Analysis – Letter-1904-02-21 JH Kellogg to Butler

By Doctor John Harvey Kellogg

Note: Ever since Doctor Kellogg wrote his book, The Living Temple, the Seventh-day Adventist prophet, Ellen G. White, has labeled him a pantheist, and Adventism has followed her lead in defaming him. In this letter, Kellogg denies that he believes in pantheism. [Original page numbers are in brackets.

 

February 21, 1904

Eld. G. I. Butler,

Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Brother:

 

I have your good letter written away out in Kansas, I feel as though I ought not to write you letters when you are so far off and have no stenographer to help you, but I want if possible to relieve your mind.

 

First, let me tell you that Elder Brunson has not been trying to convert me to his errors or heresies. He has said scarcely a word about nothing, in fact, except in answer to one or two questions which I asked him. I inquired of him his views respecting predestination, etc., and I could not discover that he believed any such ridiculous doctrines and you tell me the Baptists hold in the South. It is difficult to see how any intelligent person can believe any such nonsense. I hope sincerely that you do not imagine that I hold any doctrine tending in that way. Truth and error often lie very near together, but there is just difference enough between them to make one true and the other false.

 

If I understand Elder Brunson rightly, and I am quite, sure I do, and I questioned him about the matter quite closely two or three times, the whole difference between him and you is due to the fact that you have different definitions for the word “tare.” When you talk of tares, you mean one thing, and when he talks about tares, he means another thing. You consider a man who acts badly a tare; he would say that man may be a tare and he may be wheat. The Lord only knows. The Lord knows whether he will sometime repent so that he will be finally saved. If he’s going to repent, he will finally be saved in the kingdom of God. Then he is wheat no matter how badly he may act today.

 

This idea seems to me the more reasonable when one recalls the fact that plants of different species are not interchangeable. Wheat cannot become tares nor tares wheat in the vegetable world; why should they in the spiritual world? This whole question seems to me to be of little practical importance, so little it is hardly worth discussing. That man you mentioned who came to meeting and got the idea that he did not need to keep the Sabbath because he was justified, has not come to the end of his experience, If that man is really truly wheat, and has really and truly been justified, he will some day discover that, he cannot retain his peace of mind without surrendering to the conviction that the seventh day is the Sabbath and he must keep it. The Lord will follow him up until he comes to terms.

 

I do not believe that all men will ever be able to look at some of these questions exactly alike. In my mind thing harmonize themselves better to believe that there are tares and wheat. Tares have just as good a chance as the wheat but they refuse to accept, the offer of salvation. This fact makes them tares. Every man that does this is a tare. God knows in advance just what position every man is going to take; hence He knows who are tares and who are wheat.

 

Now, in your mind things harmonize better by looking upon good men as wheat and bad men tares; that is, men are classified as wheat and tares by their conduct, purely a matter of definition, you see. Your definition is based upon the ultimate result of the man’s life, what he turns out to be at the bar of God, no matter how he looked in this world. From a practical standpoint this question of wheat and tares is not worth talking about. I seldom, if ever, mention the thing at ­all. So long as we do not know who are wheat and who are tare we must labor on for everybody indiscriminately, leaving the whole thing to the Lord to settle in his own way.

 

Elder Brunson has been preaching very spiritual sermons since he has been here, and he has been a real help to a good many. His labors are really very much appreciated. I know he believes in the soon coming of the Lord, for he tells me so, and he talks it; and I know he believes the seventh day is the Sabbath for he keeps it, and he told me that this was an insurmountable obstacle to his working with the Baptists. In many respects he seems to be just the sort of man to help sick folks.

 

I wish I could disabuse your mind of the idea that we have a lot of fashionable aristocrats here at the Sanitarium who want to hear honeyed words. We have got our standard so high at the Sanitarium that really nobody comes but people who are very sick. Rich aristocrats, tourists, and pleasure‑seekers give us a wide berth. Do not for pity’s sake, make us out any worse than we are. We are not catering to worldliness nor to fashion. You never caught me traveling along that road yet. When I have spent all my life standing up against popular follies and foibles, even risking my reputation in attacking such a popular thing as salt, and jeopardizing the good will of my best friends—who happen to be great lovers of salt; when I have been fighting everything in sight which I thought was bad and making myself as unpopular as possible,—why should I now, when my hair is, beginning to turn white, and when some of the reforms for which I have labored are beginning to triumph why I ask, should I at this late hour begin turning somersaults in the opposite direction. It would be just as reasonable to expect you to go preaching the seventh part of time theory in order to gather together big churches so as to have a big, tithe with which to carry on your work. Let us have an end of these foolish surmising. Let us get down to business and work for the truth the Lord has given us and stop this cantankerous bickering. I am not yet “flabbergasted,” but I confess five years more of this sort, of thing I have been subjected to for the last five years may “flabbergast” me, “knock me off my base” “send me up the spout,” “katzenjammerm” me (see Modern Mysteries page 95. Pacific Press Publishing Co, Price fifteen cents.) Why cannot we act like men and spend our energies in saving our fellows instead of tearing one another to pieces.

 

You speak of making a public confession of some kind or something. Please do not imagine for an instant that I am going to do any such thing. I am willing to renounce all the awful doctrines you and others attribute to me. I am willing to confess that I am not a pantheist nor a spiritualist, and that I believe none of the doctrines taught by these people or by pantheistic or spiritualistic writings. I never read a pantheistic book in my life. I never read a book on “New Thought,” or anything of that kind. Anybody who will read care­fully the “Living Temple” from the first page right straight through to the last, and will give the matter fair and consistent consideration, ought to see very clearly that I have no accord whatever with these pantheistic and spiritualistic theories.

 

Now let us get down to business for a few minutes and talk straight. I know it is risky business for a man to say what is in his heart nowadays. If a man is slandered, misrepresented, the only proper thing for him to do is to sit quietly still and let the thing go on. You have talked frankly and like an honest man to me, and have trusted me, and I am going to treat you in just the same way.

 

What is a pantheist? First, he is a man who believes that everything is God. To him every tree is a god; every pig is a God; and in a real sense so that they are proper objects of worship. Second, the pantheist believes that the real man is not the thing we see, but a soul or a spirit, which lives in the body and which at death moves into some other body, it may be of some beast or it may be another man, and finally attains perfect happiness by being absorbed into the great mind or over soul or something else having no body at all.

 

Now, I ask you to put your finger on a line or on a word in my book, “The Living Temple,” which endorses any such notions or which even gives countenance to any such notions. I will be exceedingly thankful if you will show me one single instance. This has been charged upon me, and I have waited patiently now for several months for some one to come forward and point out wherein I have taught these things, in what words or what sentences. For the sake of peace and in order that I might not do harm to those whom I respect and those in whom I believe, I have remained quiet while wrong ideas respecting me and my work have been widely promulgated, and I do not now propose to take any different course in this matter. I am only writing this to you so that you may know the inside of my heart.

 

I abhor pantheism as much as you do. I have endeavored in my book to simply teach the fact that man is dependent upon God for everything, and that without the divine power working in him the Spirit of God operating upon the elements which compose his body, he would be dust. God, the fountain of all like, is man’s life; that is, the Spirit of God is man’s life. You will find clear statement of this in the preface of the “Living Temple” on the third page. I have also stated clearly in the preface of “The Living Temple” that my whole discussion relates only to the operation of the Spirit of God in the body in a physiological sense. Now, those who say I am in error in this must come forward and present some theory by which they can account for the marvelous manifestations of creative power and intelligence within the body, far transcend­ing the human intelligence and entirely outside of the human will. I have been waiting for someone to do this. I say, reverently, that human life is momentarily dependent upon God’s care; that man is not self‑existent; but that every man has been created by God and maintained by God, and when sick is healed by God. I believe this Spirit of God to be a personality, you don’t. But this is purely a question of definition. I believe the Spirit of God is a personality; you say, No, it is not a personality. Now the only reason why we differ is because we differ in our ideas as to what, a personality is. Your idea of personality is perhaps that of semblance to a person or a human being. This is not the scientific conception of personality and that is not the sense in which I use the word. The scientific test for personality is the exercise, of will, volition, purpose, without any reference to form or material being. When a frog with his head cut off is made to hop and jump around by pinching his skin, the physiologist says, Here is proof of personality residing in the spinal cord of the frog. In the same way I say, when I see a manifestation of intelligence in the tree, in the flower, in the human body, This is not the result of the operation of the human brain; here is an evidence of the work of a Personality which is independent of man, and which is above man, which is wiser and greater; which has power to, create, power to maintain, power to restore. I am not alone in this way of thinking; every scientist who is a Christian is compelled to think the same way. One cannot study the anatomy and physiology of the human body without being driven to accept the facts which are, brought to his attention continually as evidence of the power of an ever‑present God. Sister White has clearly taken the same position with reference to this matter which I have taken. You will find it, in her little work on Education in the chapters “God in Nature” and “Science and the Bible.” You will find it all through “Desire of Ages,” and “Patriarchs and Prophets.” Mrs. Henry’s book presents the same views which I present in “Living Temple,” only much more emphatically. To say these things are not true; to call them pantheistic and spiritualistic and heap other opprobrious titles on these views does not change the facts. I am not a pantheist; I am no spiritualist. I hold nothing in common with the teachings of these isms. I believe the Bible, I believe in God; I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only hope of salvation; I believe all the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. I believe in the third angel’s message; I believe the health movement is a part of it; and I have spent all my life working for it, and I expect to spend the rest of my life working for it. If the men who have been working with it, and who have sometimes preached and practiced the hole of the message, and sometimes only part of it, have come to the point where they want to spew me out, all right; they can push me out of their machine, but they cannot separate me from the Lord which I know and which I love.

 

A spirit of intolerance has come in; and a thirst for power and a determination to rule or ruin is manifested: I am not the only one that sees this, but I am determined not to be the one to fight it. I am going to sit still. If God wants me to live the rest of my life and die under the cloud which has been thrown over me, I am willing to do it, and I will never perjure myself to get out from under it; neither will I ever confess things to be true which I know are not true; nor will I deny what I know to be true. Whatever may be my other faults or weaknesses, I am not a coward; I will stand for what I know is right as long as I have power to stand at all. I am sitting down quietly and praying the Lord to give me the meekness and patience to bear the injustice heaped upon me and to help to purify my heart so that it may be possible for Him to bring victory out of my mistakes, and to save the cause of truth from the injury and discredit which my faults or errors might other­wise bring upon it. You have been through the same sort of experience I am going through, and you know more about it than any other one. You had one advantage over me. You were able to get up and get out of the way to a beautiful little tropical paradise, and manage your own affairs, and have peace and quite in your own home, and hold communion with God. I am compelled by circumstances beyond my control, to stand at my post and try to hold up the things which others, who ought to be as much interested as I, are doing their best to tear down. I must sit quietly still and see thousands of persons whom I counted my friends and who have had confidence in me, led to believe that I am a teacher of doctrines which I abhor, that I have been a promoter of schemes of which I never dreamed. Every day I have to study and plan, and every night I have to toil, to unravel the tangles which are made by those who ought to be helping us.

 

At the last General Conference in Oakland I agreed publicly that if the Sanitarium ought not to be in Battle Creek we would sell it and go elsewhere. It was not yet dedicated. A company could have been organized to take this institution and float it for more than enough to pay its debts so that we could go out without any debts to harass and embarrass us. If we had left right away after the fire we should not have had enough to pay our debts. The loss, if we had quit business, would have been surely five hundred thousand dollars, with an insurance of one hundred and fifty thousand, leaving us insolvent to the amount of” three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. I and my colleagues have made a life and death struggle to keep the work going, and save it. We have had no assistance and co­operation. We did the best we could, but have only been denounced for it. Other men who took the responsibility of advising us to do what we have done are the ones most active in condemning us for following their advice. Sister White said the Sanitarium should not have been rebuilt in Battle Creek. I said Very well, let us sell it. We have enough to pay our debts.

 

Sister White arose and stated publicly, “it has been proposed to sell the Battle Creek Sanitarium. No, This should not be done; let not the light of the Sanitarium go out in Battle Creek; let us all take hold and make the institution a success.”

 

Let me ask you what thing has been done by anybody outside of those who are carrying the burdens here, to help make this philanthropic work a success. Men profess to believe that the Lord speaks to them through Sister White. I should like to see some evidence of downright, through-going sincerity on the part of some of them.

 

I said in Oakland and at Washington everything I have to say by way of apology. I am never going to confess that I have for a moment believed or countenanced such doctrines as are attributed to “The Living Temple.” I never intended to teach any such doctrine when I wrote the book. It is charged that the book teaches these things. I asked Prof. Prescott to point out where these doctrines are taught. I asked Elder Haskell to do the same thing, and he has failed to do it. Both promised to do it, but both failed to carry out their promise. I told both of them I would like to have them mark out of my book everything which seemed to teach these wicked doctrines attributed to me. They failed to do this. I have never intended to teach anything except what Sister White teaches in the books have named, and everything which you or anybody else will point out to me which is not in harmony with what Sister White has written in the chapters “God in Nature” and “Science and the Bible” in her work on Education, I will immediately repudiate as error.

 

Prof. Prescott says “Sister White says the same thing you say, but does not mean the same thing you mean when she says it.! How does he know this? Is he a mind reader? Can he see into my heart and find something there which is not in my head, of which I am myself unconscious? Does he know better than I what I believe, or what I mean?

 

We have not reached the end of this thing by a long ways. I am sitting quietly and waiting, and I am willing to wait as long as the Lord wants me to wait. I am afraid I have been too impetuous and impatient. I have got to learn some lessons. I have been willing to believe that I had in my book some expressions that did not clearly express my meaning, and that this has led to misunderstanding, and so I readily consented to drop out anything which could by any possibility be so misunderstood; and I have thoroughly revised my book with this thought in mind, with the help of several persons who are as anxious as myself that we may have peace.

 

I could make a bitter war if I chose, but I have never had it in my heart to do such a thing, and have been most earnestly desirous to do everything possible in the interests of peace. This is the reason why I have taken the attitude I have now, but I have gone as far as I can go. I am patiently waiting to know what the Lord wants me to do. Whatever his will may be, I trust I shall be reconciled to it. I have not apostatized, and I am not going to apostatize, and there is no spirit of apostasy in the air at the Sanitarium. You will not find a larger number of people anywhere on earth who love truth and who are earnestly seeking it.

 

Enough of this. With reference to Elder Brunson I have only to say this: He wrote me stating he was sick and discouraged. I invited him to come and make us a little visit, just as I would invite a beggar who was cold and hungry to come into my house to be fed and warmed. My house it full of those­ who have no other claims upon me than that they were Christ’s little ones, and were in need of neighborly kindness. May be I committed a crime in this, If I did, I am willing to suffer the consequences.

 

Elder Brunson has been waiting patiently for a few weeks at the Sanitarium to see what shall be done with him. He seems a Christian Godly man. I cannot turn a cold shoulder upon him, and ask him to find “roost” somewhere else. I can not believe that anybody who loves him and loves his soul can do such a thing. I think it possible that sectarian zeal may sometimes chill the milk of human kindness to the congealing point. If no other opening is made for Elder Brunson, it is quite likely we shall invite him to stay at the Sanitarium temporarily, so that he may not feel that he is compelled to separate from the work which he loves and for which he has made noble sacrifices.

 

 

 

I am going to do the best I can to be a brother to this good man, and I will trust the Lord to take care of his heterodoxy. The thing which concerns me most, is not whether he is orthodox in his doctrines, but whether he is the sort of man that fears God and whose daily life is such as God approves. Doctrines do not save men, do they? I have had one or two good talks with Elder Brunson since he came to the Sanitarium. I have been so busy I could not find the time for more. He is a scholastic and theological to the last degree. He has a lot of subtle fine spun philosophies which I never could swallow in the world, but he is a good man. He has a sweet spirit; he loves souls, he is a man of faith, he prays earnest prayers; he helps our sick folks to have faith in God. I can not help but feel that a man who in his personal life and in all his conduct is holding up Christian standards in a dignified way must be one who may be so blessed in his ministration that though he makes mistakes, though he may be unsound in doctrine and too fine‑spun in philosophy, nevertheless the Lord can spread his and over his errors so that they shall not be seen, and permit the light of the gospel to shine him into the hearts of men and women who are hungering for truth and thirsting for salvation.

 

There will not be much occasion for Elder Brunson to bring forward his objectionable doctrines here. The gospel is the thing we need at the Sanitarium,–a live, pungent, saving gospel. I can not see any reason that Elder Brunson could have for discussing the subject of predestination, or to any great extent the sanctuary question, in his ministrations to patients. There are themes of more immediate importance which will fully occupy his time. If he stays with us I shall ask him to hold in abeyance and not prorogate those doctrines which you feel are subversive of orthodox S.D.A teachings, and he has already written you that he will do so.

 

I let Hiley read your letter, and told him he was free to act in any way that he thought was proper; that whatever his duty was he must do it. I have no idea how we can get along without him, but he belongs to the Lord and must obey his call.

 

As ever,

Your friend and brother,

Signed, J. H. Kellogg

 

 

 

 

Note by Sami Wilberforce:

 

Kellogg says

I believe this Spirit of God to be a personality, you don’t. But this is purely a question of definition. I believe the Spirit of God is a personality; you say, No, it is not a personality. Now the only reason why we differ is because we differ in our ideas as to what, a personality is. Your idea of personality is perhaps that of semblance to a person or a human being. This is not the scientific conception of personality and that is not the sense in which I use the word. The scientific test for personality is the exercise, of will, volition, purpose, without any reference to form or material being. When a frog with his head cut off is made to hop and jump around by pinching his skin, the physiologist says, Here is proof of personality residing in the spinal cord of the frog. In the same way I say, when I see a manifestation of intelligence in the tree, in the flower, in the human body, This is not the result of the operation of the human brain; here is an evidence of the work of a Personality which is independent of man, and which is above man, which is wiser and greater; which has power to, create, power to maintain, power to restore. I am not alone in this way of thinking; every scientist who is a Christian is compelled to think the same way. One cannot study the anatomy and physiology of the human body without being driven to accept the facts which are, brought to his attention continually as evidence of the power of an ever‑present God. Sister White has clearly taken the same position with reference to this matter which I have taken. You will find it, in her little work on Education in the chapters “God in Nature” and “Science and the Bible.” You will find it all through “Desire of Ages,” and “Patriarchs and Prophets.” Mrs. Henry’s book presents the same views which I present in “Living Temple,” only much more emphatically. To say these things are not true; to call them pantheistic and spiritualistic and heap other opprobrious titles on these views does not change the facts. I am not a pantheist; I am no spiritualist”

 

I am never going to confess that I have for a moment believed or countenanced such doctrines as are attributed to “The Living Temple.” I never intended to teach any such doctrine when I wrote the book. It is charged that the book teaches these things. I asked Prof. Prescott to point out where these doctrines are taught. I asked Elder Haskell to do the same thing, and he has failed to do it. Both promised to do it, but both failed to carry out their promise. I told both of them I would like to have them mark out of my book everything which seemed to teach these wicked doctrines attributed to me. They failed to do this. I have never intended to teach anything except what Sister White teaches in the books have named, and everything which you or anybody else will point out to me which is not in harmony with what Sister White has written in the chapters “God in Nature” and “Science and the Bible” in her work on Education, I will immediately repudiate as error.”

 

 

 

What did EGW say about “The Living Temple”?

 

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}

 

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 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}

 

I have seen the results of these fanciful views of God in apostasy, spiritualism, freelovism. The free-love tendencies of these teachings were so concealed that it was difficult to present them in their real character. Until the Lord presented it to me, I knew not what to call it, but I was instructed to call it unholy spiritual love. {Lt230-1903}

 

Thus I worked and suffered in my girlhood. And all through my life I have had the same errors to meet, though not always in the same form. In Living Temple the assertion is made that God is in the flower, in the leaf, in the sinner. But God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides there. {Ms46-1904}

 

Pantheistic ideas regarding God in nature are framed by Lucifer, the fallen angel. The strange part of the matter is that these ideas have been accepted by so many as beautiful truth. But that which they think is light will lead them into dense darkness. It is a distinguishing feature of the experience of Seventh-day Adventists to give glory to God.. {Lt253a-1903}

 

“I am so sorry that Living Temple came out as it did, and was circulated, and the worst of it — that which struck right to my heart — was the assertion made regarding the book: ‘It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching.’ When I heard this, I felt so heartbroken that it seemed as if I could not say anything. Had I said anything, I would have been obliged to speak the truth as it was.” “Living Temple contains the Alpha of these theories. The Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people. These beautiful representations are similar to the temptation that the enemy brought to Adam and Eve in Eden.” (Ellen G. White, Talk given on May 18th 1904, Sermons and talks, Volume one, page 341, Manuscript 46, 1904, ‘The Foundation of our Faith’)

 

1905 Kellogg Point of no Return

Here Kellogg was not stating the truth at all. It was at this point she now encouraged the pioneer materials to be reprinted. This period of crisis dealing with Kellogg’s Living Temple theology climaxed with the 1905 General Conference. Ellen White, now nearing age 78, having been God’s messenger for over 60 years, reminded the delegates during her pre-conference address on May 16 that God had directed the “light” of their understanding in regards to “Christ, his mission and his priesthood.” The faith given to them would extend until “the time when we shall enter the city of God.”

 

“God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it? — He has said that the dead are to speak. How? — Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced.

 

“Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.

 

“We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are, — the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step.

 

“I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, his mission, and his priesthood.

 

“During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. The brethren knew that, when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted, as light directly from heaven, the revelations given.” EGW, Review and Herald May 25, 1905

 

“Let not any man enter upon the work of tearing down the foundations of the truth that have made us what we are. God has led His people forward step by step, though there are pitfalls of error on every side. Under the wonderful guidance of a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” a truth has been established that has stood the test of trial. When men arise and attempt to draw away disciples after them, meet them with the truths that have been tried as by fire.”

 

“Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” (Manuscript Releases 760)

 

March of 1905 she said

“We are God’s commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years [1855-1905] every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the word,–especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation.” “Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord.” “But the way-marks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.” (Ellen White, Letter 95, 1905, To Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Kress, March 14, 1905, sea also Special Testimonies Series B. No. 2 page 59)

 

Can the false narrative that Christ being or becoming the Son of God was because of the incarnation (a consequence of sin) be put to rest?

 

  • Prophecies are being fulfilled, and stormy times are before us. Old controversies which have apparently been hushed for a long time will be revived, and new controversies will spring up; new and old will commingle, and this will take place right early. The angels are holding the four winds, that they shall not blow, until the specified work of warning is given to the world; but the storm is gathering, the clouds are loading, ready to burst upon the world, and to many it will be as a thief in the night. {June 21, 1892 ATJ, ARSH 387.4}

 

  • We are standing upon the threshold of great and solemn events. The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the channels of the great deep. Prophecies are being fulfilled, and stormy times are before us. Old controversies which have apparently been hushed for a long time will be revived, and new controversies will spring up; new and old will commingle, and this will take place right early. The angels are holding the four winds, that they shall not blow, until the specified work of warning is given to the world; but the storm is gathering, the clouds are loading, ready to burst upon the world, and to many it will be as a thief in the night. {SpTA01b 38.1}

 

  • In history and prophecy the Word of God portrays the long continued conflict between truth and error. That conflict is yet in progress. Those things which have been will be repeated. Old controversies will be revived, and new theories will be continually arising. But God’s people, who in their belief and fulfillment of prophecy have acted a part in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, know where they stand. They have an experience that is more precious than fine gold. They are to stand firm as a rock, holding the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end. {1MR 47.3}

 

  • Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . . {Mar 30.4}

 

  • The last great conflict will be short but terrible. Old controversies will be revived. New controversies will arise. The last warnings must be given to the world. There is a special power in the presentation of the truth at the present time, but how long will it continue? Only a little while. If ever there was a crisis, it is now. {CTr 350.2}

 

The last quote reminds me of the living temple “An Iceberg! “Meet It”. If ever there was a crisis, it is now. And if there was a time to “meet it”, it is now. She said

 

I wish to write a few words about the letters and manuscripts that were sent you during the council. Shortly before I sent the testimonies that you said arrived just in time, I had read an incident about a ship in a fog meeting an iceberg. For several nights I slept but little. I seemed to be bowed down as a cart beneath sheaves. One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, “Iceberg just ahead!” There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, “Meet it!” There was not a moment’s hesitation. It was a time for instant action. The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder upon the deck. The passengers were violently shaken by the force of the collision, but no lives were lost. The vessel was injured, but not beyond repair. She rebounded from the contact, trembling from stem to stern, like a living creature. Then she moved forward on her way. Well I knew the meaning of this representation. I had my orders. I had heard the words, like a living voice from our Captain, “Meet it!” I knew what my duty was and that there was not a moment to lose. The time for decided action had come. I must without delay obey the command, “Meet it!” {Lt238-1903}

 

I have been instructed by the heavenly messenger that some of the reasoning in the book, “Living Temple,” is unsound and that this reasoning would lead astray the minds of those who are not thoroughly established on the foundation principles of present truth. It introduces that which is naught but speculation in regard to the personality of God and where His presence is. No one on this earth has a right to speculate on this question. The more fanciful theories are discussed, the less men will know of God and of the truth that sanctifies the soul.  {SpTB02 51.3} 

 

One and another come to me, asking me to explain the positions taken in “Living Temple.” I reply, “They are unexplainable.” The sentiments expressed do not give a true knowledge of God. All through the book are passages of scripture. These scriptures are brought in in such a way that error is made to appear as truth. Erroneous theories are presented in so pleasing a way that unless care is taken, many will be misled.  {SpTB02 52.1} 

 

We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God. It is represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending. The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error.  {SpTB02 52.2} 

 

About the time that “Living Temple” was published, there passed before me in the night season, representations indicating that some danger was approaching, and that I must prepare for it by writing out the things God has revealed to me regarding the foundation principles of our faith.  {SpTB02 52.3} 

 

A copy of “Living Temple” was sent me, but it remained in my library, unread. From the light given me by the Lord, I knew that some of the sentiments advocated in the book, did not bear the indorsement of God, and that they were a snare that the enemy had prepared for the last days. I thought that this would surely be discerned, and that it would not be necessary for me to say anything about it. {SpTB02 52.4} 

 

In the controversy that arose among our brethren regarding the teachings of this book, those in favor of giving it a wide circulation declared: “It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching.” This assertion struck right to my heart. I felt heart-broken; for I knew that this representation of the matter was not true.  {SpTB02 53.1} 

 

Finally my son said to me, “Mother, you ought to read at least some parts of the book, that you may see whether they are in harmony with the light that God has given you.” He sat down beside me, and together we read the preface, and most of the first chapter, and also paragraphs in other chapters. As we read, I recognized the very sentiments against which I had been bidden to speak in warning during the early days of my public labors. When I first left the State of Maine, it was to go through Vermont and Massachusetts, to bear a testimony against these sentiments. “Living Temple” contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I TREMBLED FOR OUR PEOPLE. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God. The statements made in “Living Temple” in regard to this point are incorrect. The scripture used to substantiate the doctrine there set forth, is scripture misapplied.  {SpTB02 53.2} 

 

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.  {SpTB02 53.3}

 

I did not read Living Temple, though I had it in my library. At last my son said to me, “Mother, you ought to read at least some parts of the book, that you may see whether they are in harmony with the light hat God has given you.” He sat down beside me, and we read the paragraphs to which he referred. When we had finished, I turned to him, and said, “These are the very sentiments against which I was bidden to speak in warning at the very beginning of my public work. When I first left the state of Maine, it was to go through Vermont and Massachusetts, to bear a testimony against these sentiments. Living Temple contains the Alpha of these theories. The Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people. These beautiful representations are similar to the temptation that the enemy brought to Adam and Eve in Eden. {Ms46-1904}

 

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

 

We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ. How the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 1} {1888 533.1}. MAYBE THIS IS 1888-1905 FIASCO AGAIN. IT STARTED AS ALPHA AND ITS GOING DOWN AS OMEGA

 

AT JONES – FROM CONFUSION TO TRUTH TO CONFUSION

 

A careful reader of what was happening in that period would see AT Jones come from confusion, to truth but again to now reprinting the errors he had left when he was given the message of Righteousness by Faith. Reason? His association with Kellogg. Notice:

 

  • ERROR: The Third Angel’s Message embraces Sinai and Calvary; the law of God and the gospel of Christ; God the Father and God the Son; and when this message ends the work of God for the salvation of men—the mystery of God—will be finished. {September 30, 1886 ATJ, SITI 599.8}

 

  • TRUTH: It is true that there are many sons of God, but Christ is the “only begotten Son of God,” and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was or ever can be. The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7; Luke 3:38), by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 15), but Christ is the Son of God by birth. The writer to the Hebrews further shows that the position of the Son of God is not one to which Christ has been elevated but that it is one which He has by right. He says that Moses was faithful in all the house of God, as a servant, “but Christ as a Son over His own house.” Heb. 3:6. And he also states that Christ is the Builder of the house. Verse 3. It is He that builds the temple of the Lord and bears the glory. Zech. 6:12, 13. {1890 EJW, CHR 12.1}

 

  • ERROR: The Third Angel’s Message embraces Sinai and Calvary; the law of God and the gospel of Christ; God the Father and God the Son. And when this message ends, the work of God for the salvation of men—the mystery of God—will be finished. {October 16, 1900 ATJ, ARSH 664.22}

 

  • ERROR: The Third Angel’s Message embraces Zion and Calvary; the law of God and the gospel of Christ; God the Father and God the Son. {1901 ATJ, GNT 256.2}

 

  • ERROR [THIS IS AT JONES NOW IN FULLY HARMONY WITH KELLOGG AND TEACHING TRINITY. You can email me I send you more of AT Jones story on Trinity when he started working with Kellogg]. He says “And the Holy Spirit is a Person. This great truth is not recognized, indeed, it is not believed, by more than a very few even of Christians. For everybody knows that almost invariably, with very, very few exceptions, the Holy Spirit is referred to and spoken of by Christians as “it.” But the word “it” never applies to a person. The word “it,” in the very genius of our language refers and applies to only things, never to persons; to things of inanimate substance, as a stone, a house, a tree; or to things of concept or experience, as space, height, breadth, peace, joy, grief, an impression, an influence. But the Holy Spirit is none of these: the Holy Spirit is not an influence, nor an impression, nor peace, nor joy, nor any thing. The Holy Spirit gives peace, and gives joy, assuages grief, makes an impression, exerts an influence; but the Holy Spirit is none of these things, nor any other thing. No, eternally, no! The Holy Spirit is a Person, eternally a divine Person. And he must be always recognized and spoken of as a Person, or he is not truly recognized or spoken of at all”. {March 27, 1907 ATJ, MEDM 98.5-7}

 

This argument by Jones that “the Holy Spirit is referred to and spoken of by Christians as “it.” is not the truth at because the Bible itself says the Holy Spirit is referred to as it [Romans 8:16, 26].

 

EGW eventually would write

 

  • I am sorry for A. T. Jones, who has been warned over and over again. Notwithstanding these warnings, he has allowed the enemy to fill his mind with thoughts of self-importance. Heed not his words, for he has rejected the plainest light and has chosen darkness instead. The Holy One hath given us messages clear and distinct, but some poor souls have been blinded by the falsehoods and the deceptive influences of satanic agencies and have turned from truth and righteousness to follow these fallacies of satanic origin. Ms39-1906

 

  • We did not see anything to encourage us in the hope that Elder Jones is coming out from the darkness that is upon him. He feels that he understands himself; but he is as the blind and is feeling about, to know what step to take next. I felt that I must speak plainly to him. I told him that notwithstanding the warnings that had been given regarding Kellogg’s influence over him, he had gone into the very path he had been cautioned not to take; he had not spiritual discernment to understand the doctor’s religious standing. I told him that he had become Dr. Kellogg’s voice to the people. Lt234-1908.6

 

Some of the men who proof-read the reading temple and what they had to say

 

  • “That we find in the book ‘Living Temple’ nothing which appears to us to be contrary to the Bible or the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, and that we see no reason why it may not be recommended by the Committee for circulation in the manner suggested.”-T. Jones, J.H. Kellogg, David Paulson, quoted in “How the Spirit of Prophecy Met a Crisis,” p. 27.

 

This made EGW to write:

Some think it strange that I write, “Do not send your children to Battle Creek.” I was instructed in regard to the danger of the worldly influence in Battle Creek. I have written hundreds of pages regarding the danger of having so large a sanitarium, and of calling so many people together in one place. The young people in Battle Creek are in danger. They will come in contact with error. Years ago I did not think that they would meet these errors right in the sanitariums; but when “Living Temple” came out, and some of our ministers told me that there was in it nothing but what I had been teaching all my life, I saw how great the danger was. I saw that blindness had fallen upon some who had long known the truth. I pray that the Lord will open the eyes of these ministers, that they may see the difference between light and darkness, between truth and error. {SpTB07 35.1}

 

The leading ministers did not even realize what Kellogg was teaching yet they had long known the truth. Jones had been deceived and Daniels and Prescott would follow later and work with Froom yet a waning had been sounded. 1910 EGW to A.G. Daniels:

 

  • Message after message has come to me from the Lord concerning the dangers surrounding you and Elder Prescott. I have seen that Satan would have been greatly pleased to see Elders Prescott and Daniells undertake the work of a general overhauling of our books that have done a good work in the field for years. But neither of you is called of God to that work. …I have been instructed that the Lord is not the author of the proposal to make many changes in books already published. Lt70-1910

Analysis – Letter-1904-02-21 JH Kellogg to Butler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *