-----Original Message-----
From: WSCContactFormRobot@secureserver.net [mailto:WSCContactFormRobot@secureserver.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 5:33 PM
To: Wm. H. Grotheer

I have read many articles on your website reading the doctrine of the trinity. I don't understand why it’s considered devilish. Would you please explain it to me in simple terms and back your position with  Bible verses. Plus, what is sister referring when she’s using the Heavenly trio?

 

I would also like you to tell me if you think the SDA church has become part of Babylon?

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me.

 

[NF]

Your sister in Christ from Quibec, Canada

 

 

Submittal Date - 10/30/2007

Submittal Time - 5:32:38 PM

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2007 10:12 PM
To: [NF]@hotmail.com'
Subject: The Trinity Doctrine

 

Dear Sister [NF]:

We very much appreciate your Information Request about the doctrine of the Trinity and the Ellen G. White reference to the Godhead as “the Heavenly Trio,” as well as the inquiry about the SDA Church and Babylon.

I mentioned your inquiries in a telephone conversation with Elder Grotheer yesterday.  He has entrusted me with the task of replying.  I had hoped to write a reply today; but two other replies to e-mail inquiries of earlier date than yours used up so much time that I was unable to get to yours.

The subjects of your inquiries are of great importance; so I do not want to write a hurried reply.  I like to make sure that what I write is carefully documented and expresses what I want to say as clearly as possible.  This will involve a review of Elder Grotheer’s “Godhead” articles; and also the “Masterpiece of Deception” manuscript, which was written by a brother in Australia.  I am guessing that the manuscript prompted your specific inquiry about the Trinity doctrine being devilish.  I trust that you will not mind my taking another few days to write a reply.

Wishing you the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the study of God’s Word,

Eric Jones (Webmaster@adventistlaymen.com)

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 3:39 PM
To: [NF]@hotmail.com'
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

Dear Sister [Correspondent]:

Do you agree with the historical Protestant prophetic interpretation which identities the “Little Horn” of Dan. 7 & 8, the “man of sin” of II Thess. 2:3, and the beast of Rev. 13:1-10, as the Papacy?  If so, I have only to point out the Truth that the Bible reveals about the Godhead, the source of the doctrine of the Trinity, and how it differs from the true doctrine of the Godhead.  I am going to assume that you do agree with the historical Protestant position.  If you do not, please let me know, and I will offer proof that the Protestant interpretation of the prophecies is correct.

In considering the best approach to answering your questions, I am faced with the choice of using my own words entirely or quoting from the Bible expositions of Elder Grotheer.  I have chosen not to “reinvent the wheel,” so to speak, unless it becomes necessary.  I will quote passages from Watchman, What of the Night? (WWN) articles with my own comments as necessary.

To begin to understand the true doctrine of God, we must face the reality that a change occurred at the time of the Incarnation.  Thus, Elder Grotheer makes the following statement in an article titled “The Godhead” (WWN January, 1998):

The great divide between two eternities; the great divide in time, and in the chronological reckoning of time, was the Incarnation.    

The Godhead after the Incarnation was not the same as before.  Here is how Elder Grotheer explains this change, commenting on Luke 1:35:

The angel [Gabriel] answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy [One] which shall be borne of thee shall be called the Son of God.

{The word, "thing" is not in the Greek text, and we have substituted the word, "One" inasmuch as the word, "holy" is an adjective, and requires an object to modify. The word, "Spirit" could just as well be substituted. Such usage is found in the Writings. See 4BC:1147}

This text reveals the following data:

1) To speak "after the manner of men," the Holy Spirit was paternally related to Jesus Christ; thus the Holy Spirit pre-existed Bethlehem.

2) The "Holy One" born of Mary "shall be called the Son of God." Twice Gabriel reiterated this fact. In Luke 1:32, he declared that this Holy One "shall be called the Son of the Highest." Gabriel, who had "firsthand" information of relationships involving God, did not say, "was" or "is" the Son of God, but "shall be" called the Son of God.

3) There was to be conceived in the womb of Mary a unique Being, never before known in the Universe from all eternity - a God-man. Yet this unique Being inherits eternity through the Eternal Spirit. He had a pre-existence in Spirit, and now would become "flesh."

Now follow closely the conclusions which this data permits one to draw:

1) The Holy Spirit existed prior to Bethlehem as the "Eternal Spirit." (See also Heb.9:14)

2) Jesus "had a beginning at Bethlehem." (Note the name designation of "Jesus," the God-man, begins at Bethlehem)

3) With God as a "given" factor, you have Two Beings - God and the Eternal Spirit - before Bethlehem, and Three Beings - God, the Eternal Spirit, and Jesus - after.

I hope that the foregoing is clear.  I think that conclusion 2) above makes the central point.  The God-man Jesus did not exist before Bethlehem.  Here we have one of the causes of the confusion about the three persons of the Godhead.  The Eternal Spirit Who pre-existed the Incarnation is also referred to as “Christ” (meaning “The Anointed” or Hebrew “Messiah”) in the Old Testament.  “Jesus Christ” is the God-man Who came into existence in the Incarnation.  So, as Elder Grotheer points out in conclusion 3) above, Two beings in the Godhead became Three Beings at Bethlehem.

There is more to know about the Holy Spirit than I will attempt to include in this message.  I do want to bring to your attention the significance of what is revealed by the Apostle John.  Commenting on John 1:1-3 Elder Grotheer states in the above referenced article:

In beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and God was the Logos. The same was in beginning with the God. All things through Him came into being, and without Him came into being not even one [thing] which has come into being. (Greek, literal translation)

The Gospel of John was among the last books of the New Testament to be written, if not the last one. In the first eighteen verses of his Gospel, John gives a prologue, setting forth data of what was prior to the Incarnation, as well as what happened at the Incarnation.

From these verses, we can observe the following data:

1) There were Two Beings - the Logos (the Word) and God.

2) The Logos was of the same essence as God. He was as much God as God Himself. "God was the Logos." The article is used to denote separate Beings; and omitted when defining the nature of the Logos.

Conclusions which can be drawn:

1) Since "God" is defined as "Spirit" (John 4:24 - no article, literally, "God is Spirit"), then the Logos was as God, also "Spirit."

We are "flesh" in our reality; God is "spirit" in His reality. Paul could use the word, "form" to designate both the reality of God, and the reality of man. (Phil. 2:6, 7)

2) The Logos created all things in conjunction "with the God." Paul states that "God ... created all things by Jesus Christ." (Eph. 3:9)

3) In John 1:1-2, the word "was" (hn) is used 4x. This is in the Greek imperfect tense and denotes continuous action in past time. John is simply saying that there never was a time when the Logos was not.

The Apostle John could not be clearer in establishing that there were only two persons in the Godhead prior to the Incarnation.  I have not as yet got to the specifics of your questions; but I am going to stop for the time being at this point, with just the addition of the following Old Testament Scriptures for you to think about.  They are copied from a document written by Elder Grotheer and titled “God Who is He?”:

Genesis 1:1

Beresith (in beginning - no article) bara (created - singular) Elohim (Gods - plural). [Note - Plural subject; singular verb]

Deuteronomy 6:4 (NWT)

"Listen, 0 Israel: Jehovah [thy Gods (Heb. Plural)] is one Jehovah.

Isaiah 44:6 (ARV)

Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel (1), and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts (2) I am the first and the last; and beside [us] there is no Elohim ("Gods" Heb. Plural)

Zech. 6:12-13

"Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord: . . . and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between the Two of Them (Heb.)

(Emphasis added.)

Write to me if you have any questions about what I have stated in this message.  You will hear from me further by next weekend.

Sincerely,

Eric Jones (Webmaster@adventistlaymen.com)

From: [NF]@hotmail.com
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:57:54 -0500

Good morning brother Eric,
 
I have been reading your response and would like you to help me understand further more something. If I understood correctly, two beings existed eternally prior to
Bethlehem: the Eternal Spirit and God. The part that isn't so clear to me is which of them or maybe a part of these two split to become Jesus, the God-man? Plus, does the expression the Godhead refer to both?
 
Thank you so much for your time.
[NF]

From: [NF]@hotmail.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 13:33:09 -0500

Hi,
I sent you this email on Nov 13th, did you get it?
[NF]


From: [NF]@hotmail.com
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:57:54 -0500

Good morning brother Eric,
 
I have been reading your response and would like you to help me understand further more something. If I understood correctly, two beings existed eternally prior to Bethlehem: the Eternal Spirit and God. The part that isn't so clear to me is which of them or maybe a part of these two split to become Jesus, the God-man? Plus, does the expression the Godhead refer to both?
 
Thank you so much for your time.
[NF]

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 23:02:43 -0800

Hi Sister [NF]:

No, regrettably I did not receive the e-mail.  All e-mails from adventistlaymen.com come into the same Outlook mailbox on my desktop.  Sometimes good e-mails are automatically, but mistakenly, diverted to the Spam folders.  I usually check them before deleting; but I suspect that yours slipped by me.

I didn’t quite finish the second part of my response to your inquiry by the weekend because of family responsibilities; however, it is almost complete and will be sent within a couple of days.  I am glad to see that you had no difficulty in accepting the fact that there were Two Beings (actually two Jehovahs) before the Incarnation.  The second part of my response actually elaborates on this, and I will send it without revision.

When we look at John 1:1-3, 14, we see that it was the Word Who became flesh.  Then the Gospels of Matthew and Luke reveal that Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  Here we arrive at a mystery that is not explained in the Bible.  How did the I AM become a tiny seed in the womb of Mary?  John certainly seems to say in 1:14 that the whole self-Identity of the Eternal Spirit became flesh.  In 7:39 he wrote:

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

“Yet given” is supplied.  It is not in the original Greek.  What did John mean?  We know that there was a Holy Ghost at work after the Incarnation and before Jesus’ death, resurrection, and coronation on the Day of Pentecost.  Who was that Holy Ghost?  We do know this: that the Holy Spirit Whom we know from Pentecost is in effect the Alter Ego of Jesus Christ.  In John 15:26 Jesus said:

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Fathereven the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  (Emphasis added.)

In John 14:16-18 Jesus said:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.   (Emphasis added.)

Note the promise, “I will come unto you,” and here is this statement made by Ellen G. White:

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. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [THIS PHRASE WAS ADDED BY ELLEN WHITE.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" [John 14:26]. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you" [John 16:7]. {14MR 23.3; emphasis added}

We therefore not only have the mystery of the Incarnation; but also this further mystery: that the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ, but “divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.”  We have ample evidence in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit is a person and not merely an influence as some presume to contend.  Thus, there has been this “Heavenly Trio,” at least since Jesus Christ was glorified on the Day of Pentecost; and this is not a revelation of One God in Three Persons, but Three Gods as One Lord (as there were Two Gods as one Lord before the Incarnation, which is explained more fully in the second part of my response to follow.)  These Three Gods are referred to as “the Godhead.”

It is my great privilege to be of assistance.  I also derive a blessing from reviewing these Truths.

Blessings,

Eric  

From: [NF] [mailto:[NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 4:57 AM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

 Good morning,
Thank you very much for your response and the time you took to answer my question. There is smt still unclear about this, for me when i read from E.G.W's books. That's is, if Jesus "had a beginning at Bethlehem." (Note the name designation of "Jesus," the God-man, begins at Bethlehem) then I don’t understand why sister White doesn’t  use the term  the Eternal Spirit when referring to Christ prior to the creation in her writings( See for example PP the chapter on Why was sin permitted? ) Why would she refer to Him as Jesus, the Son of God if that notion wasn’t so prior to the incarnation?
 
Thank you and may the Lord bless you,
[NF]

 From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2007 9:21 PM
To: '[NF]'
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

Dear Sister [NF]:

Ellen G. White neither claimed to be a theologian, nor did she write a commentary on the Bible.  I would not make too much of the fact that she did not use the term “eternal Spirit” to describe the pre-existent Christ.  That term appears in the Bible only once, in Heb. 9:14.

I am well aware that Sister White makes references to the “eternal Son” in her Writings.  I once made a compilation, and just checked again on the EGW Estate website.  The total number is eighteen times.  There are also numerous other instances where she refers to the pre-existent Christ as the Son of God.  However, she also wrote the following passages, and you will note that in every instance she correctly used the name “Christ,” and not “Jesus Christ” (the underlined emphases are added):

The world was made by him, "and without him was not anything made that was made." If Christ made all things, he existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. . . . {7ABC 438.1}

There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible. --The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906, p. 8. {7ABC 438.2}

Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, "I am the resurrection, and the life." In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. "He that hath the Son hath life." 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer's assurance of eternal life.--Ibid., p. 530. {7ABC 438.5}

Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, "whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity."--Ibid., p. 469. {7ABC 438.6}

The world's Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that he had no existence separate from the Father. The authority by which he spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly his own, yet he assures us that he and the Father are one.--The Review and Herald, Jan. 7, 1890, p. 1. {7ABC 439.1}

Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the source and sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.--Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305. {7ABC 439.2}

Jehovah is the name given to Christ. "Behold, God is my salvation," writes the prophet Isaiah; "I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted." "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."--The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899, p. 2. {7ABC 439.3}

In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.--The Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900. {7ABC 440.4}

Here Christ shows them that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.--The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899. {7ABC 440.5}

From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God.--The Signs of the Times, Aug. 2, 1905, p. 10.

Since all of the above passages are consistent with the revelation of the Godhead in the Bible, I am not concerned about the other references that seem to suggest that Christ was the eternal Son of God.  One can be blessed in reading the Writings in which such references are made without trying to fathom the precise meaning of the references.  Moreover, when Ellen White makes statements that are consistent with the Bible, and other statements that seem to go the other way, the critical importance of following her own counsel becomes readily apparent:

God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrine and the basis of all reforms. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, p. 413; emphasis supplied)

The Lord desires you to study your Bibles. He has not given any additional light to take the place of His Word. . . ..-- Letter 130, 1901. (3SM 29.2; emphasis supplied)

The Spirit was not given-- nor can it ever be bestowed--to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. . . . --The Great Controversy, Introduction, p. vii. (3SM 30.5; emphasis supplied)

I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to give visions in the "last days"; not for a new rule of faith . . .--A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G.White, p. 64 (1851). (Reprinted in Early Writings, p. 78.) (3SM 29.1; emphasis supplied)

"Thus saith the Lord" is the strongest testimony you can possibly present to the people. Let none be educated to look to Sister White, but to the mighty God, who gives instruction to Sister White.--Letter 11, 1894. (3SM 29.3; emphasis supplied.)  (It is clear that by “Thus saith the Lord” Sister White means the Bible.)

I hope that I have provided a satisfactory answer to your question.  That second part of my response to your previous questions will follow tomorrow.

Blessings,

Eric Jones

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 22:17:57 -0800

Hello Sister [NF]:

The scholars who promote the dogma/doctrine of the Trinity define it as “monotheism” – One God, Three persons.  The concept of monotheism in Christianity derives directly from the Hebrew “Shema.”  I invite you to consider the following careful analysis of the “Shema” by Elder Grotheer, from his article “the Heavenly Trio”, wwn4(02):

Israel's monotheism is based on the Shema - "Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut 6:4). There are two key words in this Shema which govern its interpretation. The first is elohenu - translated "our God;"[1] and the second is echad, translated, "one." In The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Davidson, elohenu is noted as a "noun, masculine plural, with a pronominal suffix in the first person plural" (p. xxxviii). In translation, as in the Shema, it is translated as singular when applied to the God of the Hebrews, and plural when referencing the gods of the

3

nations. (See for example, Isa. 42:17 & Hosea 14:3) Is this then not giving the Scriptures a theological translation, rather than a linguistic translation? Theologically (Jewish theology) the Shema reads - "Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord." Linguistically, it would read - "Hear, 0 Israel, Jehovah our Gods is one Jehovah."[2]

The word, echad, is first used in Genesis 1:5. In literal translation the last part of this verse reads - "(It) was evening, (it) was morning, day one (echad)" Thus in its first use it describes duality in oneness. The second use with dual force is Genesis 2:24 - "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they two shall be one (echad) flesh." Further, Genesis 1:1 introduces God as Elohim, plural, who would suggest to an Equal, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (1:26). When Isaiah defines who Elohim is, he writes:

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts" I am the first and the last; and besides Me there is no Elohim. (44:6)

This designation - "the first and the last" - is carried forward to the final revelation in the Scriptures, and is applied to the One who sat upon the throne, "the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8) and to the Lamb "in the midst of the throne" (Rev. 5:6; 1:10-13; 22:13). Thus the monotheism of Israel as set forth in the Old Testament, would also be the "monotheism" of the new Israel as revealed in the book of Revelation; but it has been corrupted by the Triune concept of Romanism, and is being corrupted in the current anti-Trinitarianism blowing through the corridors of Adventism. The Shema of ancient Israel could be the declaration of faith of modern spiritual Israel if linguistically translated rather than by theological presuppositions.

The Christian Church in the early centuries was faced with the inescapable fact that there are Three Beings of the Godhead revealed in the New Testament.  Instead of searching the Scriptures carefully for the explanation, they used philosophical speculation to come up with the dogma of the Trinity.  Here is the formulation from the Catholic Encyclopedia online:

I. THE DOGMA OF THE TRINITY

“The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion -- the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.
Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent. This, the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding God's nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world: and which she proposes to man as the foundation of her whole dogmatic system.”

As I was searching for the above definition which I had read in the Catholic Encyclopedia in the past, I stumbled on a statement on a Jewish web page that “the dogma of the Trinity is not understandable because it is intrinsically incoherent.”  How well put!  It does not make sense; and no matter how the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church tries to distance itself from the Catholic dogma, this basic incoherence is intrinsic in the idea that there was always eternally one “God in three persons.”  Turning again to Elder Grotheer’s article titled “The Heavenly Trio,” I quote:

In the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition), the position of the Roman Church is summarized in the Athanasian Creed which reads:

Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another, the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal their majesty coeternal (par. 266).

In the explanation given in the Catechism, under "The dogma of the Holy Trinity," it is stated: 1) "The Trinity is One" (par. 253); and 2) "'God is one but not solitary.' ... They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: 'It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.' The divine Unity is Triune" (par. 254).

In the Handbook for Today's Catholic carrying the official affirmation of the Church, it is declared:

The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church. In the New Testament there is frequent mention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A careful study of these scriptural passages leads to one unmistakable conclusion: each of these Persons is presented as having qualities that can belong only to God. But if there is only one God, how can this be?

The Church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries, decided to state the doctrine in

7

this way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - truly distinct one from another. Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three gods but one God." (pp.11-12)

With this, we face a major problem. If we believe that the Trinitarian doctrine - "there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons" - then in so doing, we are stating that the Roman Church is based on a foundation of truth. Further, since all of the other doctrines of Rome are based on this Trinity concept, why not return to Rome and follow all her theological reasonings? It is rather ludicrous to hear a Seventh-day Adventist take issue with Rome over her Sabbath to Sunday reasoning, and then shout their belief in her Trinitarian concept.

Much more can be said on this issue, not least of all on the concept of an eternal sonship of Christ [I have now addressed this on 11-23-07]; but I must not stray too far from your question about the devilish nature of the doctrine of the Trinity.  Before I finish this message, I must specifically address your other question about Ellen White’s use of the term “Heavenly Trio.”  I think that it has been answered all through both parts of my response to your inquiry.  I would say that she used the term because the New Testament clearly reveals Three Beings in the Godhead, or in plainer language Three Gods (but one Lordship as revealed in the Duality of the Shema); however, note that she never used the term “Trinity.”

Turning now to the relationship between the papacy and the Devil, please do a quick review of the following study by Elder Grotheer:

http://www.adventistlaymen.com/Documents/Antichrist.htm

The foregoing study does not touch on Rev. 13:1-2; but I am confident you know that this beast represents the papacy.  The following is quoted from Elder Grotheer’s “Exegesis of Revelation – The Beast and the False Prophet”: 

In the Thirteenth Chapter, two "beasts" are seen, one rising "up out of the sea," and the other "coming up out of the earth." (vs. 1, 11) These two beasts are related in the text to the dragon. One receives "his power, and his seat, and great authority" directly from the dragon (v. 2). The other, "spake as a dragon" and exercised "all the authority of the first beast," which authority had been given it by the dragon. (vs. 11-12).

The commonality between the first beast and the dragon is further heightened in the imagery. Both have seven heads and ten horns (12:3; 13:1) However, there is a movement of one item in the symbols; the crowns are placed on the "horns" of the first beast, rather than remaining on the "heads." It must also be kept in mind that the book of Revelation presents a third beast with seven heads and ten horns. (17:3) No crowns are seen on this symbolism either on the "heads" or the "horns."

What is this telling us? If a "crown" is symbolic of reigning, then the "dragon" is portrayed as functioning through its seven heads from the time of the first gospel promise to the time of, and including the war with the "remnant of her seed." The first beast of Revelation 13 would then be operating at the time of the reigning of "the ten horns."

To further identify this beast, the description is closely associated with the vision given to Daniel (Chap. 7). The lion, the bear, and the leopard are followed by a nondescript beast. In Revelation 13, the nondescript beast is a composite, "like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion" (v. 2). This is the exact order as found in Daniel 7, only reversed. In the vision to Daniel, he saw that the dominion of the three beasts was "taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time." (7:12). The symbolic representation in Revelation 13, tells us that the lives of the three beasts of Daniel 7 lived on in the first beast.

Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.”  There is the heart of the matter.  The Church of Rome is Satan’s representative body on earth, and by her own admission, “The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church.”   Of the “other teachings of the Church” which revolve around Jesus Christ, I want to comment on a two-fold teaching which relates to the identity of the God-man.

Rome begins her corruption of the Truth by asserting the following, quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the “Immaculate Conception”:

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."

This teaching is based on the idea that Jesus was born without sin in the flesh, so He must have been conceived within a sinless body. Rome understood that the natural laws of heredity would make it an inescapable fact that Jesus had, in the flesh, the same human nature as every other descendant of Adam since the fall.  Having declared that Mary was sinless, Rome asserts that the humanity of Jesus was sinless, and further that by “hypostatic union of the Divine nature and the human nature” the latter was “assumed” by the Divine.  The following is taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia on “The Incarnation”:

It is to be remembered that, when the Word took Flesh, there was no change in the Word; all the change was in the Flesh. At the moment of conception, in the womb of the Blessed Mother, through the forcefulness of God's activity, not only was the human soul of Christ created but the Word assumed the man that was conceived. When God created the world, the world was changed, that is. it passed from the state of nonentity to the state of existence; and there was no change in the Logos or Creative Word of God the Father. Nor was there change in that Logos when it began to terminate the human nature. A new relation ensued, to be sure; but this new relation implied in the Logos no new reality, no real change; all new reality, all real change, was in the human nature(Underlined and italicized emphasis added.)

John 1:14 states that “the Word became flesh.”  Paul states that He “emptied Himself” (literal Greek,) Phil. 2:7;) however Rome declares that  there was no change in the Word, but a change took place in the flesh.  The following is quoted from “The Roman Catholic Priest: In Persona Christi Capitis”:

The dignity which Christ gave to us by assuming our human nature is unfathomable. Because Christ became man our nature has, in a sense, been divinized. This is because the human nature of Christ is united to the divine person of the Word. Christ’s humanity is perfectly holy because of this union. 

Thus Rome’s dogma of the Immaculate Conception totally severs the connection made in the body of Mary between Jesus Christ and true humanity, born under sin because of Adam’s transgression.  Then by what she calls “the hypostatic union of the Divine nature and the human nature of Jesus in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ,” she denies the real humanity of Jesus.

Contrast these fictions with the following texts, among many others, (Underlined emphasis added):

Romans 1:1-3:  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, . . . Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.  (What is this but a statement of heredity?)

Galatians 4:4-5:  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  (Again a statement of heredity.)

Hebrews 2:17-18:  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15:  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin
Romans 8:3:  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

How can these Scriptures be true if Rome is right?  Look at what the Devil’s representative on earth has done to the good news of salvation for fallen man in and through the Lord Jesus Christ!  Finally, consider the repudiation of Jesus Christ’s own emphasis on His human identity.  In all of the Gospels except the Book of John He never refers to Himself as the “Son of God,” although He does acknowledge the Identity when the question is put to Him.  Five times He uses the Identity “Son of God” in the Gospel of John (3:18; 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4.)   He uses the Identity “Son of Man” on numerous occasions, and in two instances it is particularly notable that it was in response to references to His Identity as “Son of God”:    

Matthew 26:63-64:  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of GodJesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

John 1:49-51:  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto himBecause I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

The last reference is particularly significant.  He identified Jacob’s Ladder (Gen. 28:10-12) as a type of Himself.    The Devil has done everything possible to destroy the connection established by Jesus Christ in Himself with fallen humanity.  I close with the quotation of a profound insight of Elder Grotheer, from one of the last issues of WWN online:

It was Zophar who asked, "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? (Job 11:7).  We do not need to speculate at this point, although it could be done. It might be best to note what information God in the Scriptures has permitted to come from behind the "wall of eternity." First, God does have a Son. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We need to distinguish between Christ, the Son of God of the Spirit ["God is Spirit" John 4:24] and who became that Son by decree (Ps. 2:7); and Jesus, the Son of God of the flesh who became that Son by the incarnation (Luke 1:35). Could it be that that decree was a factor in the enmity Lucifer had for Christ even as the incarnation is a factor in the salvation of man? (Rom. 3:25-26).  (WWN Thought for the Month, January, 2007, pp. 1-2; emphasis added)

I trust that I have convincingly answered the questions that you asked about the devilish nature of the dogma/doctrine of the Trinity.

Very sincerely,

Eric Jones


[1] Here we see an interesting example of the depth of Elder Grotheer’s scholarship.  Hebrew Lexicons such as Brown-Driver-Briggs and Strong’s supply the Hebrew Elohim in the Shema.  However, every Jewish website which quotes the Shema uses the word Eloheynu.  There is an example on the adventistlaymen.com website in the document “POINTS TO PONDER ABOUT THE GODHEAD.”  The hyperlink appears on the Home Page.  The significance of the substitution of Elohim for Elohenu can be seen in the following definition from Strong’s:

“. . gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God . .”

This is also known as the majestic plural (for example, a monarch of England will refer to himself/herself as “We”.)

[2] Isa. 44:6 and Zech. 6:12-13 support the linguistic translation of the Shema.  The word echad explains the kind of oneness that existed in the Godhead.  It was a oneness in duality.  This oneness in duality became oneness as a Trio after the Incarnation.

 


From: [[NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:59 PM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

Hi brother,
 
Do you think you will send me the last part of my question any time soon?
Thank you,
[NF]

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 18:48:06 -0800

Hello Sister [NF]:

I am not at this point replying in substance to this e-mail and the one that followed.  At present I am only requesting clarification of your reference to “the last part of my question.”  I thought that I had replied to the question “what is Sister White referring to when she is using the ‘Heavenly Trio.’”  Do you want me to address the question again, demonstrating the connection between that term and what I wrote concerning the Godhead since the Incarnation?

Your two e-mails raise questions of major proportions; and I will reply in substance after you confirm your impression that my earlier e-mails have not answered that last question adequately.

Best wishes,

Eric Jones

From: [NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 7:24 PM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

Good evening,
 
I understand the Godhead concept better, but still much prayer is needed to get an even clearer understanding. I will be studying furthermore the answer you sent me on Nov 24th. Thank you for your time.
 
Best wishes,
[NF]*

From: [NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 4:49 PM
To: Eric from adventist laymen; Eric(SDA response to my question) A. Jones
Subject: Hi

Hello brother Eric,
 
I have been reading and studying  earnestly these last few days. I came across this text and would like to share it with you.
 
May God bless us and lead us has we study His word.

[NF]

MR No. 81 - God's Rebuke to Laodicea
     [Release requested for use in the Review and Herald.]  {1MR 348.1}
     Those who have published the "Loud Cry" tract have not consulted me upon the subject. They have quoted largely from my writings and put their own construction upon them. They claim to have a special message from God to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, proclaim her fall, and call the people of God to come out of her, and try to make the testimonies substantiate their theory. These publications are misleading minds, and increasing the prejudice already existing, and tend to make it more difficult to get access to them to present the message God has given in warnings to the world of altogether a different character from the ideas presented in these pamphlets.  {1MR 348.2}
     I arose at half-past two o'clock; I could not sleep; the burden was upon me. The history of the children of Israel urged itself upon my mind, and many points were so clearly pressed upon me that I dared not keep silent. I wrote twenty-three pages between three o'clock and half past twelve o'clock. My spirit was stirred within me. I felt a burden for the people of God, not only on account of this one production, but because of many such matters which are coming to the people, claiming to be messages from God. "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20).  {1MR 348.3}
     A number of these pamphlets came to the post office, with instruction to the postmaster to hand them to Seventh-day Adventists. The people of Wellington are full of prejudice. The circulation of D. M. Canright's falsehoods has created prejudice, making it next to impossible to reach
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the people, and everything of this character creates the suspicion that we are working under cover. These pamphlets and telegraph dispatches from Brother C are of a character to confirm these suspicions. All these things are closing the doors of the people against us. The way is being hedged up by just such things.  {1MR 348.4}
     These men who think they are doing God service are working on the enemy's side, not on God's side. Yesterday I sent twenty-three pages of manuscript to Melbourne to be prepared for circulation among our people. Prior to this I sent a number of pages treating on the same subject. It will not be prepared to go in this month's mail.  {1MR 349.1}
     A little leaven of false doctrine, under the inspiration of Satanic agencies, may work much harm to those who are not rooted and grounded and unmovable in present truth. No one can be safe now unless riveted to the eternal Rock. We have every reason to be grateful and trustful in God. The Lord Jesus knoweth them that are His. He died to save a lost world, and He is gathering out from it an army to serve under His banner. And He will present to Himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.  {1MR 349.2}
     Christ Speaks to Laodicea.--I understood that both these men were at the General Conference [held in Battle Creek, February 17 - March 6, 1893], that is, S and C. Could they not discern there the revealings of the Spirit of God? Could they not see that God was opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing? Why was this? Testimonies had been given correcting and counseling the church and many had made a practical application of the message to the Laodicean Church, and were confessing their sins and repenting in contrition of soul. They were hearing the voice of Jesus, the heavenly Merchantman, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man
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hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).  {1MR 349.3}
     These brethren who claimed to have this wonderful light had the very same work of repentance and confession to do, thus clearing the rubbish from the door of their own hearts, and opening the door of their hearts to welcome the heavenly guest. Had they placed themselves in the channel of light, they would have received the most precious blessings from heaven. They would have seen that the Lord was indeed gracious, manifesting Himself to His people, and that the Sun of Righteousness had risen upon them. This was precious merchandizing actively carried on. The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon, and all who were feeling their poverty were buying gold (faith and love), white raiment (the righteousness of Christ), and eye salve (true spiritual discernment).  {1MR 350.1}
     Why did not these brethren fall into line, and place themselves in the channel of light? They were poverty stricken and knew it not. They were not working in Christ's lines, were not softened and subdued by His Holy Spirit, and were so blinded that they could not see the strong beams of light that were coming from the throne of God upon His people. They heard not the voice of the true Shepherd. They were listening to the voice of a stranger.  {1MR 350.2}
     When I consider the infirmities of these misled brethren, I feel deep sorrow of heart that they did not plead with God, "Bless me, O God bless, now I see my error. Thou art communicating to Thy people the richest truths ever committed to mortals. These people are not Babylon; for Thou hast given to them righteousness and peace; and Thy joy, that their joy may be full." Oh why did they not open the door of their heart to Jesus? Why not have removed right there all that obstructs the bright beams of the
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Sun of Righteousness that they might shine to the world? While God's blessing was penetrating everywhere, while His presence was consecrating and sanctifying souls unto Himself, why did they not place their souls in the channel of light? It was because Satan had cast his hellish shadow athwart their pathway to obstruct every ray of light.  {1MR 350.3}
     The Work of Satan.--How could they come from that meeting where the power of God was revealed in so marked a manner, and proclaim that the loud cry was that the commandment-keeping people were Babylon. Satan was saying that same thing to Christ when Joshua stood before the angel. Satan was declaring his sins to be so great that he should not be restrained from destroying him. The words of Christ are applicable to these brethren, and to all who advance similar sentiments. "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel" (Zechariah 2:2,3). Who clothed him with filthy garments? "And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (Zechariah 2:4-7). The work of Satan is to cover the repentant, believing, commandment-keeping people of God with defiling garments; Jesus Christ commands them to be clothed with His
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righteousness, garments woven in the loom of heaven.  {1MR 351.1}
     Distinguished by Dishonorable Methods.--What have our brethren S and C been doing? If they had been commissioned of God to do this work they would not need to appropriate the writings of Sister White, without consulting her or saying a word to her. If they have so large confidence in the work the Lord has given her to do, why did not they advise with her, and see if this wonderful message was in accordance with the instruction given her of the Lord? Why did they not have wisdom to go the right way to work?  {1MR 352.1}
     But theirs is a spurious message, of the same character of similar messages that men have claimed to have of the Lord. It is not as the bright shining of a candle lighted from the divine altar. When the Lord gives His people light it is light. It is not darkness and error, leading directly away from the true light which God has sent to strengthen and bless, and give hope to His people. These men had no right to appropriate the Lord's goods entrusted to His humble servant to trade upon and improve by trading upon them, and to place them in the framework of their errors, making it appear that it was the voice of God from heaven giving the "Loud Cry" that the church, His chosen people, who are keeping His commandments, are Babylon, and His people are called to come out of her.  {1MR 352.2}
     My Work to Save Souls.--I have no such message to give; but one of an entirely different character. My work is to seek to save lost, perishing souls, and to teach them as did Paul, who says, "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take
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heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:20-21; 26-29).  {1MR 352.3}
     Men Speaking Perverse Things.--Now he brings before them another class: "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears" (Acts 20:30-31).  {1MR 353.1}
     In all ages of the world there have been men who think they have a work to do for the Lord, and show no respect for those whom the Lord has been using. They do not make right applications of Scripture, they wrest the Scriptures to sustain their own ideas. Whatever may be the claims of those who draw away from the body to proclaim theories of their own invention, they are in Satan's service, to get up some new device to divert souls from the truth for this time.  {1MR 353.2}
     The Light of the World.--Beware of those who arise with a great burden to denounce the church. The chosen ones who are standing and breasting the storm of opposition from the world, and are uplifting the down-trodden commandments of God to exalt them as honorable and holy, are indeed the light of the world.  {1MR 353.3}
     How dare mortal man pass his judgment upon them, and call the church a harlot, Babylon, a den of thieves, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, the habitation of devils, making the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, confederating with the kings and great men of the earth, waxing
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rich through the abundance of her delicacies, and proclaiming that her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities? Is this the message we have to bear to the Seventh-day Adventists? I tell you, No! God has given no man any such message. Let these men humble their hearts before God, and in true contrition repent that they have even for a time stood by the side of the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night. . . .  {1MR 353.4}
     It seems almost impossible that anyone who had a genuine experience in the faith should suggest such erroneous applications of Scripture as applicable to God's commandment-keeping people. Supposing this spurious message is the one everyone must hear for this time, "Come out of her My people," where shall we go to? Where shall we find the purity, goodness, and holiness where we shall be secure? Where is the fold where no wolves will enter?  {1MR 354.1}
     I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom He will work. There may be more than a score of Judases among them; there may be a rash Peter who will under circumstances of trial deny his Lord; there may be persons represented by John who Jesus loved, but he may have a zeal that would destroy men's lives by calling down fire from heaven upon them to revenge an insult to Christ and to the truth. But the great Teacher seeks to give lessons of instruction to correct these existing evils. He is doing the same today with His church. He is pointing out their dangers. He is presenting before them the Laodicean message.  {1MR 354.2}
     He shows them that all selfishness, all pride, all self-exaltation, all unbelief and prejudice, are dangerous, and unless repented of, those who cherish these things will be left in darkness as was the Jewish nation. Let every soul now seek to answer the prayer of Christ.
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Let every soul echo that prayer in mind, in petitions, in exhortations, that they all may be one even as Christ is one with the Father, and work to this end. In the place of turning the weapons of warfare within our own ranks, let them be turned against the enemies of God and of the truth. Echo the prayer of Christ with your whole heart: "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. . . .I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:11,15). Also this prayer which He offers to interpret the process through which His followers are sanctified, "Sanctify them through thy truth" (John 17:17).  {1MR 354.3}
     The Church in Unity.--The door of the heart must be opened to the Holy Spirit, for this is the sanctifier, and the truth is the medium. There must be an acceptance of the truth as it is in Jesus. This is the only genuine sanctification: "Thy word is truth." Oh read the prayer of Christ for unity, "Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are" (John 17:11). The prayer of Christ is not only for those who are now His disciples, but for all those who shall believe on Christ through the words of His disciples, even to the end of the world. Jesus was just about to yield up His life to bring life and immortality to light. Christ, amid His sufferings, and being daily rejected of men, looks down the lines two thousand years to His church which would be in existence in the last days, before the close of this earth's history.  {1MR 355.1}
     The Lord has had a church from that day, through all the changing scenes of time to the present period, 1893. The Bible sets before us a model church. They are to be in unity with each other, and with God. When believers are united to Christ the living vine, the result is that they are
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one with Christ, full of sympathy and tenderness and love. When anyone is drawing apart from the organized body of God's commandment-keeping people, when he begins to weigh the church in his human scales, and begins to pronounce judgment against them, then you may know that God is not leading him. He is on the wrong track.  {1MR 355.2}
     Constantly, men and women are arising who become restless and uneasy, who want to set up some new contrivance; to do some wonderful thing. Satan watches his opportunity to give them something to do in his line. God has given to every man his work. There are opportunities and privileges in the church to help those who are ready to die, and to inspire the church with zeal, but not to tear the church to pieces. There are plenty of opportunities in the church to walk in Christ's lines. If the heart is full of zeal to press on to a deeper sanctification and holiness, then work in that line in all humbleness and devotedness. The church needs freshness and the inspiration of men who breathe in the very atmosphere of heaven, to vitalize the church, notwithstanding the tares among the wheat.  {1MR 356.1}
     Laborers Together With God.--If good men and humble men will take up their duty just where it is, to help those who are ready to die, they will be a great blessing to the church. There are unconverted men in the church, and if those who are so longing to show their zeal for the Lord will seek these poor souls and work with patience and perseverance to win them to Jesus, God would work with them. "We are labourers together with God" (1 Corinthians 2:9), not to tear down and destroy, but to restore. "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way" (Hebrews 12:13). There is an abundance of work that is needed to be done in home missions, and in exercising the talents God has given us, for wise improvement. We may become skillful as a tradesman in His business
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by practice. We want to become skillful in the trade of working to bless souls, learning to save souls. This requires prayer, and earnest, persevering effort, and a willingness to work in a humble way.  {1MR 356.2}
     If the money that has been needlessly expended in the doing of works that God has not sent men to do at all, had been employed economically in ways that are simple and safe for the progress and upbuilding of Christ's kingdom in the world, instead of helping Satan to cast upon the kingdom of Christ reproach, and clothing His church with filthy garments as Satan is doing, and urging them into false positions by using the reproofs and corrections that God has given them to show them their sin; what a great work would have been laid upon the foundation stone.  {1MR 357.1}
     "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:12). I would caution all believers to learn to maintain a godly jealousy over yourselves, lest Satan shall steal your heart away from God, and you slip unconsciously into work in Satan's lines, without perceiving that you have changed leaders, and be found in the treacherous power of a tyrant.  {1MR 357.2}
     We are as a church to be wide awake, and to work for the erring among us, as laborers together with God. We are furnished with spiritual weapons, mighty to the pulling down of the fortress of the enemy. We are not to hurl the thunderbolts against the church of Christ militant; for Satan is doing all he possibly can on this line, and you who claim to be the remnant of the people of God had better not be found helping him, denouncing, accusing and condemning. Seek to restore, not to tear down, discourage and destroy.--Ms 21, 1893, pp. 1-10. (Untitled manuscript, June 12, 1893.)
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 {1MR 357.3}
     Words of Counsel for Commandment-Keeping People of God.--Your letter addressed to me was received at the beginning of the Sabbath. . . . I should advise you to attend the school, and not to leave this country until you become thoroughly settled in your mind as to what is truth. I sincerely hope that you will attend this term of school and learn all you can in regard to this message of truth that is to go to the world.  {1MR 358.1}
     The Lord has not given you a message to call the Seventh-day Adventists Babylon, and to call the people of God to come out of her. All the reasons you may present cannot have weight with me on this subject; because the Lord has given me decided light that is opposed to such a message.  {1MR 358.2}
     I do not doubt your sincerity or honesty. I have written long letters at different times to those who were accusing the church of Seventh-day Adventists of being Babylon, that they were not handling the truth. You think individuals have prejudiced my mind. If I am in this state, I am not fitted to be entrusted with the work of God. But this matter has been brought before my mind in other cases where individuals have claimed to have messages for the Seventh-day Adventist church, of a similar character, and the word has been given me, "Believe them not" (Jeremiah 12:6). "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran" (Jeremiah 23:21).  {1MR 358.3}
     A Few Cases Recalled.--A few years since, a man named B, of Red Bluff, California, came to me to deliver his message. He said it was the loud cry of the third angel which was to lighten the earth with his glory. He thought God had passed all the leading workers and given him the message. I attempted to show him that he was mistaken. He said Seventh-day Adventists were Babylon, and when we told him our reasons and set the matter before him, that he was in error, he had great power come upon him, and he certainly gave a loud cry. . . . We had much trouble with him; his mind became
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unbalanced, and he had to be placed in the insane asylum.  {1MR 358.4}
     One, C, advocated and published a message in regard to the loud cry of the third angel; he accused the church in a similar manner to what you are now doing. He said the leaders in the church would all fall through self-exaltation, and another class of humble men would come to the front, who would do wonderful things.  {1MR 359.1}
     This C is an intelligent man, of an acceptable address, and self-denying and full of zeal and earnestness, and carrying an appearance of consecration and devotion. But the word of God came from God to me, "Believe them not, I have not sent them!"  {1MR 359.2}
     He claimed to believe the testimonies. He claimed them to be true, and used them in the same manner you have used them to give force and appearance of truth to his claims. I told them this message was not of God; but it was deceiving the unwary. He would not be convinced. . . .  {1MR 359.3}
     If ever a man that I looked upon was inspired, this man certainly was; but I told him plainly his inspiration was of Satan, not of God. His message bore not the divine credentials.  {1MR 359.4}
     In order for him to give this message broadcast to the world, he made an honest, conscientious, young man believe it to be his duty to steal the Review and Herald list. This is a state prison crime, and the young man ran away from Battle Creek. He did not dare return to Battle Creek for some time. The time was set by this fanatical teacher for probation to close, and as every prediction failed, the young man saw he had been deceived, and he confessed his sin and is now an honorable member of the Battle Creek church.  {1MR 359.5}
     Only two years since, another man, by the name of D, from Connecticut, came out with a message which he called new light in regard to the message of the third angel. This intelligent family have, through this delusion,
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separated from the Seventh-day Adventist church. Because I had borne a decided testimony against this new light, so called, in_____, Connecticut, where he lived, he opposed me and my work and testimonies.  {1MR 359.6}
     The father of the D children attended the Conference and Ministers' Bible Institute held in Battle Creek; but he held himself aloof and did not harmonize with the spirit of the meeting. He left for his home, and began to leaven the little church in_____. If I had not labored in that place they might have broken up the whole church with their repudiating the truth and position of Seventh-day Adventists, and Mrs. White in particular.  {1MR 360.1}
     At this same time, one, Mrs. E, came from Washington, D. C., claiming to be wholly sanctified and to have the power of healing. This spirit led many to become bewildered. The same accusing spirit was with them--that is, that the church was all wrong and God was calling out a people who would work miracles. A large class of our people in Battle Creek were being severed. I was moved upon by the Spirit of God, in the night season, to write to our people in Battle Creek.  {1MR 360.2}
     The Message to the Laodiceans.--God is leading out a people. He has a chosen people, a church on the earth, whom He has made the depositaries of His law. He has committed to them sacred trust and eternal truth to be given to the world. He would reprove and correct them. The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to Seventh-day Adventists who have had great light and have not walked in the light. It is those who have made great profession, but have not kept in step with their Leader, that will be spewed out of His mouth unless they repent. The message to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God.
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 {1MR 360.3}
     The True Witness says, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:18-21).  {1MR 361.1}
     "I Rebuke and Chasten".--Jesus is coming in to give the individual members of the church the richest blessings, if they will open the door to Him. He does not once call them Babylon, nor ask them to come out. But He says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Revelation 3:19), (with messages of reproof and warning). These reproofs I am not ignorant of. I have given warnings because the Spirit of the Lord has constrained me to do so, and have uttered reproofs because the Lord has given me words of reproof. I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God, which has been given me for the church.  {1MR 361.2}
     I will say in the fear and love of God, I know the Lord has thoughts of love and mercy to restore and heal them of all their backslidings. He has a work for His church to do. They are not to be pronounced Babylon, but to be as the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are to be the living messengers to proclaim a living message in these last days.  {1MR 361.3}
     Babylon of Revelation 18.--[Revelation 18:1-8 is quoted.] The whole chapter shows that Babylon that has fallen is the churches who will not receive the messages of warning the Lord has given in the first, second, and third angel's messages. They refused the truth and accepted a lie.
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They refused the messages of truth. See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The message in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is plain and clearly defined. "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:3). Anyone who reads this chapter need not be deceived.  {1MR 361.4}
     How Satan would exult to have a message go broadcast that the only people whom God has made the repositories of His law are the ones to whom this message applies. The wine of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious Sabbath above the Sabbath which the Lord Jehovah hath blessed and sanctified for the use of man, also the immortality of the soul. These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings, merchants, rulers, and religious teachers are all in corrupt harmony.  {1MR 362.1}
     The Church Not to be Broken Up.--Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to naught.  {1MR 362.2}
     There is in some of the members of the church, pride, self-sufficiency, stubborn unbelief, and a refusing to yield their ideas, although evidence
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may be piled upon evidence which makes the message to the Laodicean church applicable. But that will not blot out the church that it will not exist. Let both tares and wheat grow together until the harvest. Then it is the angels that do the work of separation.  {1MR 362.3}
     I warn the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be careful how you receive every new notion and those who claim to have great light. The character of their work seems to be to accuse and to tear down.  {1MR 363.1}
     My brother, I would say to you, Be careful. Go not one step farther in the path you have entered upon. Walk in the light "while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you" (John 12:35).  {1MR 363.2}
     You complain of being treated coldly in Battle Creek. Did you go with a humble spirit to those who are spiritual and say, "Will you examine the Scriptures with me? Shall we pray over this matter? I have not the light, I want it; for error will never sanctify the soul." Can you be surprised that they would not give you all that confidence you might think they should, after the experience they have passed through? Should not the words of Christ have any weight? "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15). "Lo here and lo there is Christ," will be multiplied. Let the believers heed the voice of the angel who has said to the church, "Press together." In unity is your strength. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. God hath a church, and Christ hath declared, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The messengers the Lord sends bear the divine credentials. I have tender feelings toward you, but come to the light, I beseech of you.--Letter 16, 1893, pp. 1-7. (To a brother in Australia, June 11, 1893.)
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 {1MR 363.3}
     Holy Spirit Will Work With Power.--We have the assurance that in this age of the world the Holy Spirit will work with mighty power, unless by our unbelief we limit our blessings, and thus lose the advantages we might obtain. . . .  {1MR 364.1}
     In times past holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In ancient times the prophets searched what the Spirit of God which was in them signified. The Spirit was not then given in power because Jesus was not yet glorified. Dating from the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was to be poured forth on sons and daughters, on servants and handmaidens. In every hill country, every lowland, every valley, humble workmen for the Lord are to be raised up. The divine, sacred influence of the Holy Spirit working in our world is to be as signs and wonders, because God's people are a peculiar people, an holy nation, shining amid moral darkness as living stones in the Lord's building. The weakest and feeblest, if they exercise faith in God, and improve their entrusted powers, will be elevated, refined and perfected in character under the Holy Spirit's working. Humble and contrite, they submit to the molding and fashioning of the Spirit, and they will know what His eternal fullness means.  {1MR 364.2}
     Need for Enlarged Faith.--We need an enlarged faith. The Lord desires His will to be done in the hearts of all who believe in Him. But many who might be laborers together with God will never be, because they cling to their imperfections of character. One clings to a cherished fault. Still another enjoys his hereditary and cultivated defects, and makes it his life work to build himself up and glorify himself, until at last he is found to be filled, not with the Holy Spirit, but with self.  {1MR 364.3}
     The great day of the Lord is right upon us, and God calls for messengers who will be worked by the Holy Spirit, who will not want to work the
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Spirit. Such messengers will be guided by the Spirit, molded, refined, and beautified in righteousness because they are willing to be worked. But those who are satisfied to carry with them a vast amount of selfishness, fault-finding, suspicion, distrust, and strife, will be so deceived that they will not know their short measurement. They are filled with their own doings. They have not the least idea of what it means to be crucified with Christ. To humble self is an experience strange to them. Before they can serve God acceptably, self must die. Christ's words, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7), "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3), must come home to them with power.  {1MR 364.4}
     Nicodemus, to whom these words were addressed, was a master in Israel, a member of the Sanhedrin; and a learned counselor. Yet when Christ told him of the new birth, he said, "How can these things be?" (John 3:9). Christ answered, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" (John 3:10). [John 3:11-16 is quoted.]  {1MR 365.1}
     Why do we not have more of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul? There is a work to be done in every one of our institutions. Genuine conversion is needed, conversion of heart, mind, soul, and body. Self should die daily. Said the great apostle, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 9:3-5). Into this work every individual needs to put all the intensity of his entire being. Personal religious experience is needed in every church. Why? Because those who are not under the working of the Holy Spirit will not stand amid the perils of the last days.
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 {1MR 365.2}
     Need for Conversion.--Genuine conversion is needed. . . . God's Word declares, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth" (2 Corinthians 10:17-18). The success of the ministry of Elias was not due to any inherited qualities he possessed, but to the submission of himself to the Holy Spirit, which was given to him as it will be given to all who exercise living faith in God. In his imperfection man has the privilege of linking himself up with God through Jesus Christ.  {1MR 366.1}
     Candidly and seriously we are to consider the question, Have we humbled ourselves before God, that the Holy Spirit may work through us with transforming power? As children of God, it is our privilege to be worked by His Spirit. When self is crucified, the Holy Spirit takes the broken-hearted ones, and makes them vessels unto honor. They are in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter. Jesus Christ will make such men and women superior in mental, physical, and moral power. The graces of the Spirit will give solidity to the character. They will exert an influence for good because Christ is abiding in the soul.  {1MR 366.2}
     Unless this converting power shall go through our churches, unless the revival of the Spirit of God shall come, all their profession will never make the members of the church Christians. There are sinners in Zion who need to repent of sins that have been cherished as precious treasures. Until these sins are seen, and thrust from the soul, until every faulty, unlovely trait of character is transformed by the Spirit's influence, God cannot manifest Himself in power. There is more hope for the open sinner than for the professedly righteous who are not pure, holy, and undefiled.--
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 {1MR 366.3}
     Receive the Holy Spirit in Fullness.--I am instructed to bear a message to those who minister by holding forth the Word of God to others. You must be converted. This is surely what you need. The spiritual anointing of the Lord will never come to self-sufficient men and women. Many who are in God's service, proclaiming the truth by pen and voice, are not worked by the Holy Spirit. Self has grown to large proportions. Until the soul is emptied of self and the Holy Spirit takes possession, you will be unready for the coming of Christ. You will certainly be weighed in the golden scales of the heavenly sanctuary and be found wanting.  {1MR 367.1}
     God's promise is to us and to our children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. We may claim this promise for ourselves, and receive the Holy Spirit in His fullness. Then shall not we who preach the word be clothed with the power of God? Shall we not be in truth His messengers? . . .  {1MR 367.2}
     Who is willing to take himself in hand? Who is willing to lay his finger upon his cherished idols of sin, and allow Christ to purify the temple by casting out the buyers and sellers? Who is prepared to allow Jesus to enter the soul and cleanse it from everything that tarnishes or corrupts? The standard is, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). God calls upon men and women to empty their hearts of self. Then His Spirit can find unobstructed entrance. Stop trying to do the work yourself. Ask God to work in and through you until the words of the apostle become yours, "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).  {1MR 367.3}
     The whole being must hunger and thirst after righteousness. The soul's desire must be to be drawn to God, to be bent in perfect conformity to His will. Then the cold, hard heart will be melted by the grace and love of
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God, which appear in power. God will be glorified through the human instrumentalities. Self is the great hindrance to this work. . . .  {1MR 367.4}
     [James 4:1-10 and James 3:14-18 are quoted.]  {1MR 368.1}
     These lessons every church member should learn. There is need of close self-examination in the light of the Word of God, that we may do the work essential to be done.  {1MR 368.2}
     Having complied with the Word of God, do not depend on your feelings for evidence of acceptance with God. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). If you have complied with the conditions, believe God, whether or not you feel any different. Christ declared, "As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. . . . If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love" (John 14:31; 15:10). Let all who understand the abiding claims of the law of God, yield implicit obedience to every requirement given in the Word. The convictions of the Holy Spirit are warnings which it is dangerous to disregard.  {1MR 368.3}
     The Two Houses.--Christ declares that those who do His words are like a man who built his house upon a rock. This house the tempest and flood could not sweep away. Those who do not do Christ's words are like the man who built his house upon the sand. Storm and tempest beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. It was an entire wreck. The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law, is seen in the wrecked house. Those who make a profession while failing to obey cannot stand the storm of temptation. One act of disobedience weakens the power to see the sinfulness of the second act. One little disregard of a "Thus saith the Lord" is sufficient to
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stop the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit. By disobedience the light once so precious becomes obscure. Satan takes of the mind and soul, and God is greatly dishonored.  {1MR 368.4}
     "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword" (Isaiah 1:19-20). These words are true. Exact obedience is required, and those who say that it is not possible to live a perfect life throw upon God the imputation of injustice and untruth.  {1MR 369.1}
     "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). A neglect to feed the hunger of the soul leaves it weak and strengthless, unable to do the will of God. The life of such a one is like the barren fig tree, destitute of fruit. Rely upon no human being for words of comfort. Seek the Lord most earnestly, while you read His rich promises and apply them. Then you will not be consumers but providers.  {1MR 369.2}
     The indwelling Saviour is always revealed by the words. The Holy Spirit does not abide in the heart of the man who is peevish if others do not grasp his ideas and plans, which appear to him to be the sum and substance of everything desirable. From the lips of such a man there come scathing remarks, which grieve the Holy Spirit away, and produce attributes which are Satanic rather than divine. The Lord would have those connected with His work speak at all times with the meekness of Christ. If you are provoked, do not become impatient. Manifest the gentleness of which Christ has given an example in His precious life. Christ took our nature that He might set us an example, showing those who receive Him the fruit they must bear.
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 {1MR 369.3}
     The Lord requires those who serve Him to show by word and action that they are sons of God. To show by the daily life that we are members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, is of more value in God's sight than all learning, all wisdom, all high attainments. Any other course of action is dishonesty to the family of God, and will certainly be divorced from it.  {1MR 370.1}
     When a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a true representative of Christ in word, in spirit, in action. Christ declares, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). What is the promise to every true believer? "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8). Might we not better, my brethren and sisters, take ourselves to task for our unlikeness to Christ? He says, "Ye are my witnesses" (Isaiah 43:10). What kind of witnesses are we for truth and righteousness? Are we striving with all our God-given powers to reach the measure of the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever reaching higher and higher, trying to attain to the perfection of His character?  {1MR 370.2}
     When God's servants reach this point, they will be sealed in their foreheads. The recording angel will declare, "It is done." They will be complete in Him whose they are by creation and by redemption.  {1MR 370.3}
     No Life Without Growth.--There is nothing in the natural world that has life but what grows and produces fruit. And in the spiritual world there is no life without growth in grace. Spiritual impulse is not growth. Impulse is feeling, and to depend on feeling is to be as changeful as
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circumstances. The professed Christian who does not draw life from Christ's life is not a doer of the Word. He is a paralyzed member, only connected in name with the body. At times fitful, convulsive movements will be seen, with no permanent activity. Let no one think that the grace of Christ inspires these shortlived, impulsive actions.  {1MR 370.4}
     Many people are the subjects of impressions which are not reliable. Many have what they think are good impressions, wonderful exaltation of feeling, but the life does not represent an abiding Christ. They do not draw life from the Source of all life. They are not drinking of the living Water, which springs up into eternal life. God's grace is the living water of which we must drink. It quickens the whole being into spiritual life, the life of the Son of God.  {1MR 371.1}
     Personal religion means perfect conforming to the life of Christ. When we possess this religion, we shall show sound, spiritual growth, because we are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the Lord's vineyard. We must be laborers together with God, else we shall fail in the work of overcoming, and our irreligious influence will cause other souls to fail. No soul is lost that does not draw other souls down with it. Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from all iniquity, that Christ may not be ashamed of us.  {1MR 371.2}
     In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I appeal to church members to arise and closely criticize themselves. Feel that this work is so important that you cannot engage in criticizing others. Reveal an indwelling Saviour. Then you will understand what it means to be a true missionary. You will bring a Christlike intensity into your work, and many souls will be saved through your earnest prayers and interested labors. Ms 148, 1899, pp. 2-14. ("The Need of Self-Surrender," October 8, 1899.)

From: [NF] [mailto:[NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 7:24 PM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

 

Good evening,
 
I understand the Godhead concept better, but still much prayer is needed to get an even clearer understanding. I will be studying furthermore the answer you sent me on Nov 24th. Thank you for your time.
 
Best wishes,
[NF]

 

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 14:20:19 -0800
Attachments:
What Constitutes Babylon

Hi [NF]:

You did not request a further statement from me on Ellen White’s use of the term “Heavenly Trio;” but it does appear that you still have a problem.  My guess is that, at least up to Thursday evening, you had not seen clearly that “Heavenly Trio” is not synonymous with the theological term “Trinity.”  I am going to address this issue again later in this message; but first I want to discuss the Manuscript Release quotation, with specific reference to whether or not the Seventh-day Adventist Church is “Babylon.”

First, it is essential in reading the Testimonies to heed Sister White’s counsel, “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered. . . .(1SM 57.2; emphasis added.)  Next, how is spiritual “Babylon” to be defined?  The book Questions on Doctrine is the one book that was pivotal in the changes of doctrine and prophetic interpretation that have occurred in the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the late 1950s.  It brought about a schism in the ranks of Adventism that can never be healed.  Paradoxically, this book is very sound on the subject of spiritual “Babylon” and the principles of prophetic interpretation.  Attached is the relevant chapter on “What Constitutes Babylon.”

Ellen G. White was absolutely correct that the Church was not Babylon in 1899.  She correctly addressed the testimony to “Laodicea.”  J. R. Zurcher, in his book Christ of the Revelation states:

Whatever the meaning given to the name Laodicea ─ “a judged people,” “judgment of the people,” “separation of the people,” “or rejection of the people” ─ it is always in relation to the final work of the church.  Therefore, the period represented by Laodicea began in 1844 at the beginning of the investigative judgment (See Dan. 8:14).  (P. 56.)        

The question is what becomes of Laodicea?  Jesus Christ is explicit in Rev. 3:16, whether you choose the rendering “will spue/spew” (KJV et al.) or “am about to vomit/spit” (YLT et. al.)  It was all dependent on whether or not the Church continued faithful (in Rev. 3:20 Jesus addresses the individual believer.)  Turning now to the Writings, the Messenger of the Lord has given us clear warnings of the ultimate fate of Laodicea.  The quotations are not in chronological date; but they are specific in terms of applicable time and place:

In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.  (8T, 247, “Shall We Be Found Wanting.”)

In that same testimony she quoted our Lord as follows:

I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot!' . . “  (Ibid. P. 250)

That was in 1903, within two weeks of the end of the General Conference session in which gross insubordination was demonstrated by the restoration of “kingly power” in the election of a GC president, thereby violating the counsel given to the Church through Sister White. Much earlier, in 1873 she wrote the following in the Testimony “The Laodicean Church”:

Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. (3T 267.1)
     But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” (3T 267.2; (emphasis added.)

Clearly linked to this Testimony was the one titled “The Seal of God,” written in 1882.  This Testimony begins with an enlarged quotation from Eze. 9.  In the heart of the Testimony are the following words:

Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.  (5T, P. 211; emphasis added.) . . .

Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of God's wrath have fallen upon the earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter.  (Ibid. P. 212; emphasis added.)

What Sister White is saying is that the first plague will fall on the Church.  That is a staggering thought!  Finally, the following explicit statement is found in “The Parable of the Ten Virgins,” a Review and Herald Article published on October 31, 1899:

The first, second, and third angels' messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

Many who went forth to meet the Bridegroom under the messages of the first and second angels, refused the third, the last testing message to be given to the world, and a similar position will be taken when the last call is made.  (Underlined and italicized emphasis added.)

Now, if you think that Great Controversy is the final word on the “Midnight Cry,” this last counsel from Sister White will be puzzling to you.  However, at a camp meeting held in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1895, she had inexplicably interjected the following statement:

My mind was carried to the future, when the signal will be given. "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." But some will have delayed to obtain the oil for replenishing their lamps, and too late they will find that character, which is represented by the oil, is not transferable. (RH, February 11, 1896 par. 6.)    

There you have it, as explicit as can be, and it is wholly consistent with the parable.  Take a look at it and you will see that there were two goings out, with all ten virgins slumbering and sleeping between the first and the second.  The second and final call is now.  Laodicea has become a harlot, a daughter of Babylon.  She is not Babylon, but has voluntarily gone into Babylonian captivity.  She is a part of Great Babylon (See attached document.)

Permit me to break off now, to write further on “the Heavenly Trio” later today or within the next few days; otherwise I run the risk of not getting this off to you today.

Praying “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17,)        

Eric Jones

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 9:54 PM
To: '[NF]'
Subject: The Trinity Doctrine

Hello Again Sister [NF]:

I wish that Ellen G. White had expressed herself with as great clarity on the doctrine of the Godhead as she did on the ultimate destiny of the Laodicean Church.  Alas, she did not.  I have to attempt an explanation of the term “the Heavenly Trio.”  Here is a full quotation:

There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.-- Evangelism, p. 615. (7ABC 441-442; original emphasis.)

Note (1) that Sister White is writing in the present tense.  This is the New Testament era; (2) that she is not saying that these Three are One God, and she does not mention a “Trinity” here or in any other statement.  She identifies the three great powers as “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  She uses the term “three living persons,” which can be seized upon by those who promote the concept of One God in Three Persons; however, it seems to me to be implicit in the use of the phrase “these three great powers” that she is not referring to one Being, but to three Beings.  Nevertheless, I have to acknowledge that what I see as implicit in the statement may be open to debate;  but remember the Roman Catholic formulation, which has to be the basis of the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine (both having the same theological roots,) even though modified by the latter:

Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.  (Bold and underlined emphasis added.)

When we turn to the other statements on the three powers that have been collected by the White Estate, the question becomes more complicated in relation to two of them.  I am going to set them all out, numbered for easy reference:

1.         There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.-- Evangelism, p. 615. (7ABC 441-442)

2.         The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.--Counsels on Health, p. 222. {7ABC 442.1}

3.         Those who proclaim the third angel's message must put on the whole armor of God, that they may stand boldly at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, resisting the enemy with the word, "It is written." Keep yourselves where the three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, can be your efficiency. These powers work with the one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The strength of heaven is at the command of God's believing ones. The man who takes God as his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall.--The Southern Watchman, Feb. 23, 1904, p. 122. {7ABC 442.2}

4.         Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfilment of the covenant that God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, with His Son, and with His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then co-operate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of righteousness.--The Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901. {7ABC 442.3}

5.         The eternal heavenly dignitaries--God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit--arming them [the disciples] with more than mortal energy, . . . would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.--Evangelism, p. 616. {7ABC 442.4}

6.         We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven, --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,--and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.-- Ibid., p. 617. {7ABC 442.5}

7.         Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly king.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 91. {7ABC 442.6}

All emphases are those of the compilers.

No. 2 is problematic; but who is to say that it does not refer to a post-Incarnation commitment.  No. 5 will definitely be seized upon by the Trinitarians as supporting their position; but note that the three powers of the New Testament are also eternal beings.  After all, He who had a beginning in Bethlehem, and is the Son by decree (Ps. 2:7; Heb. 1:5,) and the Son by the resurrection  (Rom. 1:4,) has declared of Himself, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen . . .” (Rev. 1:18.)  There is nothing in the statement that clearly embraces eternity before the Incarnation.  All of the other statements are clearly applicable to the New Testament revelation of the Godhead.  However, all of the above statements are relied on by the Church in support of the theological doctrine of “the Trinity.”  How can the issue be resolved with the certainty of sound doctrine?  The answer is: only from the Bible.

All of this raises the question of the authority of the Writings.  Regrettably, I find it necessary to belabor the point.  It is of the utmost importance to our clear understanding of all of Present Truth.  That same book Questions on Doctrine, from which I sent you the chapter on “Babylon,” contains another chapter on “Ellen G. White's writings and Their Relation to the Bible.”  There the following statement is made:

Seventh-day Adventists uniformly believe that the canon of Scripture closed with the book of Revelation. We hold that all other writings and teachings, from whatever source, are to be judged by, and are subject to, the Bible, which is the spring and norm of the Christian faith. We test the writings of Ellen G. White by the Bible, but in no sense do we test the Bible by her writings. Ellen G. White and others of our writers have gone on record again and again on this point. (QOD Pp. 89-90; emphasis added.)     

This is a sound statement of how we should resolve questions concerning statements in the Writings that are difficult to reconcile with the Bible.  In my earlier responses to your inquiries, I withheld perhaps the two strongest statements of Sister White on this point.  They should convince us to look to “the Bible and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrine”:

Brother J would confuse the mind by seeking to make it appear that the light God has given through the Testimonies is an addition to the Word of God, but in this he presents the matter in a false light. God has seen fit in this manner to bring the minds of His people to His Word, to give them a clearer understanding of it.
The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. . .
(3SM 30.6-31.1; emphasis supplied)

But don't you quote Sister White. I don't want you ever to quote Sister White until you get your vantage ground where you know where you are. Quote the Bible. Talk the Bible. It is full of meat, full of fatness. (SpM 174.1; emphasis supplied)

Lay Sister White right to one side: lay her to one side. . .  But here is the Word, the precious Word, exalted before you today. And don't you give a rap any more what "Sister White said"-- "Sister White said this," and "Sister White said that," and "Sister White said the other thing.". . . (SpM 167.2; emphasis supplied)

These are Sister White’s own words; but let me be very clear – it would be spiritual folly to ignore her testimonies, counsels, and reproofs to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  She could not have intended us to understand her in that way.  However, there were doctrinal controversies in which the opposing sides were vying for her support, and she would have none of it.  The conflict over “the Daily” is a classic example.  It is strange that many who look first to the Writings for expositions of doctrine are doing just that – ignoring testimonies such as those that I quoted in my last e-mail.  On doctrinal issues the Bible must be our first source of light and truth.  If the Writings are not consistent with clear Bible doctrines, then the Bible must prevail.  I think that this is also the tenor of the quotations which follow about the attitude of Ellen White’s fellow pioneers.  In Lesson 14 of Elder Grotheer’s Bible Study Guide, there is a section titled “Relationship Between Bible and Spiritual Gifts – How Viewed” in which he states the following:

In one of the early Reviews, James White, the Editor, discussed this issue because of accusations being brought against the Review. He wrote:

There is a class of persons who are determined to have it that the Review and its conductors make the visions of Mrs. White a Test of doctrine and christian fellowship. ...

What has the Review to do with Mrs. White's views? The sentiments published in its columns are all drawn from the Holy Scriptures. No writer of the Review has ever referred to them as an authority on any point. The Review for five years has not published one of them. Its motto has been, The Bible and the Bible alone, our only rule of faith and duty." Then why should these men charge the Revίew with being a supporter of Mrs. W's views?

Near the close of the article, James White, committed the Review to a specific policy relating to the Bible and the Writings. He wrote:

Now we shall go right along believing and teaching the word of the Lord. This is our business. And if we choose to believe Mrs. W's views which harmonize with the Word, this is our business and nobody's else. But if we should leave the word, and look for a rule of faith and duty by some new revelation, then it would be the business of the Church to silence me as a religious teacher. (Review, October 16, 1855, Emphasis his)

The historic Adventist view - the view of the pioneers who lived and worked with Ellen G. White - is clear and specific. The Bible is the rule of faith and doctrine. That Word teaches that in the last days, God will manifest Himself to His people through the gift of prophecy - not as a new revelation of truth, but for their comfort, correction, and edification. These early leaders also emphasized that the "visions" must harmonize with the Bible to be valid as from God, and not the personal view of the one to whom visions had been given. This was further emphasized by George I. Butler in an article on "The Visions." He wrote:

The majority of our people believe these visions to be a genuine manifestation of spiritual gifts, and as such to be entitled to respect. We do not hold them to be superior to the Bible, or in one sense equal to it. The Scriptures are our rule to test everything by, the visions as well as other things. That rule, therefore, is of the highest authority: the standard is higher than the thing tested by it. If the Bible would show the visions were not in harmony with it, the Bible would stand. . . (Review & Herald, August 14. 1883)

What more can I say?  I think that in the “heavenly Trio” statement Ellen White was referring to the Godhead revealed generally in the New Testament; but the Old Testament and John 1:1 clearly reveal two Gods, a duality, until the Incarnation.  If any of the Bible texts that I have quoted in the earlier e-mails are not clearly understood, please let me know.  We are dealing here with issues of eternity.  I can never be too busy to give your questions my attention.  Besides, I do enjoy putting it all together, and receive a blessing in the process.

And blessings to you in the study of the Bible,

Eric Jones


 From: [NF] [mailto:[NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 5:16 AM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

 

Hi brother Eric,
 
Thank you for the time you have taken to answer my questions. I see now that I have always understood the Heavenly Trio as 3 different persons. However, I wasn,t aware that the church was promoting the Trinity doctrine. I was wondering if the leaders of the church didn,t mean 3 Gods so united in thoughts that are like one God. What do you think of that?
 
Did you read the long quote I sent you? If so, I would appreciate it if you would comment on it.
 
This short quote is taken from the long one.
 
"I Rebuke and Chasten".--Jesus is coming in to give the individual members of the church the richest blessings, if they will open the door to Him. He does not once call them Babylon, nor ask them to come out. But He says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Revelation 3:19), (with messages of reproof and warning). These reproofs I am not ignorant of. I have given warnings because the Spirit of the Lord has constrained me to do so, and have uttered reproofs because the Lord has given me words of reproof. I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God, which has been given me for the church.  {1MR 361.2}
     I will say in the fear and love of God, I know the Lord has thoughts of love and mercy to restore and heal them of all their backslidings. He has a work for His church to do. They are not to be pronounced Babylon, but to be as the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are to be the living messengers to proclaim a living message in these last days.  {1MR 361.3}
     Babylon of Revelation 18.--[Revelation 18:1-8 is quoted.] The whole chapter shows that Babylon that has fallen is the churches who will not receive the messages of warning the Lord has given in the first, second, and third angel's messages. They refused the truth and accepted a lie.
                                                                            362
They refused the messages of truth. See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The message in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is plain and clearly defined. "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:3). Anyone who reads this chapter need not be deceived.  {1MR 361.4}
     How Satan would exult to have a message go broadcast that the only people whom God has made the repositories of His law are the ones to whom this message applies. The wine of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious Sabbath above the Sabbath which the Lord Jehovah hath blessed and sanctified for the use of man, also the immortality of the soul. These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings, merchants, rulers, and religious teachers are all in corrupt harmony.  {1MR 362.1}
     The Church Not to be Broken Up.--Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to naught.  {1MR 362.2}
     There is in some of the members of the church, pride, self-sufficiency, stubborn unbelief, and a refusing to yield their ideas, although evidence
                                                                            363
may be piled upon evidence which makes the message to the Laodicean church applicable. But that will not blot out the church that it will not exist. Let both tares and wheat grow together until the harvest. Then it is the angels that do the work of separation.  {1MR 362.3}
     I warn the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be careful how you receive every new notion and those who claim to have great light. The character of their work seems to be to accuse and to tear down.  {1MR 363.1}

 
Thank you for your precious time brother.
Blessings from Québec, Canada,
 
[NF]

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
To: [NF]@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 14:08:59 -0800
Attachments:
Letter to Pastor

Hello Sister [NF]:

In reply to your first question, I must point out that the contemporary SDA doctrine of the Trinity does indeed teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are Three Persons distinct one from the other; but so does the Roman Catholic dogma.  Under the heading “Dogma of the Trinity” the Catholic Encyclopedia Online states:

The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion -- the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another. . . Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.". . . the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal.  (Emphasis added.)

The key to detecting the false doctrine is in the word “unity” in the above statement.  The meaning is defined in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” as follows:

252 The Church uses (I) the term "substance" (rendered also at times by "essence" or "nature") to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term "person" or "hypostasis" to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term "relation" to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others. . .

253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.    (Emphasis added.)

Now I understand that the central point made above is that there is but One God, and He is One Being in three distinct persons.  The Wikipedia Encyclopedia supports this conclusion:

Trinity is the doctrine that God is one being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a mutual indwelling of three persons (not to be confused by "person"): the Father, the Son (incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth), and the Holy Spirit. Since the 4th century, in both Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity, this doctrine has been stated as "three persons in one God," all three of whom, as distinct and co-eternal persons, are of one indivisible Divine essence, a simple being.  (Hyperlinks left active in case you want to follow up; emphasis added.).)

This understanding is buttressed by a Protestant source.  The online Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry defines the Trinity as follows:

God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father.  They are not three gods and not three beings.  They are three distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. . . They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful.    (Emphasis added.)

That the last quotation is from a Protestant source is significant.  As much as the contemporary SDA Church wants to associate the statements of Ellen G. White with its adoption of the Trinitarian doctrine, it is based on the Roman Catholic/Protestant concept.  Furthermore, here is the “Fundamental Beliefs” Statement No. 2, voted at the 1980 General Conference Session:

2. Trinity:
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. . . (Emphasis added.) 

The evidence is irrefutable.  Rome declares, “. . . in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit . . . there are not three Gods but one God.". . . the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal;Protestantism echoes, “God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. . . They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful;contemporary Seventh-day Adventism re-echoes, “There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. . .”  It is all of one source.  The Church has drunk from the chalice containing the wine of Roman Babylon.  If all of its other contemporary doctrines were biblical Truth, this would still be the deadly potion that it is.  The harlotry is aggravated by the fact that the Church connects the Writings of Ellen G. White with this false doctrine; but in describing the Godhead she neither used the word “Trinity” nor the terminology of Trinitarianism.  In all of the Writings on the Ellen G. White Estate website, there are only two references to the “Trinity,” and neither of them is the language of Sister White.  One is an editorial introduction to the compilation of statements that are interpreted as Trinitarian.  The other is a paragraph heading in the book Evangelism, which is clearly a gloss on the text.  In the book A Prophet Among You, it is explained that after the compilation of statements from the Writings, “Brief paragraph headings were then chosen.”  The paragraph heading reflected the theology of the compilers only.  The “Trinity” and Trinitarian terminology were just not in the vocabulary used by Ellen G. White.

The Trinitarian doctrine that there is One God denies the biblical proof that there were Two Gods prior to the Incarnation – a duality, and Three Gods after the Incarnation, in Ellen G. White’s terminology - “the Heavenly Trio.”  The contention that Three Persons of the One God are co-eternal and co-equal negates the true humanity of the God-man.  The I AM in Jesus Christ is indeed co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father; but the human Jesus is not.  This is why He could make the following statements concerning Himself:

I can of mine own self do nothing . . . (John 5:30.)
My Father is greater than I . . . (John 14:28.)
And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent (John 17:3.)

The Apostle Paul said of the One who was in the form of God, that He “emptied Himself” (Gr. Phil. 2:7,) to take the form of man.  The doctrine of the Trinity thrusts a dagger through the heart of the “gospel of God . . . Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:1.)  Jesus Christ in His humanity was, after His ascension, highly exalted by God the Father (Phil. 2:9.)  It is because God the Word took part of flesh and blood that we who are “partakers of flesh and blood” (Heb. 2:14,) can now become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4.)  It is because God condescended to become truly man in the flesh that by faith in Jesus Christ the Father has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6, 8.)

As to your second question, I did read the long quote that you sent me.  I concluded that the relationship between the SDA Church and spiritual Babylon was central to the Testimony, and therefore focused on that in my reply, which was sent separately, and ahead of the one on the Trinity.  (Because you requested a reply to the long quote, I assumed that you had not received it, and attached a copy to this message [not included as an attachment in this document.]  Just now, before sending this e-mail, I happened to scroll down, and found that my response to the long quote is right below your current e-mail.  Nevertheless I am still sending the attachment, to which there is a Questions on Doctrine attachment which I hope you will review.  The question now is whether you received the last e-mail that I sent on the Trinity, as I assumed from your first question to which I have replied above?  I hope we can get this sorted out.)  I am also attaching a copy of a letter written to a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in 2002, which is a more than adequate response to the question(s) raised by your request for my comments on the short quotation.  It remains only for me to provide the quotations that I did not include in my letter to the Pastor.  While the vast majority of Ellen White’s references to separation between the wheat and the tares indicate the removal of the tares from the Church, the following quotations indicate the reverse; and with good reason, because of the drastic change in the condition of the Church since Sister White’s time:

Ellen G. White Estate

Last Day Events (1992), page 14, paragraph 2

Chapter Title: Earth's Last Crisis

Last Day Prophecies Demand Our Attention
I then saw the third angel [Revelation 14:9-11]. Said my accompanying angel, "Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention."--EW 118 (1854).

Supplement to the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (1854), page 38, paragraph 3

Chapter Title: To the Saints Scattered Abroad

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, "Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal or bind the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention."

Ellen G. White: The Early Years Volume 1 - 1827-1862, By Arthur L. White (1985) , page 290, paragraph 8

Chapter Title: (1854) Nurturing the Developing Church

Said the angel, "Fearful is the work of the third angel and awful is his mission. He is to select the wheat from the tares, and bind or seal the wheat for the heavenly garner."--Ibid.
(Emphasis added.)

The Writings speak very clearly.  It is understandable that our individual response is an agonizing one.  Here we encounter what Elder Grotheer has titled “The Loneliness of Truth” in one of his taped sermons.  Remember our Lord’s words:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  (Matt. 7:13-14.)

I want to close this message with the same quotation from the Bible as the one with which I closed my letter to the Pastor:

Heb 13:12 - Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Heb 13:13 - Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

May we be blessed with spiritual perception to discern between good and evil, and the courage to stand up for Truth, pure and unadulterated, which is the righteousness of Christ (TM 64.3).

Your brother in Christ,

Eric

From: [NF]@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 5:05 AM
To: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine

Hi  brother Eric,
 
Thank  you again for your precious time. I read everythng you sent me and it is still not clear to me what YOU believe. Has the sda churh become Babylon or not? From the quotes I read, I gather that you think so but you haven,t said it yourself.  If the chuch has become Babylon, then I assume from what I read that we ought to get out, right? If that is the case then, what do we do with this quote from sister White:

The Church Not to be Broken Up.--Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to naught.  {1MR 362.2}
     There is in some of the members of the church, pride, self-sufficiency, stubborn unbelief, and a refusing to yield their ideas, although evidence
                                                                            363
may be piled upon evidence which makes the message to the Laodicean church applicable. But that will not blot out the church that it will not exist. Let both tares and wheat grow together until the harvest. Then it is the angels that do the work of separation.  {1MR 362.3}
     I warn the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be careful how you receive every new notion and those who claim to have great light. The character of their work seems to be to accuse and to tear down.  {1MR 363.1}
 
What did she mean by this because right now I'm a bit lost with your answers, which seem to contradicting this?

Thank you for your time,
 
greetings from Québec,
Blessings,
[NF]

From: webmaster@adventistlaymen.com
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 5:01 PM
To: '[NF]'
Subject: RE: The Trinity Doctrine
Attachments: Politicking With World Leaders.htm

 

Hi Sister [NF]:

First, let me express my appreciation of the calm and honest way in which you are seeking answers to your questions.  This is indeed the spirit of the ancient Bereans.  However, it is much more difficult to discern between Truth and error in these times than it was then.  One of the solemn warnings that Ellen G. White has given us is as follows:

The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased, and it will increase, until it is taken away. (2 SG, p. 277; emphasis supplied.)

If ever there was a time to have a clear understanding of Present Truth it is now; and sadly this is the very time when the members of the SDA community are most confused and lacking in knowledge.  This state of affairs has been induced by the leaders of the corporate body and the “many voices” that are sounding on every side.  Here is a text that Elder Grotheer has quoted in support of his work of educating those who identify themselves as Seventh-day Adventists:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  (Hosea 4:6; emphasis added.)

The knowledge of the Truth as it is in Jesus Christ is essential to our salvation.  That was a central point of my letter to the Pastor in California.  I have always held the view that there is little value in leaving the apostasy in the Church without the informed conviction that it has ceased to be “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15.)  For this reason I did not set out in this correspondence to persuade you to leave the Church.  However, your successive searching questions inevitably led me in the direction of quoting the Testimonies which clearly indicate that the time for separation has come.

As far as I am concerned, the “Trinity” doctrine by itself is so deadly that it is a sound reason to separate from the corporate body; but it is not in my place to usurp the role of the Holy Spirit and tell you that this is what you should do.  Let the Bible and the particular illumination that the Writings shed on the destiny of the Church be your guide.  If the Holy Spirit convicts you to separate yourself from this deadly heresy, that should only be the beginning of the process of coming to the knowledge of Truth, pure and unadulterated.  “Thy Word,” says the Psalmist, is “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105,) and the Wise Man wrote, “the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Pro. 4:18.) Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 ;) and, “when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he shall guide you into all truth” (John 16:13.”)  Further, note in full context the reason why God sends strong delusion, in the following prophetic statement of the Apostle Paul:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (2 Thess. 2:8-12.)

This prophecy relates to the end-time – it is eschatological; and the evidences multiply all around us that we are in that period of earth’s history.  The prophecy is related to the papacy, and identifies it as the source of false doctrines and unrighteousness; as it conversely equates the Truth with righteousness.  The danger of falling prey to the “power and signs and lying wonders” of Satan through his representative body on earth is now so great that I must add another prophecy of Paul:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  (2 Tim. 4:3-4.)  

These prophetic warnings of the Apostle Paul are underscored in Ellen G. White’s own counsel:

God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. (5T 707-708; emphasis added)

The emphasis on Bible Truth, and the statement that the light from the Bible “should lead us to a most critical examination of the positions which we hold,” leads to the conclusion that not all of the traditional positions held by the Church are biblically sound.  These are supported by two very significant statements of Ellen G. White:

We must not think, "Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge."  The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light."  (R&H,  March 25, 1890; emphasis supplied)

We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. ( RH, July 26, 1892, emphasis added.) 

Here we have perhaps the most perplexing hazard of our times.  It is indeed the fact that there are many “independent” voices advancing new ideas and claiming to have great light, whose work seems to be “to accuse and to tear down” (from your own quotation, which is also included in my letter to the Pastor.)  My own observation is that in general their greatest fault is in exercising a zeal that is not according to knowledge.  They jump onto the bandwagon of opposition to the apostasy in the Church without fully understanding the issues.  In general they call the people back to the traditions that failed the leaders when confronted by the Evangelicals Barnhouse and Martin in the 1950s; while rejecting the “increasing light” of “advancing Truth.”  Many who are ignorant of theology and history are coming up with new theories, totally disconnected from historical Protestant exegesis.  Ellen White calls the product of their work “sparks of their own kindling” (R&H, December 13, 1892).  However, the greatest work of “removing of the landmarks,” and attempting “to tear down the pillars of our faith” (Ibid.) has taken place within the Church!!  It is therefore imperative that we subject all teachings, old and new, to the closest scrutiny of God’s Word, the Bible.  Elder Grotheer’s work will stand the test.

It is for you to decide whether you are ready to learn new lessons of faith from the Bible, and unlearn many, many, old lessons that have become enshrined as the traditions of the elders.  What I believe doesn’t really count.  However, I will reiterate what I have stated before: that the Church was not Babylon when Ellen G. White wrote in 1893, is not Babylon now, and will never be Babylon.  It is “Laodicea,” the Church to which the testimony that you have been questioning me about was addressed.  If you check my e-mail message of December 1, to which I attached a chapter from Questions on Doctrine, you will find the following statement, “Laodicea has become a harlot, a daughter of Babylon.  She is not Babylon, but has voluntarily gone into Babylonian captivity.  She is a part of Great Babylon.” (I referred you to the document that was attached.)

It is interesting to note the language of the prophets who called ancient Israel out of literal Babylon:

Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind . . . Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance ( Jer. 51:1, 6.)

Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.  (Zech. 2:7.)

(Emphasis added)

Today the general call is to come out of spiritual Babylon, and to the Seventh-day Adventist Church specifically I suggest it is to them that “dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me” (those who have waged war against the Truth;) to “Zion that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.”

As I have stated before, it is essential in reading the Testimonies to heed Sister White’s counsel, “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered. . . .” (1SM 57.2; emphasis added.)  If we ignore this counsel, it is inevitable that we will be confused by some Testimonies if we attempt to apply them to our time.  Concerning “The Church Not to be Broken Up,” one must keep in mind that throughout Ellen G. White’s lifetime the Church manifestly could still have repented of its course of rebellion.  The possibility of repentance is implicit in the statement:

Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements, showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be the chosen of God, His representatives.

The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place.  When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another. . . (8T 250.)

The last thing in the world one would expect Ellen White under inspiration from God to advocate while urging repentance and reformation as a essential to unity when it was still possible, would be the breaking up of the corporate body.  Nevertheless, once you can discern the depth of apostasy to which the Church has fallen, the imperative of separation, and the breakup of the corporate body, is implicit in other Testimonies written by her.  One of them I have quoted previously:

The first, second, and third angels' messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

Many who went forth to meet the Bridegroom under the messages of the first and second angels, refused the third, the last testing message to be given to the world, and a similar position will be taken when the last call is made.  (R&H, October 31, 1899; emphasis added.)

There are more Testimonies that are consistent with a call to separate from the Church:

The looker-on may discern no difference; but there is One who said that the tares were not to be plucked up by human hands lest the wheat be rooted up also. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares and bind them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous. "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Those who have been obedient to God's commandments will unite with the company of the saints in light; they shall enter in through the gates into the city, and have right to the tree of life. The one shall be taken. His name shall stand in the book of life, while those with whom he associated shall have the mark of eternal separation from God.

The tares and wheat are now commingled, but then the one hand that alone can separate them will give to everyone his true position. Those who have had the light of truth, and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper--farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night--all who have refused obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein. Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. Men choose to stand with the first rebel, who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden to disobey God. The tares multiply themselves, for they sow tares, and they have their part with the root of all sin--the devil. (TM 234-235; emphasis added)

In this last quotation another element of the Church’s apostasy is introduced; which is its identification with the world.  I don’t know how long you have been a Seventh-day Adventist; but to anyone who has been in the Church for three or more decades it is a glaring fact that the world has invaded the Church.  There has also been on the part of the leadership a turning away from the power of the Spirit to the power of politics.  The course of the increasing involvement with temporal powers, including the papacy, is fully revealed in the history of the apostasy, which is why I urge you to engage in deep study beyond recognizing the falsity of the doctrine of the “Trinity.”  I will provide you with another quotation from the Writings that is relevant to the involvement of the Church leadership with the world; but first it is necessary to confirm that the statement, “They mingled with the tares from choice,” applies to those remaining in the Church body: 

"Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.”

"The field," Christ said, "is the world." But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world. The parable is a description of that which pertains to the kingdom of God, His work of salvation of men; and this work is accomplished through the church. True, the Holy Spirit has gone out into all the world; everywhere it is moving upon the hearts of men; but it is in the church that we are to grow and ripen for the garner of God.

"He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man. . . . The good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." The good seed represents those who are born of the word of God, the truth. The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. "The enemy that sowed them is the devil." Neither God nor His angels ever sowed a seed that would produce a tare. The tares are always sown by Satan, the enemy of God and man. (COL 70-71; emphasis added)

Thus we commingle with the tares in the Church, and it must be there that we mingle with the tares by choice.  With respect to the involvement of the Church leadership with the world, this is the critical part of the apostasy.  The leadership sets the policy and tone for the body of members, and loyalty to the corporate body is loyalty to its leaders.  This is why in the Testimony “The Seal of God” Ellen White not only predicts of the leaders who “had betrayed their trust” that, “These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God;” but follows that immediately with the solemn warning that, “Men, maidens, and little children all perish together” (5T 211.)  Therefore, please study the following quotation very carefully:

Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with "the kings of the earth." It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation.

Babylon is said to be "the mother of harlots." By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries.  (GC 382-383; Emphasis added.)

To give you full documentation of the harlotry of the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is impossible in this message, which is already a long one.  I searched for a couple of recent examples of “unlawful connection” with worldly leaders, and found quite a few.  I was inspired to prepare a document for publication on the adventistlaymen.com website, as well as for your information.  It is attached.

I can truthfully say that I have never before directly made a case for separation from the Church, and I certainly did not anticipate when we started this correspondence that I would make it as forcefully as I have done in response to your questions.  The case has been stated; nonetheless I repeat my warning that separation should be firmly based on knowledge of the Truth and recognition that the Church has ceased to be “the pillar and ground of the Truth.”  Ellen G. White has written:

We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth.  (Review and Herald, February 18, 1890; TM 119; emphasis added)   

The decision on whether to apply yourself diligently enough to know that you do know what is Truth is yours and yours alone to make.  No-one can apply the time and mental effort on your behalf.  The Holy Spirit will guide you when you sometimes encounter doctrinal points that are difficult to understand; but it does take effort.  One has only to read Sister White’s description of how the foundation doctrines of the Church were laid to be convinced on that point; but the brethren helped one another, and I am ready and willing to work with you.  I have learned the issues of doctrine, prophetic interpretation, and denominational history that are critical for our times, and can make suggestions for your study.

Wishing you God’s richest blessings,

Eric Jones