Identity Crisis due to negligence and ignorant of our History

 

Willie White, 1935 – some twenty years after Ellen White’s death:

The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers, in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit is an individual as are God the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said We may regard Him, as the fellow who is down here running things. My perplexities were lessened a little when I learned from the dictionary that one of the meanings of personality was characteristics. It is stated in such a way that I concluded that there might be personality without bodily form which is possessed by the Father and the Son. There are many Scriptures which speak of the Father and the Son and the absence of Scripture making similar reference to the united work of the Father and the Holy Spirit or of Christ and the Holy Spirit, has led me to believe that the spirit without individuality was the representative of the Father and the Son throughout the universe, and it was through the Holy Spirit that they dwell in our hearts and make us one with the Father and with the Son. Letter, W. C. White to H. W. Carr, April 30, 1935

 

Note the dates: 1897 – 1935. There is no inkling of any support for a trinity God.  Others have succeeded in making the denomination trinitarian. These, like Kellogg, have manipulated Ellen White to make it appear she was the one who initiated the change.

 

So what did she mean by “person” a clue is found in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary from her study:

Noah Websters 1828 English Dictionary

PERSON, n. per’sn. [L. persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]

Meaning #6. Character of office.

 

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by  power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.–Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897)” {Evangelism, p. 617}

 

This is an interesting objection concerning the word person simply for the fact that the trinitarian argument for a separate individual which the above testimony appears to be saying is not a new one.

 

Our pioneer belief was such that they declared with great unanimity that God and Christ were personal beings but never described the Holy Spirit as another individual, separate and apart from the Father or Son as taught by Trinitarians today.  Ellen White was in harmony with that belief and did not fault them despite instances early in her ministry in which she had to meet with rebuke those who were spiritualizing God away. Inspiration is such that she cannot change her stance on God in later years. What God revealed as truth in the 1840s remains as truth today.

 

Our forefathers understood the above testimony in a way contrary to the popular trinitarian understanding of today.  The dialogue between Elder Butler and Dr Kellogg bears this out.

 

On October 28, 1903 Kellogg wrote to Butler stating the following:

As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun “he” is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun “he” and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” (Letter from J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, October 28, 1903)

 

Kellogg appeals to the Bible and Sister White to support what we know is gross error. Error which evolved into a trinitarian position on his part. But did not our forefathers and Sister White know that the Bible (and SOP) used the pronoun “He” for the Holy Spirit? Of course they did but this in no way led them to an understanding that the Holy Spirit was another individual separate from the Father and the Son.

 

Kellogg states that the whole basis for his book, “The Living Temple” was the idea that the Holy Spirit was a person. This was definitely not the faith of the BODY at the time as evidenced by Kellogg quoting Butler, “You say no”. The year? – 1903. Remember the Desire of Ages was published in 1898 and many use this book to justify the “trinity” / “tritheism” or the three persons in one GOD concept. It was not put out to correct any doctrinal error of the BODY.

 

She called Kellogg’s position, the Alpha of Apostasy. The endtime delusions would be of most startling nature. She feared for our people. Why? Because the Alpha was met head on and defeated however, the apostasies which has snaked its way in, unawares, and has become the official position of the church. We now have in Adventism a Spirit God without body parts, a god whose existence for which there is no basis in the Bible or SoP, a level of existence which is totally contrary to Genesis 1:26.

 

  1. I. Butler to J. H. Kellogg, April 5, 1904

So far as Sister White and you being in perfect agreement is concerned, I shall have to leave that entirely between you and Sister White. Sister White says there is not perfect agreement. You claim there is. God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are – at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words.” (Letter from G. I. Butler to J. H. Kellogg, April 5, 1904)

 

Notice that the above letter was dated 1904. You do not find Kellogg rushing off to the brethren or to Ellen White dobbing in G I Butler as being in error. You also do not find Ellen White correcting Butler, like she did Kellogg. If the trinity was the truth at the time, then Butler was a heretic in 1904, at a time when Ellen White was alive. If the trinity were correct, she should have reprimanded Butler, however, there is no evidence she did. It was Kellogg who was derailing the faith of the body and who copped Ellen White’s  “wrath”.

 

What was the problem with Kellogg

It had been hoped that in connection with the destruction of the book plates in the Review and Herald fire, Dr. Kellogg would abandon the matter of publishing The Living Temple. But instead he sent the manuscript to a commercial printer in Battle Creek. Three thousand copies of the book were printed and began to make their way among Seventh-day Adventists. In due time in the summer of 1903 a copy of The Living Temple arrived at Elmshaven, but Ellen White did not look at it. In September of that year she was compelled to speak out plainly against these errors. “I have some things to say to our teachers in reference to the new book, “The Living Temple“. Be careful how you sustain the sentiments of this book regarding the personality of God. As the Lord represents matters to me, these sentiments do not bear the endorsement of God. They are a snare that the enemy has prepared for these last days. I thought that this would surely be discerned, and that it would not be necessary for me to say anything about it. But since the claim has been made that the teachings of this book can be sustained by statements from my writings, I am compelled to speak in denial of this claim.” {Letter 211, 1903}

 

When the messages were read at the Council in Washington, Dr. Kellogg responded favorably, saying that he accepted the testimony and that he would modify the wording in The Living Temple dealing with theological matters. But his statements were rather erratic and changeable. His attitude alternated, and it finally turned out that the doctor never really changed.

 

  1. Daniels 1903

“Ever since the council closed I have felt that I should write you confidentially regarding Dr. Kellogg’s plans for revising and republishing ‘The Living Temple’…. He (Kellogg) said that some days before coming to the council, he had been thinking the matter over, and began to see that he had made a slight mistake in expressing his views. He said that all the way along he had been troubled to know how to state the character of God and his relation to his creation works…He then stated that his former views regarding the trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement; but that within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily. He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing. He said if he had believed this before writing the book, he could have expressed his views without giving the wrong impression the book now gives. I placed before him the objections I found in the teaching, and tried to show him that the teaching was so utterly contrary to the gospel that I did not see how it could be revised by changing a few expressions. We argued the matter at some length in a friendly way; but I felt sure that when we parted, the doctor did not understand himself, nor the character of his teaching. And I could not see how it would be possible for him to flop over, and in the course of a few days fix the books up so that it would be all right.” {Letter: A. G. Daniells to W. C. White. October 29, 1903. pp. 1, 2}

 

The book Living Temple is not to be patched up, a few changes made in it, and then advertised and praised as a valuable production. […] When you wrote that book you were not under the inspiration of God. There was by your side the one who inspired Adam to look at God in a false light. […] My brother, I must tell you that you have little realization of whither your feet have been tending. The facts have been opened to me. You have been binding  yourself up with those who belong to the army of the great apostate. Your mind has been as dark as Egypt.–Letter 253, 1903, pp. 1, 12-14. (To J. H. Kellogg, Nov. 20, 1903.)” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Volume 11, p. 314, 315}

 

“It will be said that Living Temple has been revised. But the Lord has shown me that the writer has not changed, and that there can be no unity between him and the ministers of the gospel while he continues to cherish his present sentiments. I am bidden to lift my voice in warning to our people, saying, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked” (Gal.6:7).” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 199} 1904 (So how could Ellen White believe the same thing, as many claim, and yet reprove Kellogg for wanting to publish it?)

 

What were the “present sentiments” of Dr. Kellogg? According to his own confession a year earlier, he had come to believe in a trinity of three divine beings. In self defense Kellogg claimed that his teachings were the same as Mrs. White. He (and his supporters) would even quote statements from her writings to support his “new” teaching. Mrs. White denied this charge in plain testimonies: “I am compelled to speak in denial of the claim that the teachings of Living Temple can be sustained by statements from my writings. There may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer of Living Temple, would seem to be in harmony with the teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion that the sentiments in Living Temple are in harmony with my writings. But God forbid that this sentiment should prevail.” {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 203}

You are not sound in the faith. I have stated this in my diary months ago. You have certainly placed the people of God, whom the Lord has led step by step in the ways of truth and placed upon a solid foundation, in a false showing before unbelievers. Some have departed from the faith and will continue to misrepresent the work God has given me. The sanctuary question is a clear and definite doctrine as we have held it as a people. You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself. Ellen G. White to John Harvey Kellogg, Letter 300, March 16th 1903

 

What did she mean by the “third person”?

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power.  It is the Spirit that makes effectual, what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer.  It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature.  Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.“ – Desire of Ages, p. 671.2

 

We have not as much sympathy with Unitarians that deny the divinity of Christ, as with Trinitarians who hold that the Son is the eternal Father, and talk so mistily about the three-one God. Give the Master all that divinity with which the Holy Scriptures clothe him.

 

Our adorable Redeemer thought it not robbery to be equal with God, and let all the people say, Amen! Thank Heaven! Here we may sing, Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb; and on the other shore, by the grace of God, we will join all the redeemed in the highest ascriptions of praise for their salvation to both Him that sitteth upon the throne, and the Lamb, forever and ever.”

“Neither are the Father and the Son parts of the “three-one God.” They are two distinct beings, yet one in the design and accomplishment of redemption.” (Life Incidents, p. 343, 1868)

“The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough…” (RH, 29-11-1877)

“The Father is the greatest in that he is first. The Son is next in authority because He has been given all things.” (Ibid, 4-1-1881)

 

In the June 6, 1871 issue of the “Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath”:

“We had hoped to leave Battle Creek a week sooner; but a pressure of business at the publishing house, relating to our periodicals and publications, the new building, the Health Institute, and matters relative to the prosperity of our people in the city, detained us till May 30, when we left in company with Mrs. W. and Bro. and sister Abbey. We had been laboring so intensely, that the freedom and rest of a good seat with friends in the elegant coach of the fast train upon the Michigan Central Railroad, was a luxury that words cannot express… The heat of the afternoon is intense. Happy for us, there is no dust upon the track; hence, doors and windows are all open. And now, as we look up from our imperfect pencilings (which enlists our deepest sympathy for the printer), we look as far as the sight of the eye can extend, over the ever-varying scenery that rapidly passes to the rear, or over which we pass, of meadow, and pasture covered with herds of cattle and horses, of corn and grain, and of groves, natural and planted. Way yonder, on the distant prairie, are a dozen teams cultivating corn, which to a real Yankee, might somewhat resemble so many small boats off the New England coast. There is no labor in travel here. The eye is ever feasting upon nature’s grandest, ever-shifting, and most beautiful scenery. The mind goes out, with the sight of the eye, in more expanded views of the glory of God in nature, and the heart warms, and beats more freely and firmly as it partakes in sympathy of the general good cheer. This to the man of care, and mental toil, is recreation… Here, upon the train, we met a man of marked physical and mental powers, just returning from his missionary field in China. Early he had the advantages of the highest schools of New England, and has spent twenty-four years of the best of his life in China. He has now returned with his family to find homes for his four children, the eldest of which is but nine years of age, and then will return to spend the balance of his energies in that distant land. As we conversed with this gentleman, feelings of profound respect were aroused for the sacrifice he has made, and is still making. Would God that a similar spirit of self-sacrifice would get hold of our people in behalf of benighted men and women in our own land. This missionary seemed very liberal in his feelings toward all Christians. But after catechizing us upon the trinity, and finding that we were not sound upon the subject of his triune God, he became earnest in denouncing unitarianism, which takes from Christ his divinity, and leaves him but a man. Here, as far as our views were concerned, he was combating a man of straw. We do not deny the divinity of Christ. We delight in giving full credit to all those strong expressions of Scripture which exalt the Son of God. We believe him to be the divine person addressed by Jehovah in the words, ” Let us make man.” He was with the Father before the world was. He came from God, and he says, “I go to him that sent me.” The apostle speaks of Christ as he now is, our mediator, having laid aside our nature. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The simple language of the Scriptures represent the Father and Son as two distinct persons. With this view of the subject there are meaning and force to language which speaks of the Father and the Son. But to say that Jesus Christ “is the very and eternal God,” makes him his own son, and his own father, and that he came from himself, and went to himself. And when the Father sends Jesus Christ, whom the Heavens must receive till the times of restitution, it will simply be Jesus Christ, or the eternal Father sending himself. We have not as much sympathy with Unitarians that deny the divinity of Christ, as with Trinitarians who hold that the Son is the eternal Father, and talk so mistily about the three-one God. Give the Master all that divinity with which the Holy Scriptures clothe him. Our adorable Redeemer thought it not robbery to be equal with God, and let all the people say, Amen! Thank Heaven! Here we may sing, Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb; and on the other shore, by the grace of God, we will join all the redeemed in the highest ascriptions of praise for their salvation to both Him that sitteth upon the throne, and the Lamb, forever and ever.”

 

“The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, ‘Let us make man in our image?” {James White, Nov 29, 1877, Review and Herald}

“The principal difference between the two bodies is the immortality question. The S. D. Adventists hold the divinity of Christ so nearly with the trinitarian, that we apprehend no trial here. And as the practical application of the subject of the Gifts of the Spirit to our people and to our work is better understood by our S. D. Baptist brethren, they manifest less concern for us on this account.” (James White, Review and Herald, Oct 12, 1876)

 

“We invite all to compare the testimonies of the Holy Spirit through Mrs. W., with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The trinitarian may compare them with his creed, and because they do not agree with it, condemn them. The observer of Sunday, or the man who holds eternal torment an important truth, and the minister that sprinkles infants, may each condemn the testimonies of Mrs. W. because they do not agree with their peculiar views. And a hundred more, each holding different views. may come to the same conclusion. But their genuineness can never be tested in this way.” (Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath, 13-6-1871, p. 204, 3rd column).

 

Brethren it’s so naïve for us to be neglectful or be in ignorance of our history

 

“The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time had not lessened their value.” Counsels to Writers and Editors  p. 52, 1904

 

“Not one pin is to be removed from that which    the Lord has established… Where shall we find   safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord   has been giving for the last fifty years?”  Review & Herald  May 25, 1905

 

Backdate 1905 by 50 years and you get 1855. Would you stand on the pulpit and say that our Pioneers and EGW were Trinitarians?

 

I feel my spirit stirred within me. I feel to the depth of my being that the truth must be borne to other countries and nations, and to all classes. Let the missionaries of the cross proclaim that there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ the Son of the Infinite God. This needs to be proclaimed throughout every church in our land. Christians need to know this, and not put man where God should be, that they may no longer be worshipers of idols, but of the living God. Idolatry exists in our churches. [Means had] better be employed to save souls from death, which would be placing jewels in the crown of Jesus Christ and stars in our own crowns in the kingdom of heaven.  {1888 886.3}

 

How then can we call ourselves missionaries when we negate the above?

 

Blessings

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