to our needs, but surrounded by thousands and thousands of holy angels… The Saviour is in communication with every part of His vast dominion. He stoops from His throne to listen to the cries of His Children” -Ms. 94,Sept. 23, 1904-E.G. White “Who is our King? He who is called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty GOD, the EVERLASTING FATHER. He our Saviour and King . The names Of His children are written in His book of Life” “Christ ascended to Heaven amidst a cloud of angels who glorified Him, Saying who is this King of Glory? And from thousands times ten Thousands the answer comes , the LORD [Jehovah] He is the KING OF GLORY”(Ms.3, March 1, 1903) That should settle the issue as to the UNITY of Jesus with the Father, who is not just Son and Prince, but, AT THE SAME TIME, also “Father” and “King” of the entire universe, along with His Father. The Father is NOW His God, simply because He was the only Person in the Godhead who became Man, and he was made in all things like his brethren (Heb. 2:11-14). They are both our God simply because they are our UNITED Creator, Father and Divine King. IS THE SPIRIT A THIRD BEING IN THE GODHEAD? Nothing much need to be said about the Holy Spirit on this matter, simply because “THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT”, as 2 Cor. 3:17,18 declares, meaning that anywhere God is described the Spirit is automatically being described, as part of the “Great threefold Power”. He is however shown separately BEFORE the throne (Rev. 1:4), or as an Individual Being with His own personal “form” (Ez.8: 1-5), even while He “proceedeth from the Father”. As the Father and Son’s Representative He is called “The Hand of The LORD”, symbolizing God in action, since the hand is the symbol of action. The question is, if Jesus is the “arm of the Lord’ (Is. 53:1), and still yet He is a distinct Person, why should the rules change for the Holy Spirit (See Is 48:16)? Detractors who insist that the Holy Spirit is the Father ‘manifested’, without mentioning Jesus, should also note that Mrs. White declared that 2 Cor. 3:17, 18 SPECIFICALLY refers to “ Jesus Christ” being manifested (Manuscript 26, Sept. 11, 1889). The “third Person” manifests the qualities of the other two Divine Persons. In closing it should be recognized that though the Holy Spirit is called “IT” by both Mrs. White and the Bible, this is just contextual, just like Jesus being called “IT” by John in 1 John 1:1-3, in the context of being called the “Eternal Life”. Also, Jesus Himself appeared in inanimate or impersonal “forms”, such as cloud, fire, burning bush, and lamb, so therefore whenever the Holy Spirit is presented in emblems and symbols, such as dove, fire, oil, wind, that is hardly an argument to discredit His Person since the Spirit Himself refers to Himself as “ME” and “I” (see Acts 13:2-4). Also, Jesus Himself calls the Spirit “He”, “Him” and “Whom”. And what of the following modern-day testimony given under the Spirit’s inspiration?

“You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of

12

life--to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you stand under the sanction and the power of THE THREE HOLIEST *BEINGS IN HEAVEN, who are able to keep you from falling… When I feel oppressed, and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just *CALL UPON THE THREE GREAT WORTHIES, and say; You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character. And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer.” -E.G. White, Manuscript Release, Vol.7, pgs. 267, 268 (Ms 95, 1906, pp. 812, 14-17; "Lesson from Romans 15," October 20, 1906.)
CRITICAL CLOSING CONSIDERATIONS

For those who are ‘students’ of logic here are a few choice points to ponder about the Godhead: 1.If the Father was united with only the Son, in a ‘DUO’, it would certainly be easy for Jesus to say baptize in the NAME of the Father and Son, and retain the concept of the Godhead. So why is there such a stress on the Three or the Trio of Persons, “Living Persons”, both by the Bible and Mrs. White, who never uses the word ‘Duo’? And why did the early Christians baptize in the name of Jesus, to show the representative nature of one Person in the Godhead, sufficiently representing the others. 2. If the “essence” of God was simply The Father, and not the Father UNITED with others in the Godhead, why has Mrs. White striven to be so pointed and clear on this matter, in introducing (in her words), the “Three”, the “Trio”, or “Threefold” UNITY, every time she is stressing a “Personal” God or the “Personality” of God? 3. If the nature of the Holy Spirit was simply to be explained (as some detractors state) as a ‘manifestation’ of the Father’s Person, what about the ‘manifestation’ of the Son’s Person? Also, if the Holy Spirit’s nature is just a ‘manifestation’ why would Mrs. White state that His nature is a “mystery” and cannot be explained but suggests we should just accept that He is the “Third” “Living Person” of the “Eternal Godhead”, a “Holy Dignitary”, a “Power Infinite and Omniscient”, and one of the “Highest Authorities in the Heavenly World”, who “is as much a person as God is a Person”? Isn’t it strange to describe a non-entity, a simple ‘manifestation’ in such a way? Notice she did not say He is the Person, God, but “is a Person”. Was she confused in her language? 4. If only God, the Father was to be “SERVED”, why would Mrs. White seem to ‘complicate’ matters by stating that all Three should be “SERVED”, and directed prayer to all three, including the Holy Spirit? And is this a contradiction of Matt. 4:10? It is clear Mrs. White has it absolutely right, the answer lies in the UNITY: One God, the Father… united always with the Son and the Spirit- The Eternal Godhead.

13

14

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful